Postcard from Zaharah: Coming together to help others

Living abroad has never stopped Malaysians from showing their care for their brothers and sisters back home who are fighting Covid-19.

They have reached deep into their pockets and made sure their aid reached the targets, or pooled resources by whatever means to deliver the same.

I find that during this hour of need, #KitaJagaKita becomes so meaningful and powerful in garnering help from near and far.

Recently, a friend posted about a couple who was dealt a cruel blow by Covid-19.

The husband had just lost his job while his 25-week pregnant wife was in hospital battling the disease.

In the meantime, they fell behind in their rent. Never mind putting food on the table — that had become secondary.

Sofinee Harun never needed to say more, as her followers and readers knew the cases she highlighted were genuine and many reached deep into their pockets for this worthy cause.

"Look around us and see who needs help, and reach out to help," said Sofinee, who devotes her life to helping others.

She has helped feed refugees, sent food and medical aid in container loads and also set up food banks back home, although she and her family live thousands of miles away.

At a time when we read of so many squabbles on social media about who did what and how to help those in dire straits, it is comforting to know that there are still those who do so without so much as a drum roll or a need to be recognised for their sincere and magnanimous efforts.

Covid-19 has dealt a cruel blow to millions globally.

People have lost not only their income as they struggle to put food on the table, but also their loved ones and with that, their will to go on.

As hope turns to despair, it is important not to suffer in silence.

On Friday, customers at Putera Puteri, a Malaysian restaurant in London, dug deep into their pockets for a good cause.

Apart from enjoying the afternoon tea, they donated and bought packets of rendang, toys and bric-a-bracs in the name of charity.

Malaysians in the United Kingdom couldn't just ignore the ripples made by the thousands of white flags being flown back home.

Friday's initiative was spearheaded by Rowena Abdul Razak and Nurul Dănj Amanie.

"Following up on the Bendera Putih movement, we would like to do our bit by collecting funds that will be distributed to charities in Malaysia, particularly those in far-to-reach places," they wrote on their GoFundMe page, which targeted a mere £2000.

The effort saw Malaysians and non-Malaysians rallying to help, and snowballed after Mercy Malaysia UK, Malaysian Doctors for Women & Children, Ikram UK & Ireland, and the Kalsom Movement joined the initiative.

Putera Puteri restaurant provided the venue and food, as people caught up with each other after Freedom Day as announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson a few days ago, and the effort exceeded the target set by the organisers.

The donations will be distributed to Prihatin Terengganu, Lockdown Kit, UMMC Frontliners and Gotta Give Back.

Yesterday, in another part of London, Dr Zainab Kassim, a neonatal specialist known for her volunteer and charity work, organised an event with a Malay-sian pasar malam theme to collect money not only for her Sabah English Aspiration Society to help rural Sabah schools, but also for the Bendera Putih effort.

I am sure there are other Malaysians across the world making similar efforts to help.

This is a time when we put aside political or racial differences that only serve to divide. This is a time for us to come together and show we care, and how we do it is not important.

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