KUALA LUMPUR, 17 Jan 2017:

Having to live rough on the streets, under bridges and shanties is bad enough – but it gets even worse when one is a living buffet for mosquitoes, but that is something the homeless and poor people have to endure daily.

“One of the most often requested items we get from them is mosquito coils, as they usually can’t afford it even though it offers them the protection they need,” said Kechara Soup Kitchen (Kechara) president Henry Ooi.

To alleviate the situation, Kechara will be distributing mosquito coils and mosquito nets along with educational pamphlets to the homeless and urban poor during the first phase of its “Bite No More” campaign – which has been kicked off with the sponsorship of 1,000 sets from the Tsem Rinpoche Foundation, a charitable foundation.

In addition to giving them the basic items needed to protect themselves from bites, the campaign also aims to educate people on how they can actively rid their surroundings of mosquito breeding sites and to recognise the symptoms of the dangerous and sometimes fatal diseases inflicted by mosquitoes.

With each set costing around RM50 each, Kechara is appealing for donations from the public to help it cast the safety net wider to benefit more people.

“We urge the public to help us expand this campaign to more areas and we are hoping that in the second phase we can reach out to other parts of Malaysia.

“Please help us protect the homeless and the urban poor from getting bitten even as we as a country try curb the spread of mosquito borne diseases.”

Established in 2006, Kechara is a registered non‐profit organisation that offers food, basic medical aid and other welfare assistance – such as job and shelter placements – to those in need, regardless of their race or religion.

From its roots of feeding the homeless and urban poor in the Klang Valley, Penang and Johor Bahru, Kechara has taken a step further by expanding to a food bank programme which ensures the organisation has a constant supply of basic food items that can be distributed to the needy.

“As hunger knows no barriers, which is also our motto, we try to show our compassion for the less fortunate of our society that this non‐discriminatory attitude also extends to our volunteers of difference races who come from all walks of life who are motivated by the common goal of helping others,” explained Ooi.

Members of the public can donate by banking in any amount they wish to Kechara Soup Kitchen Society at Maybank account 5122-3133-4874, with donations exempted from tax.

For more information of how to donate or volunteer for the “Bite No More” campaign, email ksk@kechara.com or call 03-2141 6046/010 333 3260 (Justin).

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