Language Sites
  • UCAN China
  • UCAN India
  • UCAN Indonesia
  • UCAN Vietnam

Young Asians on Malaysia youth ministry course

Month-long program will enable Fondacio members to help those in need

Young Asians on Malaysia youth ministry course
Fondacio participants at the Church youth center in Kota Kinabalu
Nina Chan, Kota Kinabalu

January 24, 2011

Mail This Article
(For more than one recipient, type addresses separated by commas)

A month-long program in Sabah, in eastern Malaysia, is teaching 22 young participants from the Institute of Formation, Fondacio Asia how local Churches are living out their mission of communion, dialogue and evangelization. One area where the Church is playing a leading role is on the issue of youth migration. Lots of young people from Sabah, Malaysia’s easternmost state, flock to big cities in the western part of the country in search of a better life, however many end up living on the streets, Dominic Lim, executive secretary of the Kota Kinabalu Archdiocesan Secretariat. This prompted the Church in Sabah to try and help would-be migrants. One such scheme is a “One-stop Youth Centre” in Kota Kinabalu, the state capital, Lim told the Fondacio youths, who come across the Asia-Pacific region. There are around 100,000 homeless youths from Sabah in West Malaysian cities as well as in Singapore, he added. It’s a major culture shock when they reach these cities. Furthermore, Catholic youths are easily converted to Islam in what is an environment of subtle Islamization, he said. The One-stop Youth Centre is a place where all youths thinking about leaving home can go, said Mary Ann Baltazar, a volunteer at the center. “All the services we provide here, including legal advice, counselling and computer and Internet use are free of charge,” she said. It’s a safe place for young people to seek professional assistance and support on issues that matter most to them such as education, relationships, work, family, financial stability, she added. One Fondacio participant, Rodrigo Babiera, Jr. from the Philippines, said his parish set up a similar center five years ago in Payatas, a huge slum in Manila. He said such centers are much needed across Asia, and plans to help his community upgrade their center with what he has learned in Sabah. Related reports Malaysian, Indonesian govts tackle trafficking Apostasy law worries Malaysian Church People come before business MK12971.1338
UCAN needs your support to continue our independent journalism
Access to UCAN stories is completely free of charge - however it costs a significant amount of money to provide our unique content. UCAN relies almost entirely on donations from our readers and donor organizations that support our mission. If you are a regular reader and are able to support us financially, please consider making a donation. Click here to donate now.