Kafe Pusat Rakyat LB – how one person creates an opportunity for two organisations

Hello! My name is Marina and I am a volunteer with the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR). This is my second blog post on MCCHR’s human rights cafe project. My first post can be found here.

 

Marina and Gloria on their first meeting

I met Gloria Bon at one of my favourite cafes in Kuala Lumpur recently. She had chosen the quieter side of the cafe and arrived minutes before I did. We were meant to meet two weeks ago but after various obstacles, here we are in the heart of my beautiful city, finally meeting each other for the first time.

This may sound like a love story and indeed it is as this post is about love for others and everything around us.

The questions I had planned for Gloria before our meeting had not prepared me for the intensity and passion that was about to fill the air the moment we met. After I asked my first question, we fell easily into an animated conversation.

“How did Rose Virginie Good Shepherd start?”

Gloria explained that the Micro Enterprise Project run by the Rose Virginie Good Shepherd started as an effort to help marginalised women of various backgrounds and circumstances an opportunity to escape from their troubled lives. These women were either abused by their partners, survivors of rape, pregnant teenagers or women who have been ostracised by society due to undesirable circumstances. The centre also takes in children in similar situations or children who accompanied their affected mothers.

Gloria, however, stressed that this is not a permanent camp of sorts but a temporary safe haven for these marginalised women, and that the centre’s mission is to prepare them for independent living. The Micro Enterprise Project is premised on the philosophy of self-help. It essentially provides employment opportunities and skills to these women to empower them to lead dignified and independent lives upon leaving the centre.

I didn’t have to ask Gloria my next question about the relationship between Rose Virginie Good Shepherd and the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR) when she told me how she was very taken by MCCHR’s mission and wanted to explore ways of supporting the organisation in a valuable and productive manner.

Through her, the Micro Enterprise Project in Ipoh is now providing a constant supply of pastries to the MCCHR’s Kafe Pusat Rakyat LB. The pastries are being sold at the cafe on Thursday and Saturday and customers can also call Ms. Pet Ng at 012 382 1980 to place their orders and pick them up at the centre. Through this collaboration, both Rose Virginie Good Shepherd and the MCCHR are able to generate income to sustain the projects they are doing. It is a win-win situation for all.

I was impressed by Gloria’s passion in helping women and children, as I am sympathetic to the plight of marginalised women as well. Before I met Gloria, I was told that I would enjoy meeting an extremely interesting woman. What an understatement that was! Gloria is an epitome of someone who upholds MCCHR’s mission, which is to promote and protect human rights and I hope to encounter others who are as passionate and socially enterprising as she is. Collaboration between inspiring individuals is one of the many ways civil society organisations are able to create small but meaningful steps towards making this country a better place.

On September 16 (Malaysia Day), Kafe Pusat Rakyat LB will be selling pastries from the Rose Virginie Good Shepherd at the MalaysiaKu Rice Festival at APW, 29, Jalan Riong, Bangsar, KL (next to NST) from 4pm to 10pm. For more details, please click here.

 


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Marina is currently in her final year of University, where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Politics & International Relations. Being away from home most of the time, she finds herself progressively interested in the evolution of current home affairs and had just recently produced a legal thesis concerning Malaysia's colonial legacy and it’s relation to the Sedition Act of 1948 and Sharia Law. She now hopes to make it to grad school in one piece. She is interested in a variety of discourse concerning religion and advocacy but but chooses to let go of her academic curiosities past nightfall for the pure enjoyment of vino tinto and Netflix. A mother to her pet cat Vox and a lover of mid-slumber thunderstorms, she self-proclaims to be Fleetwood Mac's #1 fan.

Posted on 14 September 2015. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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4 Responses to Kafe Pusat Rakyat LB – how one person creates an opportunity for two organisations

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  3. dino

    Dear marina

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    If you do accept the terms of agreement set out, please humor me and reply with an affirmative. Upon receipt of your favorable response, I will most magnanimously proceed to entertain your request of sequentially conversing the returns of the queries.

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    lo and behold signorina
    hope spring eternal

    1)On the one hand, Facebook is often celebrated as a space where the modern interconnected ideal is realized; while on the other hand it may be seen as another step further into a digital dystopia overwhelmed by the excesses of the information age. Can we reconcile these seemingly opposite points of view?

    2)Opinions on what we generally mean by the phrase “political correctness” vary widely. Does it refer to the ways we try to maintain basic politeness and common decency in what we like to think of as a pluralistic, egalitarian society? Or is it a form of Orwellian, state-sponsored mind control that squashes dissent and banishes unpopular ideas from public discourse?

    3)if our conscious selves dwell exclusively in the mental realm, then how can we be sure about things on the other side of matter mind divide?

    4)can we envision a language with nouns but no verbs or with affirmative statements but not of ten words, or with names for things but practically no grammar?

    i will regale you of the enigma
    and vanish like the apparition i am
    once you grace all my queries
    do not be alarm
    i come with glad tidings
    be magnanimous.
    i now howl at the wistful moon

  4. Gloria

    Good Shepherd will also be at MalaysiaKu Rice Festival on 16th September. Come and enjoy our home cooked nasi lemak, mee mamak and rendang!!

    Also on sale will be salted lime & honey, a refreshing drink and salt fish pickle – both from Rose Virginie Good Shepherd.

    Let's come together to celebrate our rich and diverse Malaysian culture. See you there!