DATO’ JERALD GOMEZ
Dato’ Jerald Gomez has been involved in charitable works from his school days in La Salle when he served as the Chairman of the Student Service Council which provided assistance to the poor. When he was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1989 he volunteered at the Bar Council’s Legal Aid Centre and served on the Human Rights Committee for many years. He did many pro bono cases in both criminal and civil areas of the law, notably cases involving the protection of vulnerable people like the land rights of the Aboriginal Peoples, deportation cases involving refugees and migrants, cases involving the poor and needy as well as seminars for transvestites and street people to educate them about their rights.
He also served in Grace Community Berhad and was a Board member for several years before his appointment as Secretary of the Board under the able guidance of Rev Dr Henry Pillai.
Although he was involved in humanitarian and charitable work, his goal was always to build a successful legal practice. He honed his legal skills, determined to build a successful legal career. He pursued his Masters in International Commercial Law at Buckingham University and later the Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford and was selected to receive the British Chevening Award. He had done well in the practice of law in Malaysia and was heavily entrenched in it.
However on 18 September 2013, he met with a road accident and the focus of his life changed. Witnesses say he was unconscious and presumed dead as he could not be wakened for several minutes.
He came back from that experience determined to devote more time to helping the poor, the widows, orphans, refugees, the abused and oppressed in society.
On Sept 2014 he set up Beth EL Community Centre to more effectively accomplish these objectives.
“If you are in the luckiest one percent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 percent” – Warren Buffett
Watch Dato’ Jerald share about his experience
DATIN YVONNE RAJ
Datin Yvonne Raj has been in legal practice since 1991. During her school days she would go with friends to visit patients and residents in hospitals and welfare homes. When she became a lawyer she provided her legal expertise on a voluntary basis at the Legal Aid Centre and to women’s organisations, particularly to assist broken families.
She knows firsthand the fear and uncertainty of having to depend on the charity of others for your food and wellbeing, when her family went through a rough patch while she was in school. Thankfully God moved the hearts of friends, family members and members of a church not known to them, to provide shelter and food to see them through that difficult time.
“A sudden turn of events can change the fortunes of anyone, of any family. I am thankful for the abundance that God has provided but God blesses us in order for us to be a blessing.
“Despite the abundance in our nation, in our world, there are still many, many people who are suffering and in need right now. We have started this community centre with the objective to alleviate and eventually eradicate poverty, in our communities – One Life, One Family, One Day at a time.
“I am certain we can do it if we put our shoulders together and ask ourselves, ‘What can I contribute? ‘How can I make a difference?’ Whether you are a child without much to call your own or a senior person with years of experience and an abundance of wealth, you can contribute something to the poor and needy around you.”
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
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