A REFUGE IN TROUBLED TIMES
Chow Kit’s infamous reputation for being the crime hub of Kuala Lumpur has often eclipsed the plight of the community that call the township “home”. Yayasan Chow Kit (YCK) was established in 2011 to assist members of the community, particularly the children. With the hope of giving the children of Chow Kit a chance to escape the harsh realities of street life, YCK established a 24-hour crisis and drop-in centre that provides hot meals, activities and social services. Its programmes and services include a day-care children activity centre known as Pusat Aktiviti Kanak Kanak (PAKK), a youth centre referred to as the Kuala Lumpur Krash Pad (KLKP), a safe house called Pusat Jagaan Baitul Amal Petaling Jaya (PJBA), as well as advocacy and case management – related to issues such as medical, documentation and education – that cater to the neighbourhood’s wider community. YCK’s programmes cover education, skill building, recreation, sports, arts, psychosocial skills, health and general awareness. YCK encourages volunteerism, and looks forward to volunteers to create opportunities for the children to better assimilate themselves into the wider community. YCK also offers full-time schooling opportunities for children who are unable to gain access to public schools.
YCK aims to be a model activity centre catering to at-risk children living in poor urban neighbourhoods. YCK has now embarked on a pilot project to build the capacity of staff from other children activity centres (other PAKKs) in the Klang Valley. The training will include all aspects of managing a centre such as case management, administration, programme management, finance, fund raising, advocacy and volunteer recruitment.