KUALA LUMPUR – This year’s Aidilfitri opens a new chapter for the homeless who participated in the “Hijrah Warrior” Urban Farming Programme when a few of them being offered jobs in a farm in Janda Baik, Pahang.
One of the participants, Abdul Jalil Abdullah, 51, is grateful for the job offer and regarded it as giving him a new ray of hope in his “hijrah” (migration) after going through life as a homeless person for two years.
“Alhamdulillah, with social support and knowledge on agriculture obtained through training as a participant in the “Hijrah Warrior” Urban Farming Programme at the Anjung Kelana Transformation Centre, Taman Desa over the past two months, there are people who are willing to offer us jobs.
“The programme, initiated by Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa provides us with knowledge on agricultural skills, hence helping us to improve our lives,” he said when met by Bernama.
Abdul Jalil, who is from Penang, said he arrived in the federal capital in 2019 in the hope of finding a job to support his family.
He did get a job, but quit after six months of working because the employer did not pay his salary causing him to live on the streets as he was not able to pay for the house rental.
For survival, he had to collect and sell plastic bottles and empty cans to be able to get enough cash for food.
On the Raya celebration, Abdul Jalil said he did feel sad to celebrate the occasion away from his family, but the presence of the other homeless and members from the non-governmental cheered him up.
Another homeless person, Mohd Faizal Abdullah, 37, who also got a job at the farm, said he became homeless since a year ago when his family could no longer accept him after knowing he converted to Islam.
Like Abdul Jalil, Mohd Faizal also had to live on the streets after he left his job when his employer failed to pay his salary and his attempts to seek new employment went futile due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, he said this year’s Aidilfitri celebration was a meaningful one after being informed about the job offer at the farm in Janda Baik.
Meanwhile, Wan Kamariah Daud, who is the manager at Warung Makan Sahabat, a community centre for the homeless in Chow Kit, said no Aidilfitri celebration was held this year because of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“However, on the request by the homeless, we did hold the Aidilfitri prayer at the centre and then distributed food and duit raya to them, and it was done in compliance with the SOP,” she said.