Saturday, October 6, 2007

Adopt a home after Ramadhan!

IN ABOUT one week's time, Ramadhan will be over. Syawal will come bringing with it new clothes, ketupat and rendang and much merriment. And soon, Life goes back to what it was before Ramadhan. It's back to the grind, as many would say.

Malaysians have been most charitable and generous during Ramadhan. You see this on TV, and read about it in the newspapers. Hardly a day goes by without some corporates donating something or other to old folks, the handicapped and the orphans. Corporates compete for their visuals during such acts of charity to be splashed on TV and in the papers.

I know that corporates "give back to society" under their corporate social responsibility programmes. This is done in many ways - via sponsorship of events, supporting some worthy causes, initiating some projects intended to pave the way for a better Life. All this is well and fine.

The truth is clear and simple - CSR is good for business. Only genuine CSR separates the good business with the great ones! Some corporates profess to adopt good CSR projects, but the challenge lies in the sincerity and philosophy of their managers. Some CSR projects are stopped because there's a change in company policy, change in management personnel, change of ownership of the corporates, and a host of other, sometimes petty, reasons.

But I have a suggestion in the case of donations to orphans, old folks and the handicapped. Maybe, just maybe, some rich corporates may want to "adopt" an old folks home, an orphanage or home of the handicapped. By doing so, they will be extending an all-year round assistance to these homes.

Even if they allocate RM1,000 a month to their "adopted" homes, that would go a long way towards easing the burden of these shelter houses. Of course, the corporates are encouraged to spend more during the festival period!

Many homes are deprived of basic amenities. Some homes operate way below the radar that they are hardly known, for some reason or other. Often, the inmates survive on the generosity of well-wishers, many of whom are individuals. Some shelter homes barely survive.

Some big giants spend a fair bit of money supporting animals in the zoo or supporting a sports they like. Nothing wrong with that. They should continue doing so. For companies who are already doing that, maybe they want to spare some loose change supporting homes of the really under-privileged and the deprived.

So there! Scan the horizons and one can easily spot a deprived home in dire need of all sorts of support. Corporates and their owners may not get prime time exposure if they do this, but rest assured you'll be remembered 24/7 by those whom you help. The doa from the recipients count for more than the one-time splash in the media.

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