FacebookTwitterInstagramContactSubscribe

Frequently Asked Questions

ABOUT US

1. What is SUKA Society?
SUKA Society is a non-governmental organisation registered with the Registrar of Societies. We have no religious or political affiliations. Our society’s registration number is 2504-10-SEL. The society was set up in 2010 for the sole purpose of protecting and preserving the best interests of children.
2. Who are the people behind SUKA Society?
The people behind SUKA are a team of social workers, pediatric consultants, teachers, clinical psychologists and registered counselors, who have dealt consistently with children-related social issues in their respective fields, for over the past three decades. Some of the key members are – James Nayagam (Human Rights Commissioner of Malaysia, SUHAKAM), Dato’ Dr. Amar Singh (Chief Pediatrician, Ipoh GH), Alex Lui (Clinical Psychologist & HOD, Help University), Anderson Selvasegaram (Executive Director, SUKA Society), Donny Gan (General Manager, CDS), Jonathan Ooi (Engineer, Motorola) and Lee Kong Yee (Coordinator & Teacher, OA Temerloh).
3. Why was SUKA Society created?
Advocate for the survival, protection, participation, and development of all children.
Provide
therapeutic, welfare and community development programmes for children who are at risk and for their families.
Promote
the best interests of a child by conducting training programmes for children and people who come into contact with children.
Produce
research and publications on issues related to children.
Empower
young people to do good by encouraging self-initiated projects that protect and preserve those in need.
4. Where does SUKA Society operate?
SUKA Society’s office is located at 117A, Jalan SS 2/24, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. The office is used as an administrative base & for training. As for our services, we primarily work onsite. This means that we use most of our working days working with children in the Orang Asli villages (Slim River, Gopeng, Gerik, Gua Musang & Tasik Bera), detention centers (13 detention centers throughout the country) and human trafficking protection homes (KL & Rembau).
5. What is the meaning of the name “SUKA”?
We abbreviated two Malay words, “Suara” and “Kanak-kanak” to form “SUKA”. The words translated in English means “CHILDREN” and “VOICES”.
6. What does SUKA Society’s logo mean?
All Children Included! – The colorful children shaped figures reflect the society’s approach of providing a voice to all children regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, nationality, social status and disability. The circle above the word SUKA reflects the society’s arm embracing all children to protect and preserve their rights through sustainable programmes and activities.
7. What are SUKA Society’s priority work areas?
We work for the benefit of all children. Currently, our focus is primarily on children from the most marginalised and vulnerable circumstances. We work on three main areas –

• Creating greater access to education for Orang Asli children
• Protecting and restoring women and child survivors of human trafficking
• Advocating for alternatives to detention for children affected by arrest and detention

8. What is the motivation behind SUKA Society’s involvement in these projects?
As an organisation we are motivated to safeguard a child’s right to justice and empowerment.

Justice – We want to ensure that children in crisis situations, such as a trafficked child and a child in detention, receive fair and just treatment. We believe that it is for the best interest of a child that they are protected and have access to appropriate care.

For instance, our work in restoring trafficked survivors emphasizes on helping children cope with the trauma that is often associated with being a victim of a horrible crime. Our advocacy efforts in addressing children in detention are focused on pushing for change in government policies to create and implement alternatives to detention.

Apart from our projects for children, we are actively providing training and development programmes for people who work directly with children. We feel that it is crucial for those working with children to have the knowledge, skills and temperament to handle children appropriately.

Empowerment – We also firmly believe that all children, especially those who are marginalised, are empowered to grow and develop into their best potential. As such, we are constantly looking for mechanisms to create opportunities to improve on a marginalised child’s access to education and developmental programmes.

For instance, in our work with Orang Asli children, we are able to empower Orang Asli community teachers, who serve as a catalyst for education within their own communities. Through the efforts of these community teachers, we are able to develop a strong foundation in a child’s education. The larger goal is to see these children grow up with the knowledge and skills to be self-sustainable and to help free their own community from the cycle of poverty.

9. Who benefits from SUKA Society’s programmes?
  • Orang Asli Children
  • Refugee children and their families
  • Children in immigration detention centers
  • Marginalised children in low cost flats and slum areas
  • Women and child survivors of human trafficking in protection shelters
10. How long does SUKA Society work in a community?
SUKA Society has a long-term view with sustained efforts in the development of our projects and services. We believe that when it comes to issues such as access to education as well as advocating for the rights and protection of children, there is no quick fix.

For example, Orang Asli children join our pre-schools at the age of four and will remain in our schools until they are six years old. These three years of pre-school education are needed to ensure that they have the right foundation to start primary education.

Sustained effort and time is also needed when advocating with the government. These efforts include conducting training programmes and developing interagency working groups to help implement child centric policies and operating standards. Therefore, to make a positive impact on the lives of children, it is vital that there is continuity and consistency in our work.

11. Why does SUKA Society engage in advocacy work?
There is a popular saying – “Give a person a fish (welfare) and he eats for the day, but teach a person how to fish (development) and he eats for a lifetime”. In the work we do, we find that working on a welfare and development platform alone is often times insufficient. Taking the popular saying further; what if the person has the knowledge and the skills to catch a fish but for whatever reason is not allowed access to the lake to fish in the first place?

The lack of access to rights and opportunity is generally apparent among communities that are disadvantaged and marginalised. We are often confronted with issues where children in the communities we work with do not have adequate rights to protect themselves due to their status and background.

Through our advocacy efforts, we have the chance to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children by influencing government policy and pushing for better standards and practices. We also engage the public by developing awareness initiatives to shape public opinion on issues that matter to children. We do this because we want to see children and the communities they live in  treated fairly and are able to access equal opportunities to succeed in life.

In each of our specific projects, we are actively advocating towards –

  • A victim centric approach to protecting trafficked survivors.
  • Alternative to detention initiatives for children affected by detention.
  • A greater access to education for Orang Asli children

Our advocacy efforts are always constructive and collaborative in nature. We engage with all relevant stakeholders through awareness programmes, research projects, round table discussions, consultations, working groups and training programmes.

12. What is SUKA Society’s Child Protection Policy?
SUKA Society is committed to safeguarding children from harm by striving to create a safe and positive environment for children. We take our duty and responsibility of care for children seriously. Protecting children is a mandatory part of SUKA Society achieving its mission. Please click our Child Protection Policy on our website to find out more.
13. Does the government approve of SUKA Society’s projects?
Yes! We are a nationally registered organisation with the Registrar of Societies (ROS: 2504-10-SEL). We have written approvals from the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development for our work with human trafficking survivors. We also have an ongoing partnership with the National Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) on our work with Orang Asli children, and we sit in a working group to discuss alternatives for children in detention with the Ministry of Home Affairs and other government agencies.
14. Why get involved in helping foreign children when our own local children need help?
We do both! We do not discriminate on whom we help. As long as a child is in need and we have the capacity to help, we will get involved.

In this day and age, we must not discriminate because serious social issues transcend geographical and political boundaries. Criminals are no longer just the petty thieves that operate within our community. Criminals involved in human trafficking for instance run complex international networks that exploit people by moving them from one country to another.

Therefore when we go into detention centers and trafficked protection shelters to run our activities, the activities are run for everyone in these facilities. We can find the same spirit of acceptance of all children in Malaysia in our own Malaysian Child Act 2001 and as well as the United Nation Convention on the Rights of a Child in which Malaysia is a signatory of.

15. Do you manage children homes?
No we don’t. We believe that children should only be referred to homes as a last resort. However, if there is a child that requires protection and a children’s home is the only viable option for the child, we will refer the child to our various NGO partners.


ACCOUNTABILITY

16. How do I know SUKA Society will do what it claims to be doing?
We update our supporters through our printed project reports and social media updates. We also send monthly emails to those who have signed up to receive our regular updates. The updates are a collection of stories from our Facebook postings. We also produce reports that are available for downloaded from the Project Reports section on our website. The best way to learn more about what we do is by volunteering with us. You can do so by clicking How Can You Help on our website.
17. How do I know SUKA Society has the credibility to do what it is trying to do?
We currently sit in a joint NGO-Government working group to develop alternatives to detention for children affected by arrest and detention. We have written access to provide training for all officers who work with children in detention centers and government run human trafficking protection shelters. We also have a working relationship with UN bodies such as UNICEF and UNHCR, and are active members of the International Detention Coalition (IDC) (www.idcoalition.org) and the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) (www.aprrn.info)
18. How is SUKA Society funded?
The society’s funding comes mainly from individual donors. Occasionally, we do receive one off funding from grant providers and corporate companies. As a child focused organisation, we do not receive funding from tobacco, gambling and alcohol related companies.
19. How is my donation spent?
Here is how SUKA Society spends its funds (2014 Expenditure):

  • Children’s rights advocacy and awareness initiatives– RM51,710 (13%)
  • Restorative programmes for human trafficking survivors – RM80,023 (19%)
  • E2T Orang Asli community pre-schools and after school project – RM110,030 (26%)
  • Child sensitization training programmes and case management support for children affected by detention – RM113,380 (27%)
  • Support services – RM65,215 (15%)
20. How much of my donation will go towards helping children?
We maintain a healthy allocation of 85% of all donations going towards our children-focused programmes and services. As for grants received, 100% of its funds will be allocated towards the project, as per the respective grant conditions. We are able to keep our overheads low (15% – Support Services) by maintaining a minimal administrative staff team and adhering to our policy of making purchases of goods and services only when required and at the best value. Whenever possible we will also try our best to secure sponsored or free services (Note: One of our supporters is providing the use of our office space rent free).
21. How do we know SUKA Society spends its money on programmes?
We develop progress and expenditure reports for each of our specific projects to ensure that we are accountable with the funds provided for the work. We also keep a detailed track record on the work we do, and the impact we are making in achieving project goals. Please click Our Progress and Project Reports on our website to find out more.
22. Are SUKA Society’s financial statements audited?
Yes, we have all our yearly financial statements audited. Our auditors are Razali Abd Karim & Co., Chartered Accountants (Malaysia), Member Firm of Malaysian Institute of Accountants.


UPDATES

22. How can I get updates on SUKA Society’s work?
There are a few ways you can get updates from our work.

  • You can sign up to receive regular monthly updates. The updates are a collection of stories found on our Facebook postings. Click here to subscribe.
  • To understand our work further, you can also download project-specific progress reports from our Project Reports section on our website.
  • A direct and meaningful way of getting updates about our work is by volunteering with us. You will get a chance to see and be involved in the work we do. To volunteer, click Volunteer Your Time on our website to sign up.
  • For those who are active on social media, you can find us on facebook.com/sukasociety, twitter.com/sukasociety, and instagram.com/sukasociety.
  • If you prefer a personal meet up with our team, feel free to drop us an email at enquiry@sukasociety.org. We can schedule an appointment to meet up with you.


VOLUNTEERING

23. How can I volunteer with SUKA Society?
Volunteers play a crucial role in the work we do. You can sign up as our volunteer by clicking Volunteer Your Time on our website. Upon receiving your online sign up form, we will promptly send you a reply via email. All potential volunteers will be invited for a volunteer’s briefing session at our office. The volunteer’s briefing session is an opportunity to learn more about our work, commit to our child protection safeguards and match your availability and interest to the work we do.
24. Why should I help SUKA Society?
Getting involved in helping people can be a life changing experience. All our projects are people centric; providing direct services to children and the communities they live in. Our volunteers get to work closely with our team members, providing much needed assistance and services to those in need of protection, care and support. To get a glimpse of how volunteering can be a rewarding experience, click to read some of our volunteers stories on our website –

www.sukasociety.org/volunteering-because-i-want-to-and-i-love-doing-it/
www.sukasociety.org/making-trafficked-survivors-smile/
www.sukasociety.org/sharing-special-moments-by-melinda-looi/
www.sukasociety.org/volunteering-with-orang-asli-teachers/

25. Are there any special conditions or requirements to be a volunteer?
Due to the vulnerability of the children we work with, and also to ensure the protection of children, we require all volunteers to adhere to all relevant laws and standards that upholds the protection of children. We also require volunteers to disclose any information that would affect their suitability in working with children. Please refer to our Child Protection Policy on our website to find out more.


WISH LIST

26. Apart from the wish list items, can I donate other items such as clothing, furniture or food to help children in need?
The wish list items are directly channeled towards assisting the people of concern within each of our projects. The items received will enable us to save on much needed resources. As our projects have very specific requirements, we normally do not take items apart from the ones listed on our Help With A Project Wish List.

We respectfully note that all donated items must be screened through for suitability before we are able to accept these items. This is to ensure that the donated items correctly match the needs of the various project recipients. As we have very limited storage space, prior arrangements must be made before dropping the items at our office. Assistance to drop these items off at the intended location is much appreciated.


DONATION

27. What is the impact of my support?
Donors play a crucial role in empowering us to protect and to preserve the best interest of children. All our projects provide direct and impactful services for children. Therefore, with your support, we have made tremendous strides in uplifting the rights of marginalised children and a positive difference in their lives. To understand the impact of your support, please click Our Progress on our website. Feel free to Contact Us or Volunteer Your Time with us if you would like to experience firsthand the impact you have made.
28. How much should I donate?
Any amount is greatly appreciated. It costs us, as a guide, –

  • RM3 a day to provide pre-school and after school education to help an Orang Asli child learn how to read, write and count.
  • RM10 to conduct a therapeutic session to help a trafficked survivor cope with his or her traumatic experiences.
  • RM58 to train a detention or trafficked protection officer on the right approach in handling children.
29. How long should I donate?
We hope that all donors will continue to support our work for at least 3 to 5 years. This length of time is needed because we have a long-term view with sustained efforts in the development of our projects and services. We believe that when it comes to issues such as access to education for Orang Asli children and as well as advocating for the rights and protection of children, there is no quick fix-it.

For example, Orang Asli children join our pre-schools at the age of four and will remain in our schools until they are six years old. These three years of pre-school education are needed to ensure that they have the right foundation to start primary education.

Sustained effort and time is also needed when advocating with the government. These efforts include conducting training programmes and developing interagency working groups to help implement child centric policies and operating standards. Therefore, to make a positive impact on the lives of children, it is vital that there is continuity and consistency in our work.

30. Can I choose to donate money to a specific project or item?
Yes you can. You just need to inform us as to which project you would like to donate towards, and we will ensure that the funding will be channeled directly to the project cost. Apart from the general SUKA Society updates you will receive from us, we will provide you with project specific updates and reports as and when it is available.
31. Can I help collect funds for SUKA Society?
You are more than welcome to do so! We appreciate supporters who raise funds on our behalf. This allows us to concentrate our efforts in helping children. We have had tremendous support and partnerships from wonderful organisations such as Papa Palheta, The KL 24 Hour Race, students from international schools and colleges such as Mutiara, Tenby, Nexus, Gardens, Taylors and many others.

We also had supporters who use our secure online fundraising site – simplygiving.com/Nonprofit/SUKASociety – to raise funds for us on an individual basis. We would love to hear from you about your fundraising plans. Just drop us an email at enquiry@sukasociety.org.

32. How do I change my regular credit card donation?
Please call our Donor Relations team at 03-27732800 during usual working hours. The Donor Relations team will be ever ready to assist you.
33. What options do I have if I want to donate to SUKA Society?
  • Crossed Cheque – You can issue a crossed cheque payable to “Persatuan Kebajikan Suara Kanak-Kanak Malaysia (SUKA)”. At the back of the cheque, please write your name, full address and contact number. Please send your donations to P.O. Box 013, Jalan Sultan 46700, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
  • Electronic Fund Transfer – You can also organise a bank transfer to our bank account. Just drop us an email at enquiry@sukasociety.org to inform us of your donation. We will furnish you with the necessary information to facilitate the transfer.
  • Online Donation – You can donate online via our secure online donation site – simplygiving.com/Nonprofit/SUKASociety. The site also allows you to start a fundraising event to raise funds on our behalf.
  • Direct Debit Donor Programme – Through Credit Card sign up or via auto-debit from a Maybank (MBB) account.
34. Who do I contact if I have questions regarding a donation I want to make?
You can contact us at 03-78774227. If you find it difficult to contact us, we apologize because chances are we are onsite at one of the Orang Asli communities or detention centers or protection shelters. Therefore please email us at enquiry@sukasociety.org. We will reply promptly.
35. Is donation to SUKA Society tax deductible?
We are still trying our best to apply for tax exemption status. As a new organisation, there is a waiting period before we are able to apply for tax exemption. The application is also unfortunately not automatic nor is it a very straightforward process. However, we are in the midst of doing all that is necessary for us to obtain this status as soon as possible. We hope you can be patient with us.


SPONSOR

36. What is a School Sponsorship?
The Empowered2Teach project uses an empowerment model as a means to provide education for Orang Asli children living in remote villages. We believe that by empowering our young Orang Asli teachers to teach children in their own community, we not only build a sustainable method of providing education to children living in remote areas, but also develop the capacity of our teachers to serve as community leaders for education.

School sponsorship is an opportunity to personally connect with a young Orang Asli community teacher and walk alongside him or her as they work to provide pre-school and after school lessons for Orang Asli children in their remote community.

Our Orang Asli community schools have been in operation since 2013. The schools are run by young and passionate Orang Asli teachers living in the community. Through the hard work and dedication of the Orang Asli teachers, the schools have been effective in ensuring that young Orang Asli children have the right foundation to start primary school. We do this by targeting your sponsorship towards keeping the school running consistently. For instance, a monthly sponsorship of a teacher will ensure that the teacher is able to teach his or her students on a full time basis. Sponsoring monthly school expenses will help keep the school running at a low cost. Sponsoring an assistant teacher will allow the community schools to maintain a smaller teacher to student ratio.

When you become a school sponsor, you will get a rewarding opportunity to journey with a young Orang Asli teacher; encouraging him or her to provide education to young children in his or her own community. You can connect with your sponsored teacher by encouraging them via letters and cards. You also get a unique opportunity to host the teacher when he or she comes down to KL for our half yearly teacher’s training programme. Knowing that someone is concerned about their work as educators in their respective village is a great encouragement of their efforts.

37. How do I know that there is an actual teacher or a school in these communities?
Yes there is. There is a vibrant and active community school running in each of the villages we are involved in. You can find out about our community teachers, and schools they are running by clicking on our project website – www.empowered2teach.org.
38. Will the School Sponsorship help an actual Orang Asli child?
Yes it will. Each community pre-school has between 20 – 25 students who regularly attend classes. However, as a child focused Non Governmental Organisation, we feel that it is important to respect the child’s right to learn freely, without the need to maintain any sponsorship obligations. As such the School Sponsorship programme only focuses on empowering the Orang Asli teachers in their efforts to provide education for Orang Asli young children.
39. How does the sponsorship work?
When you submit your sponsorship request via our Be A Sponsor page on our website, you will receive an email from SUKA Society within a few days with an attached School Sponsorship Pack. The School Sponsorship Pack allows you to choose which community school and its respective teachers you would like to sponsor. You are required to indicate the community school of your choice in a Pledge Form (within the School Sponsorship Pack) and return the form to us. Upon receiving the form, we will then share with you the pledge payment options and the different ways you can connect with the Orang Asli teacher of your choice.
40. How much is the sponsorship?
You can sponsor any of the following –

  • RM60 – Monthly expenses needed to keep a student attending class regularly.
  • RM200 – Monthly expenses to keep the school running.
  • RM400 – Monthly allowance for the assistant teacher.
  • RM600 – Monthly allowance for the teacher.
41. How long will my sponsorship last?
We do hope that you can remain as our sponsor as long as you are able to do so. A typical sponsor will remain as a sponsor for at least one school term (which is one full year). We encourage sponsors to stick with us as a sponsor for up to three years so that you are able to journey with a batch of young pre-school students from age 4 to 6.  The options for sponsorship therefore are set at 1 year, 2 years and 3 years.
42. Can I give a gift sponsorship?
Yes you may! Please refer to our wish list items and indicate the items you would like to sponsor. You can find the list on our Help With A Project Wish List section on the website.
43. Can I send money directly to my sponsored teacher or school?
No. To ensure that all our teachers are supported consistently and continuously, we will provide teacher allowances and school expenses on a monthly basis. We want the teachers to be able to concentrate on teaching the students without worrying about the availability of monthly resources to teach. We feel that as a responsible organisation it is important for us to assure the teachers that they are being supported in their good work as catalyst for education.

By sending money directly to the sponsored teacher or school, it will create an unbalanced level of resources between each school project. It is important for us to share resources in a fair manner so that the teachers have an equal opportunity to succeed in providing education for the children in their respective communities.

If you hear from the teachers themselves regarding any particular need or observed certain areas in which you feel you can further support the school, please do discuss the matter with us. Chances are, we are already in the midst of working towards addressing that particular need and therefore will welcome your further involvement to assist the school.

44. How much does my sponsorship go towards the school or the teacher?
Your full (100%) sponsorship amount goes directly to the school. We do not take any portion of your sponsorship for our own administrative expenses. We use our general funding when it comes to supporting the project with our half yearly training sessions for the teachers, our monthly follow-up/mentoring visits, the lesson activity sheets and our administrative expenses.
45. In what other ways can I communicate with my sponsored teacher or school?
We encourage sponsors to write to the teachers encouraging the teachers in their work. If possible, we encourage sponsors to write in Bahasa Malaysia as it is their primary language. Sponsors can mail the letters to our mailing address, and letters will then be forwarded to the teachers when we make the next monthly supervision visit to the schools.

Email, phone calls or text messages however is not convenient as the teachers live in remote villages where phone and Internet connection is severely limited. To get connected, the teachers will need to travel an hour or two to the closest town. We also do not want to invade too much into their personal space and time, and cause them additional costs.

46. May I visit my sponsored teacher or school?
Visits can be made but prior arrangements will have to be put in place first. The community schools are located in remote areas and may require a 4X4 vehicle to get in safely. For instance, it takes up to three hours driving on roads meant only for 4X4 vehicles to get to our community school in Gua Musang.

To respect the privacy of the other members in the villages, we always ask for permission first before we go into the village. The Orang Asli communities are generally shy, reserved and do not feel comfortable when there are large crowds or too frequent visits into their village.

We would highly encourage sponsors to meet up with the teachers during our half yearly training programme. The training is held in Petaling Jaya during the school holidays. Sponsors are encouraged to meet up and even host them for a meal during the training programme.

47. How often will I receive a progress report on my sponsored teacher or school?
We prepare a yearly Empowered 2 Teach report detailing the progress of all the schools under the project. These reports can be downloaded via our Project Reports section on our website. Sponsors are encouraged to follow the progress of the school by regularly logging onto our project website – empowered2teach.org
48. How can I make my sponsorship payments?
Sponsors can send a cheque on a monthly, quarterly, half yearly or yearly basis to our mailing address. Please indicate your full name, address, contact number and name of the school/teacher whom you are sponsoring at the back of the cheque. We can also arrange for Electronic Fund Transfer to facilitate the sponsorship payments.
49. Will my sponsored child receive the same quality of education as my own children?
No. Unfortunately Orang Asli’s in rural communities do not have the same level of access to educational resources as children in urban communities. In an urban setting, children have access to educational centers, extracurricular activities, private schools, personal tutors and so on. The work we are doing through our educational project within remote villages is therefore a big step in bridging the educational gap between urban children and Orang Asli children who are at often times marginalised.