JOHOR BARU: These are tough times but many Malaysians are still reaching out to those in need through NGOs.
According to Free Market Johor coordinator Zaharah Raishan Mohd Yassin: “Some donors told us that they felt bad for not being able to help out as much as they used to because they are also tied down with their own financial obligations.”
“Once, a frequent donor gave us bananas to give to those in need as she was unable to offer other forms of aid as she is also struggling financially, ” she added.
“This shows how committed some people are to help those in need.”
Free Market Johor comprises a group of friends who get together to help others.
Among others, they collect food, clothes and school items for needy families to take for free.
Zaharah said the number of those reaching out to give donations had declined since the end of the loan moratorium but there were those who would continue helping out the less privileged.
Due to a decline in public donations during the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the group is now focusing on “localising” their aid efforts.
“While we want to help out people in Sabah, we need to prioritise those who need help here in Johor, ” she said.
Previously, the group could reach out to a wider network as there were more donations back then.
Yayasan Suria Johor Baru founder James Ho said the NGO had been receiving fewer donations since June.
“For instance, a person who previously donated about RM100 monthly has now reduced the amount to about RM50, ” he said.
“It still means a lot for those who are getting such help. It allows them to have enough to eat for a while.”
He hoped the Federal Government would look into allocating funds under Budget 2021 to assist NGOs to help the public.
During the initial phase of the movement control order, he said the group was still getting donors who gave cash or essential goods.
“However, the situation has changed since about four months ago as the economic impact of the pandemic hit the masses, ” said Ho.
He added that frequent donors are still trying their best to help out despite facing their own plight.