Dear Wonderful Members and Friends,

I believe it is a measure of our humility when we reach out to help those in need. Having achieved much visibility through AsiaExplorers, I don’t shy from using this visibility to promote worthy causes.

I am pleased therefore to have the privilege of helping to produce the Eden Handicap Newsletter. Eden is a non-profit organisation devoting to helping the disabled lead normal lives, from being able to look after themselves to earning a living. It is my desire of help create a caring society, by example if necessary, so that members of AsiaExplorers can be proud that they belong to an establishment whose reach goes beyond recreation. At AsiaExplorers, we certainly are no stranger to helping where help is needed, from our support to tsunami relief, mangrove reforestation, and recently, heritage awareness through the Moon Gate issue.

The Eden Newsletter is not an attempt to seek your donation. Rather, it is to tell you about all the good things that the wonderful people at Eden have done to help the disabled, and how the funds that you have generously provided to them are being put to good use. Naturally there will be needs, there always will be, so help according to will, voluntarily, without obligation or coercion. God loves a cheerful giver. Let’s be mindful that the wealth and fame that we accummulate in this brief life on earth amounts to nothing till we start giving back to society. Each with his own talent can make a difference.

Please forward this message to your friends. Thank you and God bless.

A Hope in Life For Yoshini

Here’s Yoshini our family addition,
Suffering from cerebral palsy and mental retardation,
She is here in Eden to seek salvation,
Away from home that’s filled with trepidation.

Even at age five, she seems like three,
Her body so frail and weak in the knee,
When carried, she slumps onto the body.
So light and effortless as can be.

There’s sorrow and confusion in her eyes,
The hearts of people that those eyes entice,
Could feel the pain that makes her cry,
And the pangs of torment that passes her by.

With much therapy, she can now sit up,
Even a small improvement lits up our heart,
We say our prayers as she learns to walk,
Whenever she stands, our hearts would throb,
Soon she’ll jump, run and even talk.

Thank you our dearest Yoshini,
During the times when we are weary,
Yoshini inspires us to strive for infinity.

Charity Food Fair 2005, 11 June 2005

On a bright Saturday morning in 11th June 2005, the compound of Kompleks Masyarakat Penyayang in Penang was filled with people from all walks of life. Approximately 4,000 visitors comprising young and old attended Eden’s fund-raising event.

There was a total of 70 stalls of which 80% were sponsored by hotels, companies, churches and generous individuals. A wide variety of food was available to satisfy all appetites, ranging from local to international fare. A special attraction was the Spa on Wheel courtesy by BeautiControl, a division of Tupperware. It was a favourite among the ladies as well as men. Besides that, Loh Guan Lye Specialist Centre also participated by providing various health tests.

The younger ones had lots of fun especially with the fishing game. There was also a clown giving away balloons and keeping the children giggling merrily. Many crowded around the lucky draw stall to dip for the grand prize – RM270.00 worth of BeautiControl products. There was also a jumble sale with various old, used and new items. Handicrafts made by the physically disabled from Eden’s handicraft unit attracted much interest among the public to admire what the physically challenged can do.

The event successfully raised RM109,000.00 (nett) in support of our work in assisting and training the handicap.

Eden would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who contributed and supported in one way or another!

Eden Open Day, 16 April 2005

Eden Handicap Service Centre may not have come this far, if not for the donations and contributions of the many big hearted and generous people around us. More than 500 disabled people have benefitted from our various services.

An Open Day was organised on 16 April 2005 so that the public can be aware of the differrence they are making to the lives of the disabled. More Importantly, this event serves to let our donors and contributors see the fruits of the seeds they have sown into our centre, so that they can be encouraged to continue in their support.

The event was officiated by YB Cheang Chee Gooi and our Guest of Honour, the Y.B. Dato’ Dr. Teng Hock Nan.

Worthy Mentions

We wish to thank the following individuals and organisations for their contribution and support:

Eden Handicap was one of the beneficiaries receiving RM3,000.00 from the Japanese Women’s Association.

For the past 14 years, Els & Kees Zandbergen, professional dancers from Holland, have been faithfully supporting us. From a dancing marathon held in April this year, they managed to raise €3,484.66 (RM 16,510.81) for Eden!

Agilent Technologies donated RM8,000.00 to purchase 4 units of personal computers and 2 printers. Thank you… you have made the difference in the lives of the disabled.

Community Outreach

Basic Necessities
Eden providing for the daily necessities to a disabled couple.

Eden provided a wheelchair to this needy recipient.

Gift distribution
Eden distributing gifts at the paediatric ward of the Penang General Hospital.

Understanding Disabilities: Mental Retardation

Mental Retardation is a term used to describe people with limitations in thinking, communicating, taking care of themselves and in socializing with others. Children with these limitations tend to learn and develop slower than the normal rate. Children with mental retardation may be slower in learning how to speak, walk and taking care of themselves such as eating and bathing. They are likely to have trrouble learning in school and there may even be some things that they cannot learn at all.

There are many causes of mental retardation. The most common causes are:

  • Genetic Conditions: Whereby an abnormal gene is inherited from parents or when error occurs during gene combination. Examples of genetic conditions are Down Syndrome, fragile X Syndrome, and phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Problems during pregnancy: Mental retardation can be a result of abnormal growth of the foetus. Women who take drugs or alcohol, or even those who gets infection during pregnancy, are at risk of giing birth to a baby with mental retardation.
  • Problems at birth: Babies who lack of oxygen during labor and birth might suffer from mental retardation.
  • Health Problems: Disease like whooping cough, measles or meningitis that is not properly treated can cause mental retardation. Mulnutrition and exposure to poisons such as lead and mercury can also cause mental retardation.

Mental retardation is not a disease and it is not contagious. It is also not a type of mental illness like depression and there is no cure for mental retardation. However, children with mental retardation can learn many things but at a slower rate.

Mental retardation is diagnosed based on ones Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and ones ability to live independantly (adaptive behaviour or adaptive functioning)

Signs of Mental Retardation

  • sits up, crawls and walks later than other children
  • starts talking later or have difficulty speaking
  • Have difficulty in remembering things
  • Does not understand on how to pay for things
  • Have trouble understanding social ethics
  • Have trouble seeing consequences of their actions
  • Have trouble solving problems and/or
  • Have trouble thinking logically

Only about 87% of children with mental retardation are a little slower in learning new things. In some cases, mental retardation may not be obvious until the child starts schooling. Many adults with mild mental retardation can live independant lives. Mental retardation can be so mild that other people may not even consider them for having mental retardation.

The remaining 13% of people with mental retardation are more slower. They will have more difficulty in school, at home and in the community. People with more severe mental retardation requires intensive support throughout his or her life. People at all degrees of mental retardation have the potential to learn, develop and grow. With help, children with mental retardation can grow up to live independant and satisfying lives.