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Tg Aru gets special needs centre for kids
Published on: Sunday, February 18, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The present government is committed to assist the families with children of special needs in order to harmonise the situation and to adopt inclusiveness in the society as always been mentioned by the Prime Minister, said Datuk Edward Yong Oi Fah, assistant minister to the Chief Minister during the Chinese New Year Celebration at PDK Tg Aru (Pemulihan Dalam Kumminiti), Community Rehabilitation Centre in Tanjung Aru.

The day-care centre which started operating on Jan15, is the 33rd such in the State.

Currently housing 20 special children, it looked forward to receive many more children with disabilities so that these children would enjoy receiving some skills and training from the centre.

"It had been the intention of the Government to see the needs of the families who have special children to be met. We, as the people representatives would strive hard to identify what and how we can extend our assistance to these needy.

These children deserve to get the best and with some good basic knowledge and proper training would be rendered to them when they occupy the centre," said Yong.

He said the congestion at PDK Kota Kinabalu (PDK KK) where they currently have more than one hundred children prompted them to set up another centre located in Tanjung Aru. This is to cater for the residents around the area as well as from other districts," he added.

He thanked DBKK for approving the use of the place to run the centre. Previously it was once a religious school but was not utilised after certain years and left unattended.

"The building was in a state of dilapidation when we first identified its location. Then it was renovated and major repair work was done thereafter.

I wish to thank Sabah Credit Corporation (SCC) for their financial assistance in re-structuring the whole building till completed" he stated.

He however revealed that although the building is fully completed, their next step is to get funding for further operational cost.

He also thanked the state government particularly the Welfare Department for their financial assistance in giving RM150 allowance per child.

The federal government had also contributed monetary assistant for the same cause.

Yong added that apart from the allowance received by the children, the parents or caretakers of the special children would also be receiving another financial assistance to ease their burden.

Datin Mary Yong, wife of Datuk Edward is the current chairperson of the centre who looks into the initial setting up of the programme as well as the welfare of the children and other responsibilities.

The event also saw the distribution of RM150 allowance to each child by Mary on behalf of the Welfare Department.

Yong said after setting up its 33rd centre, it was hoped that some of the needs of the family of the special children are fulfilled.

Currently there are five trained teachers who underwent intense courses and are qualified as trainers and would discharge their responsibilities accordingly.

The home supervisor is Valentina Sho, who would see to the overall needs and requirements as and when it arise.

She said the registration is still open for any parents who would like to send their special children to the centre.

Also present were Lily Chin, officer in the state Welfare Department; Dayang Hernawati Abdul Hamid represented the federal unit; Henry Chu Community Development Leader; Ngo York Kong of PDK KK; Wanita PBS Tg Aru and special children and their parents.

Presently the centre welcomed any corporate firms who wish to assist in financial for their operating expenses or individuals who would like to impart their services towards the centre.

Mary in her speech encouraged parents with special children to come and register in their centre as soon as possible so that their children would get the necessary training accordingly.

Local singer Peter Dicky Lee was also present to entertain the children and guests.

Lions dance performance captured the interest of the children in its show just outside the premise of the centre.

Towards the end, Yong and his wife Mary distributed goodies and Angpows (red packets) to the special children and other guests. - Lorena Binisol

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