Ephratha Home or Pertubuhan Kebajikan Ephratha Rawang Selangor was established in 2007 by Christine Soosai. Currently, there are 30 children being looked after by Christina and her sister with the help of eight unpaid volunteers. The dependants are 17 males and 13 females, ranging from 1 to 18 years old. The children came from different backgrounds. These include single parents who can’t afford to look after them, young divorced parents, neither of whom want to have anything to do with the child/children of the unhappy liaison, abandoned children found on the streets and request from grandparents who do not have the capability to look after the kids.
The children are housed in two separate houses, a corner single storey house and a few metres away, a double storey house. Ephratha is most fortunate to stay in these two houses as a result of the generosity of a Malaysian businessman. The kind patron has made extensive renovations to the single storey corner lot to accommodate the needs of the children. He is also the owner of the van that Ephratha is using to transport the children to and from school as well as other needs. Currently he is preparing documents to transfer the ownership of the van to Ephratha.
When Rainbow Bridge was introduced to Christina and Ephratha by RB Dr. Mervin Mohan Appana in May of this year, a meeting was held between Prof. Ong, Dr. Mervin and Christina, to understand their problems and their needs. Their needs include supply of food and essential household items. There was also a need to repair their refrigerator and address issues of the van including road tax and road worthiness. Both these problems were resolved through the hard work and generosity of Mervin. As for the food, Ephratha has been linked to the Malaysian Food Bank through the assistance of Kechara Food Kitchen.
On 30th November, Rainbow Bridge planned a team visit to Ephratha together with a Corporate Partner i.e. Hitachi Capital and 10 of their staff headed by their Senior HR Manager, Ms. Linda Tan. Hitachi Capital was introduced to Rainbow Bridge by RB Yuko Niino who works with Linda. The RB team was headed by Prof. Ong and consisted of 10 members of the medical team as well as RB champions for Ephratha, Dr Mohan and his wife, Phek Hoon. Ephratha had 26 children and management staff present on that day. The RB health team conducted medical checks on the children, screening for head lice and for possible short-sightedness (myopia). 15 children were detected as having possible myopia. They will be taken to Tun Hussein Onn National Eye Hospital for further examination and will be fitted with prescription glasses. The cost of the examination and glasses will be sponsored by Hitachi Capital Sdn Bhd. and Synerchem Sdn Bhd., two of Rainbow Bridge’s generous corporate partners. A colouring contest among the children was organised by Hitachi Capital staff. Winners of the colouring contest were given prizes. Their staff also very generously gave each of the 26 children a surprised Christmas present!! It was sheer joy for those of us to see how delighted the children were with the presents they received. Hitachi Capital also contributed Rm1,000 worth of essential household items requested by Ephratha. Another Rm1,000 of such items was also donated by RB Yi Ling’s father.
Some of these activities are captured in a video presentation by put together by RB Jayson in RB Facebook and in RB website your enjoyment. Rainbow Bridge’s relationship with Ephratha does not end here. We have to ensure that the children who need reading glasses will have them. We need to ensure that Ephratha will have sustainable supply of food from the Food Bank for the sake of the children. We will address their oral health through another visit; this time with a dentist from the RB health team. She will carried out dental screening and treatment for the childrenit who need . We also need to educate the children on good oral health practice by providing them with tooth brushes and tooth paste for daily use.
Rainbow Bridge, with the help of its Corporate Partners, will continue to assist Ephratha to be sustainable in food supply, personal hygiene and oral health, provided Ephratha management is committed to these same goals.