It was a fulfilling experience for 30 Shell Malaysia employees and their family members who volunteered to pack and deliver food items and other necessities to 19 poor families around Kuala Lumpur on a Sunday morning recently.
Led by five colleagues from the Prelude FLNG Subsea team, this initiative was undertaken as part of the We Care We Share project, in collaboration with Kechara Soup Kitchen.
Kechara Soup Kitchen (KSK) is a registered non-profit organisation which inspires and organises volunteers to distribute food, basic medical aid and counseling to the homeless and urban poor.
Starting off as early as 8 a.m., the team sorted out food supplies and other basic necessities from the KSK pantry and packed them into boxes according to the needs of the assigned homes.
Volunteers also took the opportunity to contribute dry goods and other items to the KSK food bank while the Prelude FLNG Subsea team raised RM1,000 through staff donations. According to KSK, this amount will feed up to 180 homeless people.
The distribution rounds, which took the volunteers to squatter areas around Segambut, Cheras and other locations, was an eye-opening experience. Each family had a heart-breaking story that left them in their current situation. There was a family with seven children ranging from six months to eight years living in a “house” made up of four concrete blocks put together; a blind woman in her 70s, eking out a living on her own in poverty; a handicapped son in his 50s living with his handicapped mother surviving on handouts; and a mother with five children living in a shack after being left by her husband.
Despite their circumstances, families greeted volunteers with warm smiles and engaged in lively conversations.
The experience changed the mindset of our volunteers. Many of them expressed that they would not take their meals for granted again while some are planning to contribute directly to the families they had visited.
Shell’s ‘We Care We Share’ program was launched in 1998 as a community based smart-partnership program, aimed at helping local communities help themselves but with a hand from Shell staff and families.
While the company provides small grants and loads of encouragement, the real contribution lies in the time and energy that staff including contractors working for Shell, their family members, retirees and members of the community themselves willingly give, in support of a variety of causes under the banner of ‘We Care We Share’.
The program signifies Shell’s commitment to make both small and giant steps towards the creation of a better and sustainable society.