By Mohd Afiq Zulkifli
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 (Bernama) -- As early as 4 am when many people are still sound asleep, D’Dapor Al-Hafiz founder Hafizah Mohamed Yatim is already in the kitchen to prepare free breakfast for over 500 school students and asnaf children.
This has been the routine of Hafizah, 51, or fondly known as ‘ibu’, for the past two years after she saw many parents, mainly from the B40 group, were severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and some even lost their source of income.
“Initially, we had a cooking club to prepare meals for orphans during Ramadan and later, we continued our efforts to serve more than 1,000 people during the pandemic.
“When the situation returned to normal, I started providing breakfast to school students and asnaf (tithe recipients) children. The goal is to get them to go to school because if they are hungry, they will not go to school and this can affect their studies,” she told Bernama when met recently.
Hafizah, who is also on the Shah Alam Hospital’s funeral arrangement panel for critical cases, said the free breakfast was dedicated to students and orphans from B40 families who lived in the Lembah Subang 1 People’s Housing Project (PPR) flats near here.
“I will start cooking at around 4 am and take a quick break for Subuh prayer at the Ara Damansara Mosque, located a few metres away from the D’Dapor Al-Hafiz premises.
“After that, with the help of two more volunteers, we will begin distributing breakfast to recipients until 7.30 am. Asnaf children who have been identified by the parishioners also receive pocket money of RM2 per person to go to school,” said Hafizah, who hails from Selama, Perak.
The breakfast menu prepared by the former school cook includes fried noodles, fried rice and nasi lemak, complete with eggs and meat like chicken and shrimp.
Hafizah, who has been involved in charity works since 1998, said that every day, more than RM500 is spent on purchasing grocery items, and the money is donated by an individual who does not want to be identified.
“There is no collection of money from the public, only donations from a sponsor for all the expenses of D’Dapor Al-Hafiz from Tuesday to Friday. On Monday, the food is prepared using contributions from the public.
“I also do not take any money for doing this because I sincerely want to help people. My family struggled to make ends meet in the past, and our house was auctioned off. My husband was also sick, so I know how hard it is to live from hand to mouth,” said the mother of three, whose husband died last year due to complications of various diseases.
Meanwhile, a resident who is also a widow, Norhayati Musa, 46, said Hafizah’s efforts had benefited hundreds of children from the flat, including her son, Irman Firhan Mohamad Aiman, 15.
“Early in the morning, ibu will inform us of the menu she prepared through WhatsApp group. The children became excited to go to school because there is someone who provided breakfast with a variety of menu,” she said.