The Kampung Tunku mosque in Petaling Jaya is more than just a place of prayer, especially when it comes to special needs children with autism.
Situated right smack in the middle of Petaling Jaya, Kumpulan Anak Autisme Masjid (KAMI) Playgroup has been accommodating the needs of autistic children from all faiths.
Since November 2017, the playgroup has become a sanctuary for children with autism to play, learn, and engage with friends, family members and volunteers. The children are taught in a creative way with activities such as crafting and games that can stimulate and develop their motor skills.
According to Adline Abd Ghani, one of the founders of KAMI playgroup, the idea of having a multiracial playgroup actually came from a friend and mother of an autistic child, Hasniyati, who works with the Kampung Tunku mosque. She was inspired to start the playgroup after listening to the founder of the Autism Cafe Project (ACP), Adli Yahya’s interview on the radio.
Making the playgroup a success was no easy feat as Hasniyati initially had no one to turn to for help. Eventually, things took a turn for the better when fate brought Adline and Hasniyati together and they haven’t turned back since, all for a good cause.
Although, the playgroup was initially meant to run for 6 months, the centre is now a permanent fixture at the Kg Tunku Mosque and going strong for the past 3 years. Adline relates the success of the playgroup to its affordable rates of RM30 per month compared to the exorbitant sum charged by private autism centres.
Given the ongoing pandemic, the centre is currently closed but hopes to re-open soon with social distancing and SOPs observed and other safety measures customised to meet the needs of autistic children.
If you would like to volunteer at KAMI Playgroup, do check out their Facebook (@KAMIPlaygroup) or Instagram (@ kamiplaygroup).