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KUALA LUMPUR, 6 June 2016:
For two years, Mohamed Ameerdeen Mohd Jamaluddin, 54, could not find a job because of his homeless status.
Furthermore, his age and health did not allow him to do heavy work.
However, his desire to obtain a job was finally accomplished through the programme “2016 Volunteering for International Professionals” (VIP) – a volunteer project begun three months ago under the Ministry of Finance.
“I look forward to giving back to the community because despite not having a place to live and a job (before), homeless people like me are still taken into consideration by concerned people in the capital.
“I’m grateful that I have finally got a job through the help of these volunteers and will also assist them in their welfare work,” he said of the VIP programme which was launched yesterday at the Medan Tuanku Community Centre here.
Even though the work, involving packing of goods was temporary, Mohamed Ameerdeen said he was satisfied because was able to enjoy his own hard-earned money.
“I want to prove that the homeless are able to work, apart from that I do not want people to be prejudiced or look down on us.”
Ministry of Finance National Strategy Unit senior deputy director Datuk William Stevenson said the VIP initiative aims to help, rehabilitate and improve the self-confidence of the homeless community.
“Through this project, volunteers have established what is called ‘Inclue’, namely social enterprise that become a liaison entity in helping the homeless community by providing short-term employment opportunities in preparation to assimilate them into society.”
So far, he said 45 homeless people have obtained jobs through the 2016 VIP project.
“Via the project, the volunteers, comprising doctors, counsellors and teachers provide courses to the homeless to improve their skills and provide counselling and instil discipline before they step into the working world.”
VIP programme director Anthony David said ‘Inclue’ had made remarkable accomplishments since its inception in April – including finding permanent jobs as factory operators for five homeless individuals.
He said that Inclue had set up a ‘warehouse’ at the Medan Tuanku Community Centre, with the aim of it becoming a space where interaction with the homeless could be undertaken in a comfortable environment, with free food and music thrown in.
“It operates from 10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4pm every Thursday with support from Kuala Lumpur City Hall,” he said, adding that relevant non-governmental organisations and individuals are welcome to join in the volunteer activities.