Ah Meng, our first artisan | Heart Treasures
Heart Treasures is an Impact Driven Social Enterprise organisation located in Kuching, Malaysia. The organisation was started as a safe place for people living with disabilities to be nurtured and feel valued. Heart Treasures currently has 22 students living with various disabilities, the application of art therapy has has allowed for improvements with their fine motor and communication skills. The generous donations from all our supporters allows Heart Treasures to continue to provide a safe haven for the artisans as well as provide them with a hot meal once a day. By making a donation, you will be supporting the continued facilitation of Heart Treasures.
Remembered clearly on the hot day afternoon on September 20, 2012. Ah Meng’s father arrived at our office from his workspace. Still in his tidy and formal office clothes. He asked Ah Meng “what did you learn today?”
After being asked by his father, a young man 28-year-old, having a challenge of intellectual and communication, didn’t have any respond.
Out of sudden, one big slap slapped on Ah Meng's face. My mind pause and I am speechless. My heart started crying. Ms. Bong, my co-founder rushed into the pantry hidden from the corner weeping. As we both know Ah Meng is a development delay and yet why his being treated violently by his biological father.
When we getting started, we assigned the painting assessment for Ah Meng. This will be the only way to understand Ah Meng further and deeper. From the reflection of Ah Meng's painting, realizing his nerve system started shrinkage. He is in fear. He could be accumulated for a few days didn't sleep. He is not the only child in this family.
To verify our assessment is affirmed, we interviewed Ah Meng's father. Surprisingly, getting to know, his father even placed his son sleep on the floor underneath the staircase.
I never thought he does not even have his own room and bed.
That afternoon, with the encouragement, Ms Bong and I had decided to commit fulltime instead of part-time even we both knowingly it isn’t easy for our social enterprise journey and is going to face through the hard time and bitterness.
It is an urgency for us to gain a-dignity-life for those angels whose cries go unheard, whose suffering from mental abuse and rejection from the loved one. It must be a way to empower and uplift for those angels becoming financially independent.
Heart Treasures is attracted and to gain a-dignity-life transformation and be able to live a normal life, that is the only way taking the lead by developing their motoring and brain coordination skills in the art of crafting as part of therapeutic manner. We designed into four module stages by one bead one hope.
The first batch to be groomed and nurtured maturely, the first batch could be able ready to lead the second batch and so forth.
The one to be ready are going to be selected to conduct a workshop. The workshop handcrafting would be attracted and involving their parents as a volunteer whereby the parents could observe the improvement of their child in term of attitude behaviour, characteristic and livelihood. At the same time, the enhancement of the relationship between parents and child. Once the parents understand their child thoroughly, the acceptance and respect to the child will be uplifted.
Throughout the years, now Ah Meng has his own room and bed. Apparently, angel's parents, siblings and relatives had started to change their perspective and more respect and accept. Angels artisan being treated fairly and equally. The dignity has been earned and their parents proclaim angels sent is a gift from the above.