JARO, a beneficiary of the Star Foundation

The Star Media Group through its charitable arm, the Star Foundation, donated RM50,000 to Johor Area Rehabilitation Organisation (JARO) in Johor Baru, recently.

Star Foundation trustee, Datuk Tay Puay Chuan [4th from
Right], presenting the cheque from Star Foundation to
JARO Chairman, Datuk Jimmy Low Boon Hong
[5th from Left] while JARO committee members look on
Star Foundation trustee, Datuk Tay Puay Chuan, met with JARO Chairman, Datuk Jimmy Low Boon Hong and JARO committee members to present the gift cheque to them.

The Star Foundation has an annual allocation of up to RM1 million to be awarded to charitable organisations that submitted their applications to the foundation for consideration.

“We are delighted that the Star Foundation has considered JARO favourably this year,” said Low, who had earlier applied to the Star Foundation for financial support.

JARO committee members presented Datuk Tay with a
photo album made by staff in the bookbinding workshop
Low said that the total sum of the annual grants from the State and Federal governments were insufficient and JARO had to subsidise up to RM35,000 per month to make up the difference to pay staff salaries, utilities and buy materials used for making handicrafts.

In 1952, JARO was founded by Dr Beryl Wilberforce-Smith as a rehabilitation centre in the then Johor Baru General Hospital (now Sultanah Aminah Hospital) to teach cured tuberculosis patients some trades and handicrafts skills in a sheltered workshop.

As the number of TB patients gradually reduced, JARO, a registered charity then under the leadership of past chairman Datuk Dr Lim Kee Jin, turned to helping physically-challenged and other disabled persons in their rehabilitation and training in various skills.

JARO Chairman, Datuk Jimmy Low [Right] with
Datuk Tay on a tour of the basketry workshop in JARO
Now JARO employs almost 60 staff in the basketry, bookbinding and tailoring workshops that produce a range of heritage products made of rattan and batik in support of the aesthetics and traditions of local cultures.

"This is a good start to the relationship between Star Foundation and JARO," said Tay who reiterated that the foundation tries to support a wide number of charities and those whose applications were unsuccessful this year, may reapply a year or two later.

"I’m touched to see that JARO is providing the disabled with a sanctuary where they can earn a respectable living while their dignity and independence is enhanced and where they are valued in our community,” he added.

After handing over the cheque to JARO, the committee members presented Tay with a photo album made by the staff in the JARO book-binding workshop.

Then Tay went on a tour of the various sections in JARO to observe staff at work in the basketry, bookbinding and tailoring workshops.

Applications by registered charities to the Star Foundation can be made through the Star Media Group Berhad at Menara Star in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

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