The first time I spoke to the principal officer of The Budimas Charitable Foundation was during late 2016 at the office located on the highest floor of 566, Jalan Ipoh and I have to say many things have changed and achieved since then. For one, the foundation hosted its second fundraising gala dinner in 2017. “It took a lot of time, learning, and mistakes, but the outcome was well received. And I’m really happy to have a good team who are supportive and cooperative. Everything went really well and personally, I believe more people are getting to know about our cause and what we do now,” Anne begins, further elaborating that the 2018 Night of a Thousand Blessings, which will be held on 19th April, will be equally as good, if not better.
While the gala dinner aims to raise more funds, Anne hopes to convey the message across to the public on what Budimas is all about. “I want people to remember that we’re not an NGO that gives out funds. Budimas is beyond that. We’re putting underprivileged children to school. We’re feeding them balanced meals. We’re building libraries and other facilities to make knowledge accessible and engaging. We aspire to be the organisation that people would come to when there are any children who need help. Budimas don’t just give and walk away. We follow through,” she passionately continues, highlighting that this is the most stereotypical image people usually have of NGOs. “That and how the society views the children we’re trying to help. They are not useless nor are they hopeless. Ultimately, we want all our children to be able to stand on their own two feet and fend for themselves in the future.”
We aspire to be the organisation that people would come to when there are any children who need help. Budimas don’t just give and walk away. We follow through.
In addition to that, Budimas is varying its donation method to ease the whole process. “We’ve revamped our website and also designed a new donation package called i-Adopt, whereby donors not only can donate their preferred amount for the cause of aiding underprivileged children in Malaysia but now they can choose to sponsor a child’s expenses via the three main structured programmes.” Of course, money is not the only provision needed. Anne narrates that they are constantly trying to figure out ways for to do more for the children and a good way is bringing in successful individuals to motivate them. “Lawyers and doctors are not the only jobs in the world. Apart from volunteers, we also bring in professionals like artist and dentist to talk to them. And it does make a difference! What these children lack is guidance and with the right career direction, they will be inspired to do better.”
Notably, the organisation has also managed to launch 3 more libraries under the Budimas Education Charity Fund last year. “Currently we have a total of 7 libraries and we’re utterly grateful to the corporates who adopted them. This goes to show that people are starting to believe in our cause,” Anne announces, adding that the results of the children under the Budimas Food Charity Fund are improving. “Previously, students were reluctant to go to school. With the feeding programme, children from homes with a low socioeconomic status were more motivated to go to school as they will be fed and in turn are more alert during classes.” And to spread the awareness amongst the public, Anne adds that Budimas will be giving out their breakfast box containing the exact portion and type of breakfast that the children receive daily from 5th to 9th March. “For this campaign, we’d be targeting working adults at the prime locations such as Bangsar South, Masjid Jamek, Mid Valley, and Menara Millennium.”
At the end of the day, the more the public can help, the more we can do to help these children.
Also, Anne informs that Budimas Home Charity Fund was the first and most effective programme to date and the children who were under it since the start have just finished their SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) and will be entering IPT (Higher Education Institution) soon. “Believe it or not, I can confidently say that their lives have improved tremendously. Especially when you consider their circumstances, this is a huge milestone for us. And these are all thanks to the kind-hearted civilian who cared enough to donate to our organisation. With the money, we were able to help thousands of underprivileged children,” she says, putting a side note to all those non-believers that like it or not, such children still exist, even in busy cities like Kuala Lumpur.
However, Anne hopes to generate more funds due to the increasing numbers of underprivileged children. “Our feeding programme has increased from 5 to 106 schools since we started and that takes a big chunk of my budget, which is approximately 2.8 mil. That being said, we’re still looking to reach out to two more states this year, namely Perlis and Johor. Also, our home is already occupied by 87 children and we can only take in more if we have enough funding to build another home. At the end of the day, the more the public can help, the more we can do to help these children,” she says, adding that anything more will be beyond their capacity and budget. “The one good thing about being a locally based charity group is people can actually go and see what we’ve done. They can even taste what is being served for our food programme. All in all, if people can trust us, we can do more.”
For more information or to make a donation, visit budimas.org