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Volunteers and staff of Eden Handicap helping one of the disabled on the trip to Genting Highlands.
3 days 2 nights trip to Genting Highlands and Kuala Lumpur for people with disabilities
Dear Wonderful People,
While Malaysians may visit Genting Highlands, the City of Entertainment, at any time they fancy, those with disabilities are an underprivileged lot, being excluded from experiencing the joys of the theme park rides amidst the clouds. How often we take the luxury of cable cars for granted while it is still considered an unrecognized technology to them, let alone attending world-class performances that should be within a peasant's reach judging by the living standards of today.
However, getting these people to Genting Highlands is not without its challenges. Since they require mobility aids, their guardians need a well coordinated plan, not to mention added costs, to ensure their safety and comfort. Many families with disabled children are unwilling or untrained to handle such a complicated situation, and would rather avoid it altogether, thus denying their disabled kids the opportunity to experience the joys of normal children.
Eden Handicap Service Centre organized a 3 days 2 nights trip to Genting Highlands and Kuala Lumpur on 28th to 30th September 2006, for children and adult with disabilities and mentally challenged youths under our roof and from the community who had the rare opportunity to experience life away from home. This excursion and trip offered the disabled people a breakaway from their daily routine and opened to them window to many wonders of the world, adding some excitement and joy to their lives.
The group comprised 32 disabled, 18 helpers, a journalist from Oriental Daily Press and a photographer. Everyone gathered in the Training Hostel at 5:00am sharp on 28 September 2006. Much excitement and enthusiasm can be seen on the faces of the "special tourists", and laughter filled the air. Each participant was given a bag of goodies donated by sponsors. Those severely disabled were arranged to take the ride in a van whereas the rest boarded on the bus. We had also arranged Eden's lorry to transport all the 13 wheelchairs.
As the bus was leaving for the journey, songs of praises filled the air. We stopped at Sungai Bakap Shell Station where the station manager and his family donated pre packed food, drinks and apple for our breakfast. As we continued our trip, Fiona, the organizing chairperson, briefed the group on the do's and don'ts for the trip.
At 12:45pm, we reached Genting Highlands Resort and could feel chilly cold wind blew intermittently. Madelene approached the Front Desk Manager, Mr. Selva of Theme Park Hotel who had arranged the 25 rooms. Quickly, we distributed the room keys to the individual team leaders to check-in. The group met at 2:00pm in the hotel's lobby for lunch and later proceed to the Indoor and Outdoor Theme Park.
The disabled was thrilled as it was their first time taking the merry go around, roller coaster ride, kiddies rides, space shot, Tea Cup Family Rides and lots of other adventurous and thrilling rides in the outdoor and indoor parks. This was the first time that they had been on any of such rides and activities. Their faces were full of joy mixed with fear. Some had reservations on how they were going to get into the rides. But with great passion, love and care, their helpers made it possible for the disabled to enjoyed the rides and other activities.
The Church of Genting sponsored a dinner at the Chinese Restaurant in Theme Park Hotel. It was a wonderful dinner for everyone and the children gave a performance to our guests from the Church of Genting. The rest of the night was a free time as some were resting in their room while others explored the casino for the very first time. Some were still at the indoor theme park enjoying the rides and games. Everyone had such a great time.
The next morning, we had a sumptuous buffet breakfast and later assembled at the hotel's lobby to board the tour bus for Kuala Lumpur. At 3:00pm, we arrived at Mid Valley Megamall and spent the whole day shopping and enjoyed the various kinds of food available at the food court. We departed at 6:00pm and the journey continued with more sightseeing around Kuala Lumpur.
Dato Jimmy Lim graciously arranged 12 units of service apartments with breakfast at Holiday Villa Apartment Suites in Jalan Ampang for our use. Everyone enjoyed their stay as it was their first time to step into such a beautiful and spacious holiday suites.
On the 3rd day, we departed from the hotel to Suria KLCC. We had the opportunity to do some shopping and had our lunch.
At about 1:00pm, we headed back to Penang. We heard comments that the trip was too short a time and everyone seemed to be rushing. Everyone suggested that the committee should organize another trip on the following year as they had such good fun the whole trip.
At 6:00pm, we arrived at Bukit Tambun for a seafood dinner. Wow! The food was good and everyone had a good dinner and noticed that even the intellectually challenged disabled were serving one another. It was a trip full of enjoyment, laughter, fun, excitement, and the best part was everyone had a memorable trip.
This would not have been possible without our sponsors, donors, helpers, staffs and the organizing committee who had made this event a success. Thank you all for making a difference in the lives of these people!
The participants resting at the stopover.
Participants in the bus.
Helpers with those under their care.
Here we are in Genting Highlands.
Lining up for the rides.
Group shot with the roller coasters.
Are we going for a spin?
An uplifting experience happening soon...
And here we are at Mid Valley Shopping Mall!
Getting ready to explore Mid Valley.
Group shot with Dato Jimmy Lim, who provided free usage of 12 units of service apartments to the disabled.