‘Give-Build-Change’. With that tagline, the Women’s Centre for Change (WCC), Penang, launched its building fund campaign late last month at the Little Penang Street Market.Aptly, jazz singer, Dasha Loganathan and Ronald de Leon got the crowd going with Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman”.
“We hope that everyone will be able to GIVE what they can, so that together we can BUILD a future for WCC’s works and by doing so, help to CHANGE the lives of women and children.” said WCC president, Mariam Lim.WCC is a registered, tax-exempt, non-profit organisation set up in 1985, dedicated to ending violence in women’s and children’s lives.
It provides shelter and counselling for women and children in crisis. It also works with other NGOs to actively campaign for legal reform. Lim revealed that Last year WCC reached out to more than 8,000 people in the community, and that the scope of its work continues to expand annually. WCC now needs a larger space for more counselling and meeting rooms, thus the new building fund.
Presently, WCC operates out of a double-storey terraced house with limited parking space and low visibility, on Jones Road. Last year, WCC purchased a 9,741 sq ft three-storey property at a special price of RM1.5mil with the aid of a bank loan. The property, at 241 Burmah Road, is centrally located, easily accessible by public transport.
Renovation works for the new building will cost RM1mil, and together with the bank loan of RM1.5 million, WCC hopes to collect donations of RM2.5mil through its building fund campaign: Give, Build, Change.
Annie Chin, WCC fundraising ambassador, said that RM1mil has been raised, or 40 percent of the target of RM2.5mil.
She then thanked the many generous sponsors, donors and individuals and revealed WCC’s “long wish-list – from sponsoring a fan, conference table, air-con and so on. You can find the wish-list at our website (http://www.wccpenang.org/givebuildchange/wish-list/) and other information too. Everyone can make a difference by doing their bit in donating.”
YB Lydia Ong, who is the state exco member for Women, Family and Community Development said that although she has known of the WCC only in the past there years, she was very impressed with the various services WCC provides to the community.
Given the WCC’s good track record, the Penang State government has entrusted WCC with management Pusathe Perkhidmatan Wanita in Seberang Perai, which is a women’s service centre on the mainland, supported by the state government. Also present at the event was YB Chong Eng, the MP for Bukit Mertajam, Penang.
Loh Cheng Kooi, the executive director of WCC, said that the WCC had been very fortunate to have a team of experts (lawyer, architect, engineers, interior designers) who had offered their services pro bono.“We plan to make our building disabled friendly, thus we will install ramps and a lift for the disabled and the elderly,” he informs Komunitikini, adding that The Lions Club of Georgetown has generously sponsored the lift.
Loh also revealed that, ‘out of necessity, we will rent out the ground floor, which has an area of 1,500 sq.ft for RM5,500, negotiable.”Other donors, apart from the Lions Club of Georgetown, are the Toh Kian Chui Foundation, Singapore Neoh Foundation, Pertubuhan Wanita Mutiara, Avenue Meridian and Regata Maju (for full list of the donors, please see http://www.wccpenang.org/givebuildchange/fund-update/).
WCC is appealing to the generous public to help it to raise the remaining 60 percent needed for the building fund and to be part of its work in helping women, children and youth.For more information, please go to http://www.wccpenang.org/givebuildchange/