SHAH ALAM, June 10 — The Grand Ballroom of Hotel Concorde was filled with laughter and joy as 95 orphans and underprivileged children were treated to a buka puasa feast on Thursday.
The children, from Rumah Nur Sakinah in Bandar Pinggiran Subang and Nur Ekhwanku Care Centre in Klang, showed up in colourful baju kurung and baju Melayu.
They feasted on a large spread of local delicacies including nasi biryani, roast lamb, sweet and sour fish fillet, rojak, roti jala, bread pudding and satay, among others.
The buka puasa event is an annual celebration hosted by businessman Tan Sri Syed Yusof Syed Nasir, popularly known as Jojo, together with Concorde Hotel and Adabi Consumer Industries Sdn Bhd (Adabi).
“We try to do something to cheer up the less privileged every year — from single mothers to the Asnaf children. It has been a tradition for me personally for about 15 years now. The beaming faces of these children warms my heart,” he told Malay Mail.
The buka puasa was also graced by Tengku Laksamana of Selangor, Tengku Sulaiman Shah Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, and family. Also present was Adabi Consumer Industries Sdn Bhd marketing manager Azatul Izam Mohd Nordin.
The children also received duit raya and goodie bags containing snacks and drinks, courtesy of the sponsors.
A contribution of RM1,800 was also made to each home.
After the breaking of fast, the children congregated in a hall next to the ballroom to perform prayers.
Seven-year-old Najiba Zuhairi who has been living with her “sisters” and “brothers” in the Nur Ekhwanku Care Centre for almost three years said she was looking forward to the event as the food was “really good”.
“There is so much food and they were all delicious. It is fun because we get to wear really nice baju kurung and eat together in a nice hotel.
“It is a reward after fasting the whole day,” said the Standard One student of Sekolah Rendah Islam Lambaian Kasih in Kampung Sungai Penchala who had started full day-fasting this year.
Muhammad Afif Shahariman, 12, from the same care centre, said this year’s Ramadan would be a memorable one as it would be his last at the home before entering boarding school next year.
“I have been with this family for the past six years. Next year, I will not be seeing them as often any more as I am going to a boarding school. It is nice to end on a happy note.
“I’m really grateful we are always brought to nice places to dine,” he said.
Caretaker of Rumah Nur Sakinah, Shafiyah Azmi, 27, said the children would be given permission to celebrate Hari Raya with their families, both immediate and distant, for a few days.
“In most cases, the parents or single parent is unable to financially support their child, hence the children are sent to us. Therefore during Raya, they really look forward to going home for a few days.
“As for orphans, some of them would follow the caretakers home during Raya. We do not want anyone to feel left out, let alone during the festive season,” she said.