“I do not mind having to forego or give up anything, I just want the best for the children. That is the only thing I can do for them.”
Hundreds of colourful photographs lined the entire staircase, from the ground floor towards the first floor, exhibiting precious moments Lisa spent with her children over the past two decades. Now in her forties, Lisa has fostered and legally adopted 20 children, bringing them up alongside three of her own. She shouldered the huge responsibility of accompanying and supervising them, providing them with a beloved home and legal identity.
Cheerful and outgoing Lisa gets along favourably with people of all ages, always regarded as a sister. Being born into a poor family, Lisa is more mature than her peers. Her father passed away when she was 13 years old, then she earned a living by tutoring kids in her neighbourhood. After graduating from high school, she worked while completing secretarial training. However, the dull work did not suit her lively personality, therefore she went to teach kindergarten, and obtained a childcare centre license through furthering her studies. In 2000, together with her 6-month-old son, Lisa rented a house to start her first childcare centre.
Apart from enterprise operations, Lisa is active in charity work. She volunteers for a number of charity homes, as well as the Social Welfare Department, where she assists children and the elderly in applications for aid. Lisa is also proactive in charity bazaars, managing and arranging donated materials for the needy, not to mention casket donation. Mocking herself as inquisitive and hyperactive, whenever Lisa comes across begging elderly or abandoned babies, she brings them to the police station to lodge reports. Then she brings them to the hospital for a health check, and gets the Social Welfare Department to make necessary follow-up arrangements. She firmly believes and hopes that children will grow up in a loving environment, with good upbringing and education, to be their own masters.
The first incidence of Lisa’s adopted children was 20 years ago, involving an in-home daycare child among others in her childcare centre, whose parents vanished months after entrusting their 1-month-old baby to the centre. Lisa lodged a police report, and decided to continue taking care of the child after lack of follow-up. She thought: since I run a childcare centre, it is only another mouth to feed, no big deal. She ended up legally adopting the child.
As children are continually being abandoned at her doorstep, some suffered domestic abuse while others have parents who could not provide for them, Lisa took them in with open arms. Gradually realizing that cruel reality results in such social issues, she opened a bank account dedicated to charity works, depositing her earnings and donations from her friends to help vulnerable children and elderly. She also helps stateless people and penniless families, so that they have means of surviving.
After toiling for 20 years, and most of her kids being grown up, Lisa decided to close all three of her childcare centres towards the end of 2019, retaining the site in Serdang as a warehouse to store donated materials pending transfer to wherever needed. Following several months of semi-retirement, with her son’s encouragement, her charity work over the years materialized into the founding of Suriaku Children’s Protection Society in April 2020. The concept being a temporary shelter for the needy in their period of transition, where they reintegrate into society after solving problems which they faced. Suriaku is an asylum, a donated goods hub, the outcome of Lisa’s 20 years of volunteering.
Lisa aspires to expand Suriaku across all Malaysian states, in order to benefit more needful folk. She shared her vision with the Social Welfare Department, hoping to attract more good Samaritans to join in the effort. Apart from that, Lisa intends to undertake law studies, after which she could provide direct assistance to the disadvantaged community, especially female victims of intimidation and domestic violence. Instead of superficial support which dissolved after a while, their concerns could be thoroughly addressed.
Even though no longer having to rush around her childcare centres, her children, and various government offices, Lisa retains her passion towards life and its surroundings. Her kind acts and attentions lessened the burdens of the disadvantaged community. Lisa shines like a blazing flame, lighting the path for the needful, providing them a shelter full of love and warmth.
Suriaku Children’s Protection Society
Persatuan Perlindungan Kanak-Kanak Suriaku Selangor
No. 1633, Jalan SK 11/3,
43300, Seri Kembangan,
Suriaku Children’s Protection Society Facebook:
Lisa Hew Facebook:
Text: Daniel Lim & Pua Hui Wen
有你 UNI Production
Producer : Mok Yii Chek
Coordinator : Daniel Lim
Cinematographer : Amelia Lim / Evon Pang
Drone : Daniel Lim
Video Editor : Amelia Lim
Production Assistant : Michael Lerk
Music : 《Romantic Piano》
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