KUCHING, July 15: Hilton Kuching has raised about RM230,000 at their 30th anniversary charity gala for Teratak Kasih Tok Nan, a one-stop support centre for people living with HIV.
The hotel’s general manager Hamish Watts said the anniversary gala captures the spirit of camaraderie that has been fostered by Hilton Kuching with its many longtime supporters, partners and fans in its 30-year history.
“One hundred per cent of all proceeds raised from table sales and an array of Hilton Hotels and Resorts staycation (for) auction was contributed to Teratak Kasih Tok Nan. We see this (as a) partnership, working in tandem with Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) as we benefit equally from our work together with the community.
“Collaborating with MAF was an easy decision as we have had a long history since 2011, when we hosted a World AIDS Day celebration. It was unprecedented and truly an eye-opening event that helped clarify (what is known about) the disease and raise awareness about stigma and discrimination,” Watts said.
Named after the late Chief Minister of Sarawak Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, the Teratak Kasih Tok Nan centre serves as a safe space for HIV-impacted people and families in the local community to access HIV-related health, social and welfare services.
Established by MAF in 2017 and operated by local non-governmental organisation (NGO) partner, the Sarawak AIDS Concern Society, the centre also acts as a halfway home for those travelling long distances to access HIV treatment at the Sarawak General Hospital in Kuching.
It can accommodate a maximum of 13 occupants at one time.
Apart from that, the centre also offers community-based HIV testing, counselling, treatment literacy, and legal and welfare service referrals, in addition to providing life skills training and other social reintegration support for its beneficiaries.
Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah also donated RM30,000 for the Teratak Kasih Tok Nan centre.
Abdul Karim, who represented and read out Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s speech, commented on and congratulated Hilton Kuching for their dedication.
“The centre embodies the spirit of our late Tok Nan and it is a legacy of his love for the people of Sarawak and his desire to help the underpriviledged community. A care facility like Teratak Kasih Tok Nan is a vital component in our AIDS response in Sarawak. It helps to bridge the gap in providing access to HIV treatment for patients from rural Sarawak,” Abang Johari said.
He said that whenever civil societies and the government work together, the state can surely achieve greater good and create sustainable impact on the lives of the beneficiaries.
“Most importantly, our society must be taught the noble values of upholding the dignity of a human person and care for the poor, the sick, the handicapped and the less fortunate among us.”
Abang Johari added that the state government is aware that HIV/AIDS must be dealt with wholeheartedly.
He gave assurance that the state government will continue to support critical AIDS programmes in Sarawak and work closely with the Health Ministry as well as NGO communities. — DayakDaily