15 June 2016 - Millions of Muslims around the world anticipate the start of Ramadan as a time to draw closer to their Creator through a month of intense prayer, dawn-to-dusk fasting and the breaking of fast with family and friends. Above and beyond the Islamic traditions, the holy month is also a time of giving and charity.
Embracing the spirit of compassion and generosity, and making sure the less fortunate are not sidelined from the Ramadan celebrations, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&NHB) treated 58 children from Rumah Siti Khadijah Anak-anak Yatim Puteri and Rumah Siti Khadijah Anak-anak Tahfiz Putera to a sumptuous buka puasa feast. The celebration marks the Company’s 13th ‘Majlis Berbuka Puasa Bersama F&N’ since initiated in 2004.
The children, ranging from seven to 17 years of age, could not contain their excitement, bearing grins on their faces as they arrived at Concorde Hotel Shah Alam to celebrate the grand feast with friends from F&NHB.
“The holy season of Ramadan is a time when Muslims immerse themselves in spiritual devotion and self-reflection. The act of fasting brings to mind important values such as sacrifice, moderate living, and most importantly, acts of charity and sharing with those in need. During this time, our Muslim friends place great importance in helping those who are less fortunate. This too is a virtue we at F&N hold close to,” said Ms Karen Tan, F&NHB Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs.
“As a well-loved brand and one that continues to touch the lives of generations of Malaysians, F&N acknowledges the responsibility it has to the communities in which it operates in, especially in assisting the underprivileged. As such, we strive to work towards the betterment of the community in all aspects of our business. Through this buka puasa celebration, we hope to share the warmth of Ramadan with the children so that the holy month is a meaningful one for them,” she added.
After a day of fasting, the children enjoyed a scrumptious spread, delicious desserts and a wide variety of refreshing F&N beverages including juices, flavoured milk and soft drinks.
The children were in for a delightful surprise when F&NHB Chairman, Tengku Syed Badarudin Jamalullail presented each child with gifts of new Hari Raya clothes complete with songkok and selendang as well as duit raya. The children eagerly walked up on stage to receive the goodie bags and hurried back to their seats to discover the gifts galore in each bag.
Seventeen-year old Siti Nurhidayah was glad to share the breaking of fast with new friends from F&NHB. “I always look forward to outings like this. This time it was all the more special as we enjoyed a delicious buka puasa meal with others from F&N,” said the aspiring chef.
Perak-born Muhammad Zaki was delighted to receive the goodies from F&NHB and the new festive attire, which added to his excitement for the upcoming Hari Raya celebration. “This Raya, my uncle is taking me sightseeing to Johor Bahru. I’m really excited as we will be making a stop at Legoland!” said the 11-year-old.
En Ahmad Kushairi B.Hj. Mohd Zahari, founder and advisor of the orphanage homes thanked F&NHB for hosting the event and said that the children had been anxiously awaiting for the buka puasa outing as it was the first to be held this Ramadan.
“Outings like this are good for the children because it gives them the opportunity to interact with others outside of the home and most importantly, see and experience the kindness in people. It is my hope that these young ones emulate this kind act when they grow up,” said En Ahmad Kushairi or ‘ayah’ as he is fondly known by the children.
En Ahmad Kushairi’s passion to help the less fortunate began at the tender age of 13 with the dream to open a charity home. Close to 30 years on, his dream became a reality when he established the Badan Kebajikan Siti Khadijah Anak-anak Yatim Selangor in 2006, although at the expense of his hard-earned savings.
The welfare body currently runs Rumah Siti Khadijah Anak-anak Yatim Puteri and Rumah Siti Khadijah Anak-anak Tahfiz Putera to care for children who are orphans, abandoned and from disadvantaged families. The organisation also assists other orphanages who are in need and welcomes donations to fund its expenses.