June 17, 2015

Kechara Soup Kitchen

I had a very unique experience one weekend when I spent a Saturday night distributing food to the homeless people in the heart of our city, Kuala Lumpur with the people at Kechara Soup Kitchen. You might be surprised that during the day. our city is busy and filled with people, traffic jams, buzzing with honks and vehicles but at night, at certain areas, it's quiet with many homeless people with no shelter seeking food to eat. 

Kechara has existed for 8 years to date, helping the homeless by distributing food and necessities. Anyone may volunteer themselves and register at Kechara to help distribute food to the homeless. The Saturday night rounds need the most volunteers so I suggest if you are free any one of the Saturdays, instead of clubbing and partying yourself drunk, go volunteer at Kechara and see the vast difference of other people's lives. It will truly be an eye opener.

Saturday night is a reach out programme, meaning to say we reach out to the people to distribute food. Kechara serves food on weekdays as well but only in Kechara's venue. Kechara is inspired by their guru, Tsem Rinpoche who is a monk that was homeless before because he was ostracized by his own family. When he became a monk, he did what was closest to his heart; serve the homeless people because he knew what it was like to be homeless. Kechara's motto is 'Hunger knows no barriers". When you X-Ray someone's stomach, do you see whether it's Chinese, Indian, Malay, etc or whether it's Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, etc? No. We can only see whether it's full or empty. And if it's empty, we feed them.

If you're there for the first time, you will need to go through a one hour orientation on what are the do's and don'ts on feeding the homeless. There you will meet Mr Wong, who is a very funny and noble guy and you will learn from his stories. 

After that, there's a briefing on the location where you will be divided into groups to attend to the 10 locations. If you have gone through the orientation before, you just need to come for this short briefing. Each team has an appointed team leader who will guide you on what to do during the distribution of food.

I was assigned with the group to go to Tun Perak. This is the largest group with the largest amount of homeless people within the area. 

You will be surprised that these people actually line up upon our arrival and politely take food from us. We served a variety of food and each can choose either a packet of nasi lemak or burger plus bottled water, fruit, biscuits, and bread. 

It was a rather unique experience and it's something I've never seen nor done before in my life.
And I'm glad I took the time to volunteer for this.

Want to volunteer as well? 
Check out Kechara FB page for more info =)

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