KUALA LUMPUR: Twenty-seven HIV/AIDS shelter homes and drug rehabilitation centres under the Pengasih Association (Pengasih) received RM2.8 million from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry yesterday. Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said the allocation, under the National Key Result Areas (NKRA) for low income households, would be used to upgrade, carry out repairs and improve the services provided by these centres.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil meeting representatives of the shelters and Pengasih homes at Rumah Pengasih in Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
"The government cares about the social issues plaguing the community and we want to help shelters nationwide as these homes are managed by volunteers who bring improvements to the target group.
"This allocation is significant as caring for marginalised communities is a shared responsibility," she said after presenting cheques to representatives of the shelters and Pengasih homes at a ceremony at Rumah Pengasih in Bukit Tunku here.
She said this year, RM2 million was allocated for 19 HIV/AIDS shelter homes under the Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) and another RM800,000 for eight homes under Pengasih which did not have enough funds to run their operations.
"Many of their clients come from poor families and this is our way via the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) to help them get the help they need."
Apart from the allocation, she said the ministry, through non-governmental organisations like Pengasih have also carried out family-oriented prevention programmes.
"Family members play a pivotal part in preventing drug addiction and everyone must be aware of what is going on in the lives of their loved ones. The main bastion in preventing addiction is the family institution.
"They cannot run away for their responsibilities and use their hectic schedules as a reason not to get involved."
Shahrizat also called on the community to keep up with the spirit of volunteerism in helping addicts and those living with HIV and AIDS to get on with their lives productively.
"Never give up on them."
More than 600 people have benefited from the services offered by shelter homes under the MAC, including medical referral service, basic nursing and palliative care, treatment literacy, compliance and counselling programmes.
Since its establishment in 1991, about 50,000 people have sought the services provided by Pengasih homes which uses the "Recovery Coaching by Peers" system focusing on restructuring thinking, stabilising emotion, behavioural modification and spiritual nourishment.
Also present were ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur, MAC president Tan Sri Mohd Zaman Khan and Pengasih president Datuk Yunus Pathi.