NGO brings Gawai cheer to lonely octogenarian
By:Fasiha Khushiri
Date:
KCH-Endara gawai-3005-fk (2) a

KUCHING: Old age is not a time many would want to spend alone but Endara Kandau appears to have grown accustomed to fending for himself as best as his feeble body would allow him.

At the age of 80 he calls a dilapidated wooden shack home in Kg. Semawang at Samarahan – and ekes out his existence without electricity or water, leaving him to rely on rainwater for his daily use.

Endara need not live this way in his twilight years but it appears that his many adult children and grandchildren have had no time for him, much less care for him.

Hope Place, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), came to know of his plight in about 2019 and has since been helping Endara, supplying him food aid every few months.

And aware that he would be left to his lonesome self this Gawai Dayak, members of the NGO recently dropped by his shack bringing festive goodies to cheer him up.

Trouble is Endara is dependent on handouts after an application for government assistance was turned down by the Social Welfare Department arguably because his daughter who is a single mother is receiving welfare assistance.

So without any source of income life for Endara is all the more challenging.

But the frail octogenarian who is blessed with reasonably good health other than having to cope with a pair of weak knees remains stoical despite the circumstances.

Neighbours describe him as a likeable fellow who is loved and respected by many in the village who think nothing about inviting him in should he pass through.

Despite his weakened knees, which prevents him for standing for long periods of time, Endara loves to walk. And to smoke. He also enjoys mee goreng.

Hope Place says in this way he appears to prefer sticking to a very basic existence, even refusing its offer of a mattress to sleep on. For Endara his mat will suffice.

But the lack of care and concern by family is telling on him. He is merely seeing out the remaining days of his life, lonely.

According to Hope Place, Endara is among many senior citizens who are living alone, with no family or loved ones to celebrate any festivities here in Kuching.

It is therefore grateful and thankful to many donors out there who continuously contribute to people like Endara.

For more information, Hope Place or Persatuan Kebajikan Harapan Kuching (PKHK) can be reached at 082-505987. 

New Sarawak Tribune e-Paper

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