Malaysiakini
NEWS

'This is not poverty tourism': Helping KL's homeless find their strengths

Zikri Kamarulzaman

Published
Modified 16 May 2021, 12:50 pm

MALAYSIANSKINI | In 2015, Shyam Priah Marimuthu set out to do something new to help Kuala Lumpur's homeless – or street people, as she prefers to call them.

Shyam had been helping them through her NGO Yellow House KL since 2012, giving them haircuts, doing their laundry, and preparing them for job interviews.

But while giving a tour of Kuala Lumpur to friends of a friend, something struck her.

"I was taking them around, the usual touristy stuff, and I shared with one of them that in my heart I would love to teach the homeless people to do this (become tour guides), because they know the streets better than anyone.

"We say that their weakness is that they're on the streets, but if we turn that into their strength it automatically becomes an opportunity for them.

"So when I came back home I thought, why am I still talking about this when I can actually do something," she told Malaysiakini recently...

Already Subscribed? Sign In
All Access Plan
from ~RM12 / month
Unlimited access to our articles
Comment on all our stories
Gift articles to your friends
Secure and Encrypted
Student or Senior Citizen? Get a special rateGroup / Institutional / Corporate Plans