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5th November 2010

An Appeal for Funds to repair fire damage.

The shelter needs funds for repairs before school reopens in January. — Pictures by Peggy Loh

News Reproduced here: -

EIGHTEEN children escaped unhurt when fire swept through the upper floor of Villa Paulos, a shelter home in Jalan Mariamah, Johor Baru, recently.

Eyewitnesses said the fire started in the boys' dormitory about 10am and spread quickly to the other dorms. 

Two fire engines took about 90 minutes to put out the fire that caused extensive damage to the dormitories, walls, ceiling and roof.

Pertubuhan Penjagaan Anak-Anak Yatim dan Miskin Villa Paulos is a registered non-profit, voluntary welfare organisation, which was incorporated in 2008 to operate the shelter for neglected, exploited, abused, abandoned and orphaned school-going children.

F. Paul Netto, Villa Paulos's board chairman, was grateful that no one was hurt. 

However, he was concerned about the children as they were in shock after losing everything they owned in the fire.

Some of the children have been sent back to their guardians and others are staying with church members. 

They have lost the comfort and security of living in Villa Paulos, and their future is uncertain as they cannot return to the shelter until the damage is repaired.

Rotary Club of Tebrau secretary, Victor Raj, who inspected the damage on behalf of Mathew John, the club's president, said the club is appealing to Rotary clubs in Johor to help rebuild the shelter.

Netto hoped that the building would be ready in time for the children to start the new school term next year.

Funds are needed for repairing and furnishing the shelter while gifts in kind, donations and pledges are welcomed.

For details, call Netto at 019-731 0194 and Theresa Lee at 016-771 1689. 

Cheques can be made to Villa Paulos and sent to Netto