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JUITA 12 Charity Projects Since 1995
JUITA 12 CHARITY PROJECTS SINCE 1995

"JUITA" is the acronym of Badan Amal Tenaga Isteri Wakil-wakil Rakyat Negeri Johor, an organisation whose membership comprises first wives of Johor State Assemblymen, state Ex-Office Members, Members of Parliament and Senators, as well as Assemblywomen and Women State Executive Council Members. It was officially launched on October 15, 1994 with the following objectives:-

1. To organise social welfare activities for the less fortunate, disabled, poor and needy and those outside mainstream development. 2. To raise monies for a welfare fund to fund welfare activities approved by the Registrar of Societies. 3. To foster closer relations and rapport among members and strive towards helping the needy. 4. To enhance knowledge of its members through seminars and courses on religion, health, education, culture and parenting skills. 5. To encourage members to be physically and mentally fit through sports.

Since 1995, JUITA under the leadership of their President, Datin Paduka Professor Jamilah Ariffin, wife of Dato' Abdul Ghani Othman, the 14th Chief Minister of Johor has introduced the "smart partnership" concept in all JUITA's welfare activities. This idea of "smart partnership" was inspired by Tun Dr Mahathir's use of smart partnership in the business sector. In Johor, this involves working closely with the Johor State Government, (in particular with the Welfare and Health Department and other Government Agencies) other Non-Governmental Organizations and the Private sector in carrying out its welfare projects conceptualized and initiated by Prof. Jamilah Ariffin.

There are currently 12 projects in operation financed by JUITA through private sector donations in Johor. These are called JUITA-Ku Sayang (PJKS). These 12 projects are in line with the Johor State Government's clarion call for a "Caring Society" and a Holistic approach to Development. These projects cater for all sectors of society in terms of age, gender, race and religion.

(i) THE JUITAKU SAYANG I PROJECT : COMMUNITY-BASED REHABILITATION CENTRE

This project consists of setting up Day Care Centres for mentally handicapped children, in cooperation with the Social Welfare Department, Health Department and volunteers from village communities in all 56 State Constituencies (Dewan Undangan Negeri) in line with the Community Rehabilitation Programme. The aim of this project is to provide special learning skills for intellectually disabled children so that they can be self-reliant, both physically and economically, thus freeing their parents to seek employment to support their families while assured that their children are well-attended to. Each centre has as its Chairperson, the JUITA member who is the wife of the local state Assemblyman of each of the 56 State Constituencies. This project was officially launched on 21st November 1997. To date, 58 such centres have been set up and are fully operational hence exceeding the 56 target. The number of children enrolled in these centres since the opening of the first operational centre in 1989 now totals over 1,800 children.

Each PDK centre is given an initial launching grant of RM10,000.00 by JUITA and is given more whenever the need arises. Up till now, JUITA has donated more than half a million ringgit to all its PDK centres throughout Johor. Since 2001, the State Government has also allocated an annual grant of RM200,000.00 for the running of the centres, out of which RM194,880.00 was spent on teachers' allowances hence supplementing the federal grants. Starting from the year 2005, the State Government has made an allocation of RM250,000.00 a year for the building of new PDK centres out of which RM200,000.00 is allocated for the construction of the building and RM50,0000.00 is for equipment needed in each centre.

To date, two Johor PDK centres have won awards for being the best PDK at National and State levels. They are FELDA Bukit Besar PDK for the years 2000 and 2001 and also Sinar Bakti Pontian PDK for 2005. The award for best PDK teacher at national level in 2000 and 2001 was received by Puan Rokiah of FELDA Bukit Besar PDK.

(ii) THE JUITAKU SAYANG II PROJECT : CHILDRENS LIBRARIES IN ALL DISTRICT HOSPITALS

The JUITAku Sayang II Project aims to help children who are long-term patients in district hospitals and to keep abreast of their education whilst being hospitalised. JUITA, with the co-operation of District Hospitals and the State Library, has set up Children's Libraries in all pediatric wards of District Hospitals throughout Johor. The reading materials provided for the libraries are replenished from time to time by the Johor State Library and the premises are maintained by hospital staff so as to provide a comfortable, peaceful and homely environment. This project was officially launched on 9th December 1996. Libraries have been set up in all the pediatric wards of all 8 District Hospitals so far, including one in Tangkak sub-district.

(iii) THE JUITAKU SAYANG III PROJECT : SHELTER HOME FOR ABUSED CHILDREN AND ABANDONED BABIES

The JUITAku Sayang III Project is the establishment of a half-way house for abused children and abandoned babies. It is aimed at providing them with shelter whilst awaiting the conclusion of court proceedings and decisions. This centre provides facilities such as counseling and tuition as well as the comfort of a safe home environment to help these children deal with a traumatic period in their lives. The "SINAR JUITA" building which costs more than RM2.5 million (and was financed mainly by corporate sector donations) was completed in 1999. It was officially opened by Johor Chief Minister, Y.A.B. Dato' Haji Abdul Ghani on 14th May 1999.

The day-to-day management of the shelter is undertaken by the State Welfare Department of Johor and monitored by a Governing Board known as "Lembaga Pelawat Sinar JUITA" headed by the President of JUITA. It must be mentioned that JUITA is the first politicians' wives association in Malaysia that has built such a centre based on this "smart partnership in welfare" approach. It can accommodate 40 children at any one time. Since its establishment in 1999 and to date, this house has assisted more than 450 children.

(iv) THE JUITAKU SAYANG IV PROJECT : GOOD PARENTING SKILLS

The JUITAku Sayang IV Project is an educational programme aimed at teaching good parenting and child-minding skills, such as through training programmes for child minders for PDKs which is on-going. JUITA has also enlisted experts to participate in this project. In cooperation with M-Suites Hotel and the Johor State Library, JUITA has undertaken specific programmes to encourage and enhance the reading ability of children of poor single parents in Johor Bahru.

(v) THE JUITAKU SAYANG V PROJECT : HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

The JUITAku Sayang V Project - "Gaya Hidup Sihat" (Healthy Lifestyle) is a public health education programme targeted at low-income and underprivileged groups who are excluded from mainstream development. These programmes, carried out with the cooperation of the Johor State Health Department, stresses the importance of being both physically and mentally healthy, with specific emphasis on the prevention of common and life threatening diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. This project also disseminates information on healthy eating, exercise and regular medical examinations. Clinical tests for diabetes and high blood pressure, eye and ear testing as well as talks on diabetes prevention and healthy eating habits are made available for whole communities during our health camp outings to targeted areas such as the one jointly-organised with University of Malaya Dental Faculty with an urban aboriginal community in 2005. This project was launched by the President of JUITA on 25th October 1997 in conjunction with JUITA's Third Anniversary. Participants for this programme are those from aboriginal communities, remote Chinese New Villages, Indian Estates and poor Malay Villages in Johor.

Recently in August 2007, JUITA organized the "Karnival Kecergasan Wanita" which is geared towards all women in Johor aged 50 and above. This project was launched by YAD Datin Paduka Prof. Jamilah Ariffin in Tangkak in August 2007 and it will be repeated in all other state constituencies. The aim of this Programme is to educate rural people, especially middle-aged and elderly women, on the importance of physical exercise, healthy diet and a positive mindset.

(vi) THE JUITAKU SAYANG VI PROJECT : BEAUTIFUL LIFESTYLE

The JUITA-ku Sayang VI Project - "Gaya Hidup Indah" (Beautiful Lifestyle) is aimed at encouraging the community to beautify their environment, for example, housing developers in each of the state constituencies are encouraged to create parks and gardens named "Taman JUITA". This project is in line with the state Government's policy to develop open green lungs, gardens and recreational areas in housing estates so as to promote a beautiful, clean and healthy environment. The project was launched on 12th November 1997.

Under the auspices of this project, YAD Datin Paduka Prof. Jamilah Ariffin has initiated an Orchid Garden named "Halaman Orkid JUITA" at Danga Bay. This orchid garden which is open to the public and houses 20 species of Johor's rare orchids is at Rumah Limas Segamat. It was officially opened on 17th September 2006 by the Chief Minister of Johor as patron of JUITA.

(vii) THE JUITAKU SAYANG VII PROJECT : LEARNING ASSISTANCE

The JUITAku Sayang VII Project consists of the setting up of Reading Corners in Orphanages in all 8 Districts of Johor in order to develop a love for learning and to provide good reading material for deprived children. JUITA also provides computers for underprivileged children. This project was launched on 8th August 1998.

In the past 10 years, JUITA has given financial assistance by way of study grants to more than 100 financially-challenged students in schools every year. Research grants are also given to final year undergraduate students at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Johor Bahru. More than 200,000 Ringgit has been spent on this project which is on-going.

(viii) THE JUITAKU SAYANG VIII PROJECT : SPORTS COMPLEX

JUITA-ku Sayang VIII hopes to instill a love for sports and physical exercise among women. In this regard, the sports related welfare activities include the building of a badminton hall and other function rooms in a complex called MUTIARA JUITA. This was initially financed by Mutiara Rini, a property development company operating in Johor and was officially opened by the wife of the then Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah bte Mohd. Ali on the 21st May 1999.

(ix) THE JUITAKU SAYANG IX PROJECT : SUPPORT FOR THE ELDERLY AND UNDERPRIVILEGED DURING FESTIVE SEASONS

The JUITAku Sayang IX Project consists of organizing aid activities for the aged, especially those in Old Folks Homes, and donating to the poor and needy regardless of race and religion during festive seasons like Deepavali, Hari Raya, Chinese New Year and Christmas.

(x) THE JUITAKU SAYANG X PROJECT : SURAU AR-RAHMAH

The JUITAku Sayang X Project comprises the building of a surau (small prayer house) called "Surau Ar-Rahmah" meant to assist in the religious activities of the children in the Sinar JUITA home. The community in the surrounding neighbourhood also makes use of this surau. This was completed in 2002 at a cost of more than RM350,000.00.

(xi) THE JUITAKU SAYANG XI PROJECT : FACILITATING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) SKILLS AND THE K-ECONOMY

The JUITAku Sayang XI Project - "Celik IT" is to give basic training in information technology (IT) to underprivileged groups such as poor single mothers and the physically disabled. Financially-challenged ex-servicemen were the first recipients of this programme. It is hoped that through skills acquired in these programmes, the beneficiaries will achieve greater confidence and economic independence through business and entrepreneur training in e-commerce. Ultimately this will also benefit the financial standing of their families. The project was officially launched by the patron of JUITA, the Chief Minister of Johor, Dato' Haji Abdul Ghani bin Othman, on 15th October 2001.

(xii) THE JUITAKU SAYANG XII PROJECT : INCOME-GENERATING SKILLS FOR POOR SINGLE MOTHERS

This programme was initiated in 2003 to provide income generating skills for poor single mothers. With the assistance of Johor State Government community colleges, skills such as tailoring, hairdressing, nursery care, food and beverage packaging, handicraft production, child-minding, traditional massage etc are taught to them. Upon completing a series of courses, they are first given "home-based" employment opportunities by relevant industrial companies enabling them to work at home while taking care of their children. A reasonable income is assured. However, the long term objective is to enable them to start their own businesses and become independent entrepreneurs in their own right. The programme was officially launched on 29th May 2003 at PrimeCity Hotel, Kluang by YAD Datin Paduka Prof. Jamilah Ariffin. To date, 500 single mothers have attended these courses and some of them are now successful businesswomen.

JUITA has also embarked on a detailed district-to-district programme helping single mothers under the JUITA XII Project. For example, a permanent café called "Segar Amat Café" run by single mothers of the Johor Bahru District is now located at Rumah Limas Segamat in Danga Bay next to the JUITA Orchid Garden selling traditional Johor food. The Café was officially launched on 17th September 2006. Another similar project is in the Segamat district located in 3 shop houses comprising training kitchens and an activity centre for poor single mothers.

Under this project, JUITA has also launched an Income Generating Skills programme for single mothers who were victims of the massive flood disasters in Johor in 2006. With the cooperation of Yayasan Pembangunan Keluarga (YPK) and Kumpulan Pendidikan Yayasan Pelajaran Johor, JUITA is now implementing an ambitious programme teaching these participants expert cooking skills, making pastry and frozen foods such as chicken nuggets, dim sum, curry puffs and cocktail burgers. JUITA will market their products on their behalf and to give them the derived income from the sales. All this assistance is provided free of charge.

The end products of this frozen food project will be sold through the Entrepreneur Encouragement Programme of Johor Agricultural Department. To date, 307 flood victims who are single parents have registered in this frozen food manufacturing programme. To date, 126 of them have already successfully completed the training programme. PROFESSOR JAMILAH ARIFFIN is PRESIDENT OF JUITA

URL: http://www.apfammalaysia.org
Posted on: Thu, 30 April 2009

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