On Sunday 22nd March, 5 Because members visited the Bodhi Homecare Cheras for abandoned and underprivileged children. We were met by Ms Ng Ching Yuet. After a quick show around the place , we sat down in the kitchen area to hear Mr. Jim, one of the 7 temple committee member share with us the temple’s history going back to 1999 and how it had now turned into a local community care centre despite their struggles.
The temple was founded by a Chinese monk from China. Shortly after obtaining registration as a legal society, the monk passed away. There were no successors. A 7 lay member committee (all working fulltime) took over to look after the place. Due to its pleasant surroundings and the presence of a large statue of Quan Yin, the locals would come to the temple to seek blessings. Some despondents who gave up on their sick or problematic children would leave them at the temple gates. The temple was located in a low income group area in Cheras.
According to Jim, even though the committee had no special experience in handling the sick children (including children with down syndrome), most of them improved after staying in the temple. Words spread. To date there are about 20 children with ages ranging from 2 – 21 years being taken care of at Bodhi Homecare Cheras.
Jim lamented that at one stage the authorities wanted to evict them, as the building was on State land and in the path of a new highway to be built. They refused to leave. Shortly afterwards, a part of the temple which was the living quarters caught fire and was destroyed. Eventually, the highway was built through the temple land (exactly where the quarters used to be). Thankfully there were no more incidents nor demands to evict after that.
This created an urgent need to make space within the existing premise to provide for extra accommodation. We observed that almost every available space in the temple had been utilized to provide basic facilities to run the community services which include free medicare, welcare, educare and homecare. These services were administered by volunteers and professionals with expertise.
All in all it was a very meaningful and inspiring visit . This centre certainly will be taken into consideration when Because Committee meet to come up with a list of worthy causes to be beneficiaries of our upcoming Charity Hunt Fund raising in August this year.