Seremban, 14 October 2017
The joy of Deepavali arrived early for 130 children and 45 families, who were part of the Malaysian AEON Foundation’s (MAF) annual Lights of Love Deepavali celebration.
Supported by the participation of 60 AEON volunteers and Seremban’s Sri Bala Thandayuthapani temple, the one-day event saw MAF contributing a total of RM52,000 in monetary donations and essential goods.
“For many of us, the festival season is a time of delicious food, new clothes, and quality time with loved ones. However, for many more, it’s a reminder of what they don’t have and we want to change that. Every year, we pride ourselves in bringing the festivity to the marginalised members of the community. It’s our little way of letting them know that we care, and this Deepavali is no different. The smiles on their faces make it worth it,” explained Mr Washizawa Shinobu, the Vice President of MAF.
Kickstarting in AEON Mall Seremban, the Deepavali initiative saw the children being sent on a shopping spree, with each child receiving RM200 to spend on new outfits. Following that, they were engaged in a series of fun and games at indoor entertainment centre Molly Fantasy. Embracing the spirit of Deepavali, the kids and families were also given the opportunity to put their creativity to use in a kolam-designing competition.
The second-half of the day’s itinerary continued at the Sri Bala Thandayuthapani temple. There, the participants were treated to a hearty afternoon feast as well as a free eye test and spectacles courtesy of Focus Point Vision Care Group Sdn Bhd.
For MAF’s final act of giving of the day, the 45 families, selected from local underprivileged groups, were gifted with RM200 per family, along with an RM100 goodie bag each. Containing daily essentials such as rice, sugar, flour, and canned food, the ‘survival packs’ of sorts were intended to help reduce the burden of an increasing living cost on the families.