Title: Maureen, the unseen volunteer
Date: 11-Jun-2014

In this issue, as we are talking about the people that work behind the scene of Shelter, we would also like to highlight a volunteer who is unseen as well. Her name is Maureen Anne Muthu. She has been helping to vet through all the (grammar of the) articles in Shelter’s Newsletter as well as other documents that would require her help. When we told her that we would like to highlight her contribution, she was initially reluctant but agreed later on!

Maureen was born and raised in Sg Petani, Kedah. She had her early primary and secondary education in Sg Petani too. She graduated with a BSc (Hons) & Education degree from USM,  Penang in 1979.  As she did a teaching degree, she was a teacher in 5 secondary schools in Kedah from 1979 until 2008. She taught chemistry to Form 4 & 5 students. 

She can’t really remember how she got to know about Shelter but she believes she came across Shelter in the newspaper and started donating on a regular basis. As a donor, she used to be sent the Newsletter. After her retirement, she noticed grammar mistakes in the articles. She then wrote to Mr James Nayagam (our founder) and volunteered her services. She was very disturbed because she knew that these Newsletters were widely read. Her main concern was the readers who would be exposed to these mistakes.

About the nature of her volunteership, she has always liked to be in the background. She doesn’t mind not being 'noticed' or not being in the limelight. To her, it is important to contribute and play her part. She is honest and says that she gets a certain amount of satisfaction from such a minor contribution.

Maureen thinks that Shelter is doing a good job. Any organization that goes all out to help the underprivileged gain knowledge and become useful members of society is worth their weight in gold!

When asked if she would ask others to volunteer for Shelter, she replied “Of course”. Once a classmate of hers who was retiring, wanted to know what organizations in the KL area that she could volunteer in. Maureen did mention Shelter to her. She often asks her friends' children who study in KL if they volunteer in organizations. She thinks that it is vital for young people to be exposed to the hardship experienced by poor families. “It will give them a better and more balanced aspect of life” she adds.  

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