Dapur Jalanan Kuala Lumpur Communications Coordinator Hadi Khalid says people are usually more giving during Ramadan.
PETALING JAYA: The burden of poverty is not felt as badly during Ramadan as it is the rest of the year, according to Dapur Jalanan Kuala Lumpur Communications Coordinator Hadi Khalid.
He says this was because during the fasting month, both groups as well as individuals tend to be more generous, especially in terms of giving free food to the homeless.
“This is a good time for the homeless,” he said in an exclusive interview with FMT.
He pointed out that Dapur Jalanan itself usually cut down on the amount of food it prepared during Ramadan as, based on experience, they know fewer homeless come at this time.
“We usually serve around 100 to 150 homeless, but during Ramadan we only allocate enough food to feed 100 homeless at most in order to avoid food wastage.”
Dapur Jalanan Kuala Lumpur is a non-profit organisation (NPO) acting as a soup kitchen that provides food to the homeless, apart from protesting against ineffective poverty education policies and government wastage.
Hadi stressed that most of Dapur Jalanan’s activites were volunteer based and that they were continuously on the look-out for more volunteers.
“What Dapur Jalanan does leans more towards sharing our food with the homeless in a sort of pot luck fashion. So, we’re always on the look-out for more helpers.”
When asked how the coordinators know whether people are masquerading as homeless in order to get free food, Hadi admitted that there was no way to know for sure but that wasn’t the point.
“We don’t know if people pretend to be homeless, but if you do what we are doing you know who are the homeless just by looking at them.
“Perhaps we can’t be sure but then again the campaign is not about feeding the homeless, it is about increasing awareness on the problem of poverty in the country.
“We need to change, reform our poverty programmes.
“We have all these agencies which are meant to eradicate the problem of poverty. Yet, we still have poverty here in the country.”
Some of the special activities that Dapur Jalanan are conducting during Ramadan include opening a food stall at the Bangsar Utama bazaar selling Ikan patin masak tempoyak as well as selling Raya cookies.
“The stall are completely managed by our team. The profits from the stall and the cookies go to our coffers which will then be used for more projects, including our coming Raya celebrations for the homeless.”
Apart from the food stall and cookies, Dapur Jalanan Kuala Lumpur will also be collaborating with another NGO to give clothes to the homeless.
“On the third week of Ramadan, we will collaborate with Kedai Jalanan to distribute free clothing. Whatever the homeless may need, including shoes, shirts and pants.”
Dapur Jalanan Kuala Lumpur has been carrying out its charitable activities for the past four years.
Those interested in becoming volunteers can contact Dapur Jalanan Kuala Lumpur via their Facebook page, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, Hadi says only those who want to volunteer in large groups need to contact them first. Individuals or small groups of two to three persons can join in the activities without prior notice..