Volunteers from Society Malaysia and staff members of IPG Mediabrands posing with residents of Baitul Kasihduring a celebration of the #Rayabersama Hari Raya Aidilfitri Open House at Taman Keramat, Kuala Lumpur. Pix by Mohamad Shahril Badri Saali

KUALA LUMPUR: Dressed in her best outfit, 12-year old Ainajihan Azwani was busy serving her guests at the Baitul Kasih welfare organisation home here in Keramat.

After years of being guests at various Raya open houses, this is the first time Aina is hosting a Raya open house for her neighbours and friends.

Donned in a beautiful grey baju kurung, she greeted everyone present, giving “salam” to her guests and invited them in with a bright smile before serving them with food and drinks.

“In previous years, I rarely celebrate Raya with my family members. There have even been years that we did not even celebrate the day.

“But today, I feel proud to be a host for the Raya open house and also to be able to serve the guest,” said Aina, who has been living in the welfare home for the past two years.

The opportunity for the welfare home’s children to host a Raya open house was given by Society Malaysia, a division of IPG Mediabrands.

Its managing director, Stanley Clement said their agency’s campaign, “Puasa Bersama” allowed them to collect enough funds to be chanelled to the welfare home so that they are able to host the open house.

“The campaign was carried out for 30 days whereby all staff of Society Malaysia and IPG Mediabrands either fasted along with our Muslim friends, or abstained from at least one meal per day. The amount of money we saved from the time we fasted, we kept it as funds for the children.

“It is from the cost that we have managed to collect from skipping our meals. We managed to raise funds for this home. We also took the children out to get their own decoration for the house, we bought them baju Raya and also gave them the opportunity to choose the food items that they want to serve for the open house,” he said when met at the open house today.

Stanley added that this gave the children a sense of ownership and empowerment.

“We see them taking so much ownership and our vision is to allow them to know that they can do anything. They may come from poor or broken homes, or are orphans, but they can do anything. All they need is a little bit of help and support,” he said.

More than 50 guests attended the open house organised by the Baitul Kasih welfare home and were served with scrumptious Raya meals of lemang, rendang, nasi impit and lontong.

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