Helping others without expecting anything in return

Helping others without expecting anything in return

This article is written in conjunction with International Day of Charity which is celebrated on Sept 5

KUALA LUMPUR: There is nothing more satisfying than to be able to ease the suffering or need of others without expecting anything in return, says founder and chairman of One Hope Charity and Welfare, Datuk Chua Sui Hau (pix), 47.

“When we help others, it gives them a chance to shine and you never know just how much that could mean to them when they are feeling low,“ said Chua, who started his charitable journey at the age of 27.

Sacrificing his time and energy helping others, simply out of the kindness of his heart, speaks volumes about the man, who left a stable job in 2002 to devote full time to charity.

Chua said poor people’s sorrows and sufferings proved a turning point in his life. He witnessed many families of cancer-stricken patients who could not afford to pay for the medical costs needed to save the patients’ lives.

“In such cases, the patients’ condition worsened and many succumbed to their illness. Some patients had to call off their surgery due to their financial difficulties.

“It was for these reasons that I decided to set up One Hope Charity and Welfare,“ he told Bernama recently.

There were challenges in his charitable journey since setting up One Hope Charity and Welfare, which is based at Padang Lalang, Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

“Since day one, my mission is to help people in need, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background. Criticisms, insults and mockery have been levelled at me from certain quarters who wanted me to change my decision for helping other races, arguing that these groups could seek assistance from their own organisations. However, albeit all these challenges, my spirits have not been dampened in my pursuit for charity.

Strength from people’s trust and support

Sharing insights on his experiences, Chua said the trust and support he received from the general public spurred him to carry on with charity work.

“It is really satisfying to see many patients who have recovered from their illness are now healthier and enjoying life with their family.

“There are in fact many Malaysians who are generously contributing to society regardless of race and religion. For them, no matter what colour is one’s skin, the fact remains is human blood is always red and there is nothing more valuable than one’s life,” he shared.

What Chua hopes for is more people are united in their support for charitable activities which augur well for the creation of a tolerant and harmonious society.

“Before the Covid-19 pandemic, parents would drop by our One Hope Charity office with their children who have recovered from their illness after receiving medical treatment. Seeing them looking so cheerful, hugging their parents and running around, was heart-warming, a far cry from the first time they were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

“It was so good to see them back to normal and high-spirited,“ he said adding that, what was even encouraging was when those who previously had ear defects are now able to regain their hearing.

Chua said he was also proud to see more welfare organisations have emerged within the community, extending assistance to those facing hardships in life regardless of race in the spirit of solidarity.

Charitable hospital envisioned

Sharing his dream, Chua said that he has targeted to set up a charitable hospital within the next five or 10 years.

His primary focus is to bring happiness to sick patients out there.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Chua said his organisation has been actively supporting hospitals in the fight against the deadly coronavirus. Among others, donations were given in the form of medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), face masks as well as two ICU beds for Penang Cardiothoracic Hospital’s High-Dependency Unit (HDU) ward.

“We have also set up a One Hope Charity Vaccination Centre (PPV), and this is the first PPV established by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in the country,“ he noted.

Satisfaction in working for charity

Bernama also interviewed Maziiana Mhd Azhari, who is head of the Humanitarian Affairs & Media Project under Al-I’tisam Relief, a NGO based at TTDI Jaya, Shah Alam, Selangor.

Maziiana, who started off as a volunteer, said she cherished her ambition of working for charity since young given that her family enjoys giving away food to the needy.

“Back then, our family was not well-off, but my mother’s warm gestures in sharing food with the needy, made giving our way of life. The culture of giving to society has since become the norm for me.

“The best and meaningful gift was when I was given the opportunity to work as a full time social worker. I hope to continue ‘”istiqomah” in pursuing my passion to work for charity till my last breath,” she shared in the phone interview with Bernama recently.

Besides working as a humanitarian worker at the Al-I’tisam NGO, Maziiana is also actively engaged in charitable activities with other NGOs as well as with her own friends.

During her nine-year stint in charity work, Maziiana had the opportunity to participate in humanitarian missions in Cambodia (since 2012), Northern Gaza Strip, Gaza (February 2013), Bangladesh (2015) and the humanitarian assistance mission in Palu, Sulawesi, which was struck by earthquake and tsunami (2018).

On the home front, Maziiana has been taking part in the Flood Relief Mission nationwide starting from 2014 to date. Other programmes include Bantuan Dapur Panas, Food Pack Aid to Orang Asli villages and Joran Aid to help small businesses.

Her own charitable activities with her friends include picking up trash at beaches, distributing food to the homeless, helping to clean up underprivileged families’ houses, distributing food packs to the underprivileged as well as clearing up abandoned graveyards.

Maziiana said before the Covid-19 pandemic, she used to visit Cambodia every three months to ensure the projects there were properly carried out with the assistance of Cambodian volunteers.

According to Maziiana, it is hoped that all these humanitarian missions undertaken have served their objective.

“It is our sincere hope that the less fortunate generation of the country concerned could pull themselves out of poverty. Poverty is not by choice but we have the means to change it. While the humanitarian assistance would help ease their burden, there were times when they were only temporary,” said Maziiana, who also acted as a video photographer throughout the missions.

Maziiana said witnessing the situations on the ground during these humanitarian missions served as a wake-up call for her own self.

“We can train our heart and mind by reflecting on ourselves based on what we see with our own eyes. Life is challenging and unpredictable, hence we cannot afford to stay in our comfort zone as there are more people around us who are in need,” she said.

-Bernama