It was my first encounter with people who are helping street kids to have meaningful life within the buzzing Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia which is the proud of all Malaysians. I attended a forum at Buku Jalanan Chow Kit, a centre where street kids can have access to basic education and able to experience descent living, even for a short while.
There was a forum entitled "Orang Miskin Dilarang Pandai" or "Poors are not allowed to be smart". The panellists were Dr Muhammad Khalid, an avid social scientist who had been doing research on inequality and Dr Madeline Berma who had been assisting policymakers on poverty.
Dr Muhammad shared his findings on the urban poor. According to him, they work more hours than others and do not have big family. The median number of their children is two. This rebuts the accusation that urban poors are lazy and come from large families.
Dr Madeline encouraged the public to take this issue seriously and do whatever that they could to help the children who are victim of circumstances. Instead of relying on government which may have limited resources, volunteers could find ways to help and donors could provide the necessary funding.
After the forum I noticed there were a number of familiar faces, including one from the accountancy profession. We agreed that the accountancy profession could play its part in this area. I would surely try to persuade many more friends to be involved with street kids issues.