Hari Raya celebration at Jaro

The staff of Johor Area Rehabilitation Organization or JARO recently celebrated Hari Raya Aidil Fitri with a buffet lunch that was generously sponsored by well-wishers.

Jaro chairman, Dato' Jimmy Low [Right] helping to
serve food to Jaro staff at the Hari Raya celebration
Sixty staff and their families enjoyed the luncheon with Jaro chairman, Dato’ Jimmy Low Boon Hong, committee members, volunteers, well-wishers and sponsors who joined Jaro in an annual tradition to share their festive goodwill.

Hari Raya Aidil Fitri is one of three festive events including Chinese New Year and Christmas organised by Jaro to celebrate the annual festive seasons with their staff who are artisans with disabilities.  For many of them, the Hari Raya luncheon is an occasion where colleagues from Jaro’s workshops for book binding, basketry and tailoring, may come together to share a cross-cultural celebration.

Jaro staff helping themselves to the Raya buffet spread
Founded in 1952 as a rehabilitation center for TB patients, Jaro has evolved into an established non-profit charity with a sheltered workshop where disabled staff benefit from the work opportunities in the bookbinding, basketry, tailoring and handicraft sections.  

Jaro, which receives annual Government grants and public donations, is managed by Low with a committee of socially conscious professionals.  This charity is self-supporting by marketing its quality handicrafts and reinvesting the funds into its daily operations.

A section of the diners at the Jaro Raya celebration
“We wish to thank well-wishers and sponsors for their generous donations,” said Low who also presented each staff member with duit raya of RM50 each from Jaro.  Among the generous sponsors for the event were Member of Parliament for JB Tan Sri Dato’ Shahrir Abdul Samad, and assemblyman for Panti, Dato’ Haji Baderi Haji Dasuki.  

The festive buffet spread with an array of local favourites like satay and laksa Johor among other sumptuous dishes, was sponsored by Tropical Inn, Paragon Hotel and Ponderosa Golf & Country Club.  

“We must also thank Lim Yew Ann, a chicken wholesaler who donated fresh whole chickens to Jaro for the Hari Raya lunch,” said Jaro Finance & Admin Executive, Lee Lai Ying, who explained that they arranged for the chicken to be cooked in various recipes for the staff to enjoy.

Located along Jalan Sungai Chat, JB, Jaro has a gift shop stocked with handicrafts made by disabled artisans.  The proceeds from the sale of these products form a large part of the staff wages.  Open Sunday to Thursday from 8am to 5pm.  Tel: 607 – 224 5632.

A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 11 Aug 2015

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