Angela Devi Ariyan ~ Malaysia’s Own “Mother Teresa”
A guardian angel to those with disabilities and special needs…
Those who have been touched by her selflessness, Angela Devi Ariyan is dubbed an “angel”. The 59-year-old MyHero Award 2.0 recipient has been taking care of individuals with special needs since 2002. Angela founded the Vinashini Home, a centre for the disabled in Kuala Sawah, Seremban. It houses some sixty-three less fortunate people of various races or ethnicity. Supported by her hubby, Kerisnan, and three children, Angela has been teaching and training residents of the home to be independent and to stand on their own. Most of them were abandoned by their former families, coming from diverse backgrounds and numerous medical conditions. Aged between nine to eighty, they suffer from illnesses like mental retardation, speech impediment, Down’s syndrome, dyslexia and autism.
Orphans still live within the home although their numbers have dramatically reduced over the years. Many of the younger orphans have grown up and pursued a better life for themselves. Some have even embarked on a tertiary education and graduated. Nonetheless, logistical problems constantly plague the home when taking in more orphans. Angela has also encountered various other obstacles in her quest to assist the needy. The home also had to be relocated several times during the past following noise complaints from nearby housing residents. Personal time is indeed a luxury for Angela as she never takes personal vacations or holiday trips. Finance is another major challenge; at least RM20,000 is required monthly to run the home. Donations have dwindled in recent years and corporate funding depleted. Despite all the challenges faced, she continues to perform her social obligations with commitment and dedication. Caring for these special children remain a daily battle, but the joy of witnessing them improved their well-being is a personal fulfillment and an instant reward to anyone’s spirit.
In its second-year running, MyHero Award 2.0 is jointly organized by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Kuala Lumpur & Selangor (KLSCCI) and Nanyang Siang Pau, supported by the National Unity & Integration Department, the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM), as well as corporate partner Sunsuria Berhad and financial sponsor Bank of China.