By Karen Bong
KUCHING, March 17: Immediate monthly financial aid totalling RM500 by the Sarawak government under its Children Assistance Scheme will be provided to the three children who lost their parents in a recent tragic electrocution accident.
Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah disclosed that the youngest child, Magdalena Damia who is below two-years-old, will be getting RM200 monthly, while 10-year-old Elisa Olivia and 8-year-old Joseph Rayyan will be getting RM150 each monthly.
The children’s father Damian Senin, 46, and mother Ronwina Mambai, 35, passed away in an electrocution accident at Cameron Highlands on March 10.
“This financial aid is to help the carers who are the maternal uncle Robert (Adi and his wife Kelly Jhon) in supporting the needs of the children now under their care.
“JKM (Social Welfare Department) Sarawak has also immediately obtained a court order for temporary parental custody for Robert as it is part of the necessary procedure,” she told DayakDaily when contacted today.
Fatimah stressed the need for psychological and emotional interventions for the three children orphaned by the tragedy, especially the eldest girl Elisa who suddenly has to assume the role of an adult in becoming the caregiver to her two younger siblings.
“What we need to look into is the psychological and emotional support for these three children because they have had to go through such a traumatic experience to suddenly lose both of their parents in an accident.
“It was really heartbreaking especially for the eldest daughter (Elisa) who suddenly has to become an adult. It is such a huge and heavy responsibility for her who is still a child herself.
“So my concerns are that she may not want to go to school in a short period of time, especially with the youngest sister (Magdalena) is clinging to her,” she said.
Apart from the care, attention and support from their caregivers, Fatimah emphasised that JKM counsellors and social protection officers will provide counselling and guidance for the children, monitor their progress and ensure their wellbeing until they are settled down well.
On education, she disclosed that their uncle Robert with assistance from JKM Samarahan will find a suitable school for both Elisa and Joseph so they can go back to school which will resume physical classes soon.
“JKM officers will make all arrangements with the identified school that is suitable and convenient for their guardians.
“What we really want for the children is to be able to continue living as normally as possible with all the guidance and support of not only their family members but also school counsellors, JKM counsellors and social protection officers,” she said.
Fatimah added that the road to recovery can be a lengthy one and as such, there must be continuous efforts and not a “one-off thing”.
She also commended and expressed thanks to all parties who have rendered their assistance for the family throughout the ordeal including Anak Borneo Semenanjung (ABS), Rumah Sarawak, Sarawak Volunteers and JKM Pahang, which she lauded for having done a good job. — DayakDaily