PPIA was started in 1999, in response to a dire need to help the many children with intellectual challenges in the town of Batu Pahat. Their medical conditions range from Down Syndrome, Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Dyslexia and other forms of disabilities.
Their needs were not met at that time, as there was a lack of public awareness, facilities and special help in Batu Pahat. Ignorance, social stigma, superstitions and general apathy towards them and their families further confined and isolated them from society.
It was due to this crying need for help that Gereja Grace Batu Pahat initiated this community project, which has continued and expanded until today. Since 1999, PPIA has continued to grow from one programme to the three programmes that it has right now. PPIA’s expansion has allowed us to greatly increase our scope of work and the number of clients that we service.
Milestones in the Expansion of PPIA
- Deacons Court of GGBP drew up a Vision and Mission Plan for the church.
- One of its 7 pillars, a Social Concern Project as an outreach point to the community was established.
- It became the fore runner of GPM’s Vision of “Church Without Walls” which was set up only in 2012.
- A Management committee was set up.
- A Key staff was identified.
- A temporary office was set up for preparation of resources.
- The former Mission House left behind by the LMS.
- A second staff was identified, publicity and recruitment of students began.
- The Early Intervention Center for Special Children opened its doors for registration of students.
- We had 2 full time staff, 17 children and some volunteers.
- It became the first center in Batu Pahat to provide educational support for special children from the towns of Kluang, Muar, Yong Peng and Pontian.
- A special Toy and Resource Library was set up with a special Japanese Grant of RM 60,000.00. It is opened to all parents with children in PPIA.
- A Special Public Seminar was organized and held at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce to bring about greater awareness of help for special children in the community.
- Weekly staff prayer meetings was held to intercede for the children and their families.
- A monthly prayer meeting for the parents of our special children. Non believing parents who were willing, joined us at such sessions.
- In house training were held for new staff and volunteers.
- The Day Training Centre was set up to cater for older children in independent living skills. Children from the EIP centre needed a continuation program.
- New staff was identified and sent for training with Malaysian Care.
- The DTC was housed at Taman Pantai.
- This centre closed in 2010 due to lack of staff. Students were channeled to government schools.
- With greater awareness came greater need. The Production Workshop was set up to cater for older children and adults.
- The main objective of the production workshop was to help special youths and adults to find dignity in work.
- Simple packing jobs were brought to the centre for them to do under a supervised environment.
- PPIA was given Tax Exemption status by the government.
- Fund raising dinners and activities were carried out on alternate years to meet the needs and expenses of the 3 centres.
- The management committee embarked on a vision of having a One Stop Integrated Center to house all the centres and maximise resources.
- The Job Training Centre was started to cater to the higher functioning special children and equip them with specific skills for open employment.
- The centre was housed at the upstairs of a shop unit in Taman Pantai.
- Employment support and Placement Program was set up to support and follow up the trainees who have found jobs outside.
- A piece of land was bought at Jalan Ayam Sulu with the intension of building our own Integrated Center.
- When applying for conversion for our specific purpose, it was disallowed by the Town Council as it had been gezetted for Industrial use.
- It was later sold and another alternative piece of land was sourced.
- The sale of the present block of 7 shop units was brought to our attention
- An EGM was called and a vote was taken in favor of buying and converting the shop units for our immediate use rather than building our own centre from scratch.
- The Sale and purchase agreement was signed.
- The full amount was paid up.
- Renovation work began.
- In August 2013 all the 3 centres moved into the new premise.
- Our new PPIA Integrated Centre is now fully functional.
- Opening Ceremony on 16th August.
- Fund Raising.
Introduction to Multi-sensory room (sponsored by Ronald McDonald House Charity (RMHC)).
- Charity Dinner.
- Hall renovation – ready for public usage.
- CIMB Foundation Grant.
- Age well seminar.
- Looking forward to NECIC 2018.