Tuesday November 7, 2006 (By CHRISTINA TAN)
Being a disabled, Lee Yew Hoe never expected to have the ability to lend a hand to others, especially to those who share the same faith as he does.
“It is the most joyous thing I have ever had, I’m blessed with the strength to guide and help others even though I’m wheelchair-bound,” said the 34-year-old Beautiful Gate Foundation For The Disabled coordinator based in Klang.
Growing up in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Lee received much care and love from his parents and siblings, as they always tried to be by his side.
Lee said his family and friends never treated him as disabled and always encouraged and guided him to live a normal life, including doing household chores and attending normal schools. After leaving high school, Lee felt it was the time for him to be independent and ventured to Petaling Jaya to work as a clerk in a training company.
In 2004, he met Sia Siew Chin, the founder of the foundation, in a Methodist Church in Kuala Lumpur, where he was invited to join the foundation and help out at the main centre located in Petaling Jaya.
“I agreed right away because it was a more meaningful task. ”
“Besides, opening my heart to more people by meeting more friends, this job has given me great satisfaction,” he said.
Lee said he was posted to a new centre in Taman Chi Liung, Klang, the sixth centre after Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Kepong (Kuala Lumpur), Kampar (Perak), Seremban (Negeri Sembilan) and Malacca for the physically disabled in the area.
He was assigned the task of coordinator to take care of the welfare of the disabled staying at the new centre, playing the role of counsellor and supporter.
“It is great to see them able to face the world again. Some have learnt to live independently and have gotten jobs and even started families of their own,” said Lee.
Lee added that the centre in Klang was officially opened on Oct 11, explaining that those interested in joining the foundation’s programmes were welcome, with priority given to Klang residents.
Tan Auw Hock, the special assistant to Klang MP Datin Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew, who was involved in the coordinating and setting up of the centre, said he had received a numerous calls from people who were interested in the training provided by the foundation.
“I decided to approach Beautiful Gate as it is known for providing training in surviving skills and self-development skills for the disabled,” he said.
It took him two months to plan and look for donors for the project.
“Fortunately, there are many kind-hearted and helpful people in town. We managed to get hold of the premises, contractors for renovation works and others to help us without charges,” he said.
The new centre is located in a double-storey corner house with five bedrooms at Lebuh Turi, Taman Chi Liung.
The centre can house 15 people and accommodate 30 people for daytime training programmes, including computer skills training.
The foundation also appealed for public donations, Lee said, adding that the centre also needed a van to ferry the disabled ones and volunteers, said Lee.
“I hope the members of public could help us and involve themselves voluntarily,” he said.
The public can also donate old newspapers, cardboard, plastic bottles and metals to the centre.