There are many a story about act of sacrifices, many of the doers of such acts do not blow their own trumpets. They go about doing their things in an a quiet and unpublicized way. Many outsiders are greatly impressed by such fine and noble spirit. They feel such altruistic acts should not go unnoticed and unsung. The story below is one such stories of caring, sharing and giving without any expectation of returns.
The caring soul whose sacrificing deed I wish to highlight here was a Catholic priest. His heart was greatly troubled by the many cases of broken homes and the consequent sufferings inflicted upon the innocent children in their own homes.
Yes, he was a Catholic father but because of the bold action he had initiated he has now become ‘father’ to hundreds of children from broken homes and children from abusive and neglecting parents. His compassion initially moved him to take in a few of these unprivileged children under his care. From the beginning he sought to create a conducive environment for them so that they could have the right atmosphere and conditions to pursue their studies. His wish was and still is to create a home atmosphere so that the children will not miss privileges only one’s own home can offer.
He asks no money from the unfortunate parents but he provides the children with lodging, food, clothing and even provides them with things for their schooling and takes care of all the expenses. His support initially came from his own family members but as more and more people came to know of the good work he is doing, he gains more public support, both in money and in kind.
He has never deviated from his original intention nor has he changed his method of running the place. In his younger days, he took care of, as many as, fifty children. Now, as he is getting older (he has since retired from pastoral work) he has brought the number down to about thirty. Over the years, hundreds of children have ‘graduated’ from this home Father Bala has created. He has never made it a condition that they repay his effort by making a small contribution back to the home. Some of these children (now adults) had even studied up to the tertiary educational level through his concern and generosity.
The way I have put it makes the sacrifice seems very mundane and ordinary. But to those of us who are parents and have to give support for their own children, we would appreciate what an awesome burden this self-imposed duty is. Most of us have to give for only the few children of our own and we already find it such a heavy burden. Imagine, he has to take care of twenty to fifty of other people’s children each year and has done it for decades.
I have nothing but respect and admiration for Father Bala. Pray for his good health so that he can continue his tremendous work and keep ‘Fatima Home’ running. The world is a better place because of such compassionate and committed people.
If there are any persons who are in Malacca and who feel empathy with what Father Bala is doing, they can go and support the Home (Fatima Home) at Bandar Hilir (behind the Sek. Rendah Kebangsaan IJC). They can also go by the Melaka Raya way, the home is behind New Good World Restaurant. I am sure any contributions in cash or kind will be greatly appreciated.
Please do not pass any used items to the Home as Father Bala is very protective of the children. These, you can give to the Salvation Army as it can wash and clean them and resell them in its shop. Father Bala wishes the children to have high esteem of themselves. He feels if we have the heart to care we should give the best so that the children can feel dignified. In this, I agree with him.
For those caring people from outside Malacca, I will try to get the address so that you may contact the Home.
Come visit again, thank you.