Soup Kitchen

Friday, July 29, 2016
29 July 2016 - It was such a peaceful Friday night in the busy city center of Kuala Lumpur, and an amazing experience as a volunteer with Pertiwi Soup Kitchen!

For those of you who do not know what Soup Kitchen is, it is basically an NGO (non-governmental organization) formed to distribute free food to the homeless and unfortunate people on the street. Pertiwi Soup Kitchen has been operating in the city center for the past 5 years. Previously, they were operating with some sponsored food and vehicles along Jalan Chow Kit, but has been relocated to Jalan Medan Tuanku by the government and they were granted a place for establishment of a base for food and basic necessities.

I joined as a volunteer along with some of my friends (Sin Hui, Izzul, Sophia, Anis) in order to understand the operations of this organization, and to what extend does their action helps.

Even before the food distribution, hundreds of people (around 300-400 in numbers) already gathered along the street, waiting to get their portion of the food. Since there are sufficient numbers of medical personnel for the night, I was assigned to help out in the food session.

So what do we do there?

The allocated time was 9 pm - 12 midnight and Soup Kitchen is operating 4 days per week. There were several stations operating at the same time, namely the food station, the free haircut station, and the medical check up station.

The food provided by Pertiwi Soup Kitchen are simple, which includes a packet of plain white rice with a small piece of chicken with gravy, a banana, and a drink (coffee or syrup drink). However, there are also some extra food sponsored by certain individuals, corporate or other organization, such as doughnuts and Gardenia bread.

The commonly asked question is:

How do you know if a person deserve the food provided?

Well, the answer is simple, we do not know. In fact, we are not trained to identify those person. The criteria is whoever who comes to us for help, they will get the help needed.  

Giving free coffee and syrup drinks

Distributing Fish Oil & Vitamin C 

Providing free hair cut

For the haircut station, there were 4 barbers for the night. Whoever who thinks they need a clean and fresh look are warmly welcomed.

For the medical check up station, there were 2 doctors posted there, along with helpers and some medical students like us. We are allowed to prescribe medications (with advice from the doctors) and also referring some severe cases to the nearest hospital.

We went to 2 different places: Medan Tuanku & Kota Raya. The response from the general public is good, maybe it is due to the fact that they have already knew that there will be food aid for tonight. All the food and drinks prepared were fully distributed until none was left, and all are right~ #punning #flightofideas #psychiatrypsychopathology

It has always been my aim to join Soup Kitchen and experience what is it like to be a volunteer myself. Well, the feeling is good. The food portion for each person is priced at RM 2+ in my opinion, but some people just could not afford that, and had to depend on these aid all these while.

Some of them are so hungry that they ate the food right away after getting them. I have never seen this side of our city center before. The joy in their eyes and grateful gesture they made is sufficient enough to make my trip worthwhile.

To be honest, driving to and fro Melaka-KL to 'do good deeds' is ridiculous for me. I feel that there are many other things which can be done in Melaka itself, instead of travelling all the way to help out. However, it is the valuable experience that I have gained and treasured, in order to serve better and perhaps, to do something similar & great in the near future~ =)


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