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回顾沙巴土立社区的蜕变

一颗种子的萌芽

马来西亚世界宣明会推动土立(Tulid)社区发展计划的目的是要支援沙巴州贫困社区的迫切需要。在我们的合作伙伴善牧社会福利基金会(Good Shepherd Services, 前称Pusat Kebajikan Good Shepherd)的协助之下,长期驻守沙巴的马来西亚世界宣明会团队已经推行了各种项目,以解决沙巴孩童在教育、健康和保护儿童措施方面的需求。经过两年时间的评估、资料搜集和社区探访,这项社区发展计划正式于2014年开始启动。

土立社区自那时候起开始慢慢有了变化,希望的种子也渐渐茁壮成长。

见证社区转型

2015年8月,马来西亚世界宣明会执行总裁拿督亚伯拉罕、理事会主席钟和娇、理事会成员孙添灵及赵秋霞探访了土立社区发展计划,见证社区如何在短短几年间发生转变。这趟行程当中,我们探访了土立地区的三个甘榜,并且有机会观看到世界宣明会在Simbuan甘榜举办的第二届12岁以下儿童足球赛。

WVM CEO Dato Ir. K J Abraham with the children of Mukim Tulid. 马来西亚世界宣明会执行总裁拿督亚伯拉罕与土立社区的孩童合影。
Photo caption: 马来西亚世界宣明会执行总裁拿督亚伯拉罕与土立社区的孩童合影。

在2014年之前,任何来到土立探访的人都会看见这个社区在各方面的不足。然而今天我们很欣慰地看到了这里许多鼓舞人心的改善。

鼓励学习之爱

此次行程非常紧凑。众人到访土立社区当天,首先是由马来西亚世界宣明会本地发展计划经理李珊珊为大家介绍这项事工的情况。珊珊是土立事工团队的主要成员,也是这个团队的灵魂人物。其后,我们探访了社区里的一间小学、一个家庭和一间幼儿园。

我们的第一站是Kabatang Baru小学,马来西亚世界宣明会和这所学校合作推动了多个项目。该学校的师生感谢世界宣明会所给予的援助。世界宣明会支援学校重新修建了图书馆,使其焕然一新。图书馆增添了色彩明亮的书架和各种类型的书籍。社区里的家长和考完UPSR的学生们前来一起建造书架和涂漆。其后,世界宣明会供应了许多教育类书籍,以启迪孩子们的智慧与心灵。

The WVM visiting team and volunteers met the students of a pre-school in Mukim Tulid. 马来西亚世界宣明会探访团和志工们与土立社区一所幼儿园的学童们相见。
Photo caption: 马来西亚世界宣明会探访团和志工们与土立社区一所幼儿园的学童们相见。

世界宣明会也很关注孩子们的健康。为了提高学生们的健康意识,我们资助学校建造盥洗槽,以鼓励学生维持正确的洗手习惯。在盥洗槽上,张贴了一份由卫生部贡献的洗手指南。最后,我们在探访的幼儿园,与25个天真无邪的学童见面。他们面对镜头和镁光灯时,一点都不害羞,且大方欢乐地摆出姿势。世界宣明会同工在幼儿园的其中一面墙上彩绘了一幅以大自然为主题的优美壁画。

A mural at a pre-school painted by WVM staff. 马来西亚世界宣明会同仁为一所幼儿园绘制了一幅壁画。Photo caption: 马来西亚世界宣明会同仁为一所幼儿园绘制了一幅壁画。

Pius和家人对孩子的教育非常热心。Pius有五个孩子,他详尽地道说世界宣明会如何尽全力地导引家长们意识到自己在孩子们的未来扮演重要角色。他很感激世界宣明会同工,自从世界宣明会启动了社区发展事工之后,对当地的孩子带来了明显的变化。他的儿子Oswald在2014年的UPSR检定考试中考获4A1B的佳绩。他说:「教育是无法用其他东西取代的资产。」孙添灵先生也同意Pius的说法,他认为:「教育是促成进步与成长的关键,而这个社区的家长们已经看到了教育的重要性。」

马来西亚民众透过世界宣明会的「希望之礼」活动,慷慨捐赠了教学器材和学习用品给土立社区。Kawakaan小学不但是土立最杰出的学校,也是根地咬县的杰出学校*,23位参加UPSR检定考试的学生中,有10位考得全A成绩,这所学校也创下了95.7%的及格率。

Kawakaan小学的副校长Gibin Gansayak笃定地说:「世界宣明会赠送的作业簿帮助提升了我们学生的成绩,特别是那些就读六年级的学生。」来自马来西亚全国各地的支持者的爱心,给了孩子一个丰盛且充满希望的未来。

*数据由沙巴根地咬教育厅提供

社区的团结精神

我们也探访了Mokotong甘榜,这里的居民在社区代表Sainggun的领导之下,建立了他们自己的幼儿园和社区中心。马来西亚世界宣明会供应了建筑所需的材料,居民通力合作把这居所建立起来。值得一提的是,村民是在世界宣明会召开的会议中拟出了设计图,更有两位村民自荐担任幼儿园的老师。两位老师也被安排到善牧社会福利基金会接受培训。

Building Gotong Royong: Community leader En. Sainggun briefs (from left) WVM Board member Gary Soon, WVM Malaysian Programmes manager Lydia Lee, WVM CEO Dato’ Ir. K J Abraham and WVM Board member Dorothy Teoh on the building of the preschool cum community centre. 社区领袖Sainggun(左)正在向马来西亚世界宣明会理事会成员孙添灵、本地发展计划经理李珊珊、执行总裁拿督亚伯拉罕及理事会成员赵秋霞讲解有关建立幼儿园校舍和社区中心的详情。Photo caption: 社区领袖Sainggun(左)正在向马来西亚世界宣明会理事会成员孙添灵、本地发展计划经理李珊珊、执行总裁拿督亚伯拉罕及理事会成员赵秋霞讲解有关建立幼儿园校舍和社区中心的详情。

马来西亚世界宣明会理事会成员赵秋霞说道:「居民们的投入与付出真的是非常感人。他们主动参与这项幼儿园计划有助于确保社区发展的永续性。他们或许拥有的东西不多,但他们献出了宝贵的时间和愿意亲手去建造。」

理事会主席钟和娇也说道:「看到居民们一起来建造这所幼儿园,真是让我们深受鼓舞,也让我们更可以预见未来的许多可能性。」

在此,我们也要特别感谢合作伙伴善牧社会福利基金会长期以来的配合,为我们和社区打下了重要的合作基础,这份支持非常可观。若没有他们,我们或许就无法达至今天的成就。

**幼儿园与社区中心已经完工,并于2015年11月27日启用。

迎向目标

探访当天的其中一个亮点是我们有机会在Simbuan甘榜观看到12岁以下儿童足球赛。即使是在沙巴如此偏僻的地方,足球依旧是许多人着迷不已的运动,而这也是推广儿童健康与营养的绝佳媒介。此外,足球运动也能够缔结社区民众关系以及为孩子们提供一个安全的完乐与成长的环境。

The U-12 Football League was full of thrills and spills. 12岁以下儿童足球比赛洋溢着汗水、热情与欢笑。Photo caption: 12岁以下儿童足球比赛洋溢着汗水、热情与欢笑。

主场村庄派出的A队成功超越来自其他四个村庄的队伍,并赢得比赛。经过了一场紧张刺激的赛事,社区居民和马来西亚世界宣明会团队进行了一场轻松的椰子保龄球赛。这场谐趣的赛事在当天带来了许多的欢笑和乐趣。

跃进与起飞

总而言之,自2012年以来,土立社区发展计划迅速稳定地成长。拿督亚伯拉罕回想此次探访时说道:「我深受鼓舞,我看见各方面都获得正面的改善。我也探访了一些家庭,与家长们会面。」马来西亚世界宣明会在土立推行的计划如此趋向稳定,相信也能够为这个社区带来长远及恒久的变化与发展。

GirlsPhoto caption: 孩子们根据接收到的指示来进行分组。粉红力量不容小觑!

当我们问到李珊珊对这项计划有什么感想,她微笑着说:「土立的现况彰显了上帝的恩典与信实。祂安排我们来到这里,透过我们把祂的爱传出去。」是的,我们最要感谢神看顾着沙巴土立的发展,以及未来很多很多年的变化与成长。

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Stories of a Malaysian community transformed

How it all began

World Vision Malaysia’s Tulid Community Development Programme (CDP) was born as a response to the pressing needs of the poor in Sabah. With the help of local partner Good Shepherd Services (formerly Pusat Kebajikan Good Shepherd), our dedicated and passionate WVM team in Sabah set into motion a programme that would address the needs of Sabah’s children in Education, Health and Child Protection. Two years of thorough assessment, research and gruelling legwork later, the CDP officially started operations in 2014.

And signs of change are increasing by the day.

Seeing the transformation firsthand

In August 2015, World Vision Malaysia CEO Dato’ Ir. K J Abraham, Board Chair Ms. Catherine Choong and Board of Trustees members Ms. Dorothy Teoh and Mr. Gary Soon paid a visit to the Tulid CDP to witness how the community had changed in just a few short years. The group visited three villages in Mukim Tulid and even had the opportunity to watch the second annual Under-12 Football League in Kg. Simbuan.

WVM CEO Dato Ir. K J Abraham with the children of Mukim Tulid. 马来西亚世界宣明会执行总裁拿督亚伯拉罕与土立社区的孩童合影。
Photo caption: WVM CEO Dato Ir. K J Abraham with the children of Mukim Tulid.

Prior to 2014, any visitor to Mukim Tulid would find a community marked by great need. But today, we have many heartwarming accounts of a community being transformed for the better.

Nurturing the love of learning

The visit kicked off with a briefing by WVM Malaysian Programmes Manager Lydia Lee, who has been a key member of the CDP team since the start. The group’s itinerary was packed to the brim, with a visit to the site of WVM’s beginnings in Sabah, a tour of a primary school, a family visit, and a trip to a pre-school.

The first stop was SK Kabatang Baru, a primary school WVM has been partnering with on various projects. They were filled with great appreciation for WVM’s help and support, which was plainly visible everywhere you looked.  In particular, SK Kabatang Baru’s library was truly a sight to behold, with brightly-coloured wooden shelves heavily laden with books of all kinds. A true community effort, parents and students who had finished their UPSR examinations came together to build and paint the shelves. Then, WVM lined them with educational books, a true treasure trove for young minds.

The WVM visiting team and volunteers met the students of a pre-school in Mukim Tulid. 马来西亚世界宣明会探访团和志工们与土立社区一所幼儿园的学童们相见。
Photo caption: The WVM visiting team and volunteers met the students of a pre-school in Mukim Tulid.

With an eye on health, WVM sponsored a sink project in the school to encourage students to wash their hands properly. An illustrated hand-washing guide has pride of place above the sink, a contribution from the Health Department. The visit concluded with a tour of the pre-school, where 25 bright-eyed students greeted the visitors and joyfully posed for the clicking cameras. A beautiful nature-themed mural painted by WVM staff covers one of the walls, a vibrant and colourful reminder of our service in the community.

A mural at a pre-school painted by WVM staff. 马来西亚世界宣明会同仁为一所幼儿园绘制了一幅壁画。Photo caption: A mural at a pre-school painted by WVM staff.

Typical of the growing enthusiasm for education in Mukim Tulid was Mr. Pius and his family. Pius, a father of six, spoke eloquently about how WVM had raised awareness among parents about their role in their children’s future. As he thanked the staff, Pius spoke about the visible difference in Maatol’s children ever since WVM began its efforts in the area. He might have been thinking about his own son, Oswald—who scored 4 A’s and 1 B in the 2014 UPSR examinations—when he said, “Education is an inheritance that cannot be replaced.” Mr. Gary Soon echoed Pius’ sentiment, saying that “education is the link to progress, and parents are seeing that.”

The generosity of caring Malaysians has certainly made a huge impact on education in Tulid, in particular through the learning resources donated via World Vision’s Gifts of Hope programme. Sekolah Kebangsaan Kawakaan is the top school not only in Mukim Tulid, but in the district of Keningau!*, with 10 out of 23 students achieving straight As and 95.7% of students passing the 2015 UPSR national exams.

SK Kawakaan Penolong Kanan Cikgu Gibin Gansayak affirmed, “World Vision’s gift of school workbooks has helped improve our students’ grades, especially those in Standard Six.”  Indeed, the big hearts of our supporters across Malaysia are giving children here hope of a future free of poverty and need.

*Statistics provided by Pejabat Pendidikan Daerah Keningau Sabah

The spirit of community

Next on the itinerary was a visit to Kg. Mokotog, where community members led by Wakil Ketua Anak Negeri (WKAN) En. Sainggun were building their own pre-school-cum-community centre gotong-royong style with materials provided by WVM**. In the spirit of cooperation, everyone in the community had a role to play. The building was designed by the villagers themselves during meetings organised by World Vision. Two community members stepped up to become future pre-school teachers and received training from Pendidikan PraSekolah SIB, WVM’s close partner in Sabah.

Building Gotong Royong: Community leader En. Sainggun briefs (from left) WVM Board member Gary Soon, WVM Malaysian Programmes manager Lydia Lee, WVM CEO Dato’ Ir. K J Abraham and WVM Board member Dorothy Teoh on the building of the preschool cum community centre. 社区领袖Sainggun(左)正在向马来西亚世界宣明会理事会成员孙添灵、本地发展计划经理李珊珊、执行总裁拿督亚伯拉罕及理事会成员赵秋霞讲解有关建立幼儿园校舍和社区中心的详情。Photo caption: Community leader En. Sainggun briefs (from left) WVM Board member Gary Soon, WVM Malaysian Programmes manager Lydia Lee, WVM CEO Dato’ Ir. K J Abraham and WVM Board member Dorothy Teoh on the building of the preschool cum community centre

Board member Ms. Dorothy Teoh was inspired by what she saw. “The communities’ response and involvement was very heartening. The fact that they’ve taken ownership of the pre-school project will help ensure its sustainability. They may not have much but they gave what they had – their hands and their time.”

Board Chair Ms. Catherine Choong sums it up, “Seeing the community come together to build the pre-school building was such an encouragement, and a prequel to future possibilities.”

The partnership of GSS was critical in helping us make inroads into Tulid and build lasting relationships with community members. We could not have achieved so much without their support.

**The pre-school and community centre was completed and opened on 27 November 2015.

Going for the goal

One of the highlights of the visit was an afternoon spent watching the Under-12 Football League in Kg. Simbuan. Even in rural Sabah, football is an obsession like no other sport, which makes it a perfect platform to promote health and nutrition for children. Besides, football is a great way to bring communities together and give children a safe environment to play and grow.

The U-12 Football League was full of thrills and spills. 12岁以下儿童足球比赛洋溢着汗水、热情与欢笑。Photo caption: The U-12 Football League was full of thrills and spills.

During the League, the hosts’ A-team swept to victory in convincing fashion over four rival villages. After the thrills and spills of the League, community members and the WVM group participated in a relaxed and friendly coconut bowling competition, in which WVM carried off the honours amidst plenty of laughs and cheers.

By leaps and bounds

All in all, Tulid CDP has grown in leaps and bounds since work first began in 2012. Reflecting on the visit, Dato’ Ir. K J Abraham said, “I’m very encouraged, coming here and seeing the possibilities, and meeting the families and parents.” With WVM’s programme now firmly established in the Mukim Tulid district, there is great potential for lasting change and development among communities in the area.

GirlsWhen asked for her thoughts on the programme, Lydia Lee mused, “Tulid is a picture of God’s goodness and faithfulness. He has sent us to show His love in action.” Indeed, we thank God for the progress made in Tulid, Sabah. Here’s to many more years of transformation!

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To find out more on our community transformation, click here.
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Passionate about being a child sponsor

“RM130 for two children may not be a lot, but to know that it can help complete two development projects truly encourages me. If all of us play a part and sponsor just one child, what an impact that would be!”  –Lisa Chang Siew Ling, Child Sponsor of 2 children

For Lisa, the most satisfying part of child sponsorship is when World Vision successfully phases out of the community. That’s when the families have become self-reliant and the community takes ownership of its future development.

“It (child sponsorship) is more than just a donation. It helps lay a solid foundation for sustainable development and brings hope to children living in poverty,” she explains. Lisa is convinced that through World Vision’s long-term development work, her sponsored children and their communities will thrive and have promising futures.

Lisa had felt compelled to sponsor a child after reading stories of poverty around the world and about World Vision’s work among the poor. Her first sponsored child was from Xinjiang, China. Later, while volunteering at a World Vision experiential booth, she decided to sponsor her second child – a boy from Praiburng, Thailand. The experience is very meaningful and emotional for as she puts herself in the shoes of those struggling to survive daily because of poverty. The stories she had read came to life for her! Since then, Lisa hardly missed volunteering at any World Vision’s events as long as time permits. She is always happy to share with people about child sponsorship and its concept in bringing about lasting change.

In 2013, her commitment to bringing about change in Xinjiang came to an end as World Vision phased out of the community. Without a second thought, Lisa continued her sponsorship with another child, also from China but in another area development programme.

The vulnerability of children especially those facing the harsh reality of poverty had left a deep impression on Lisa. She is determined to continue helping these children find hope and a way out of the vicious cycle of poverty through World Vision’s child sponsorship programme.

Sponsor a Child today and give him or her a promising future!

Joys of Child Sponsorship


“I want them to know that there is someone out there in the world who loves them.”
Elle Chin, Child Sponsor of 2 children

The year was 2013 when Elle came face to face with the sad reality of poverty during a World Vision Famine Advocate trip to Basanthi, India. Meeting 11-year old Parama was a defining moment for her.

Photographed with Parama during the 2013 Famine Advocates’ Visit to Basanthi, India.

Parama lives with her aging grandmother. They had been battling hunger, having little to eat each day. When Elle met them, the hungry little girl was shivering and her hands were cold. Elle gave them a bag of rice and what happened next tugged at her heartstrings. Parama’s grandmother burst into tears of joy and gratitude! Today, Elle is relieved to know that Parama is being sponsored under World Vision’s child sponsorship programme.

Elle’s child sponsorship journey began after she participated in World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine Camp back in 2007. It taught her that every single effort counts, no matter how small it may be.

“It was alarming to know that many children do not live past their 5th birthday due to poverty. Sponsoring a child is the least I can do to bring lasting change in the lives of these children living in difficult circumstances. I know many who are hesitant to commit to a long-term sponsorship programme but having been a child sponsor for many years, I can assure you that the money spent is worthwhile – as we will see lasting change in the lives of those struggling with poverty,” said Elle, who is now World Vision Malaysia’s Youth Mobiliser.

For Elle, it is sheer joy whenever she receives her sponsored children’s drawings, letters and photos. Reading each child’s personal progress as well as their community development encourages her and she feels blessed to have played a part.

“Through letters and gifts, I hope that I can encourage my sponsored children to achieve their dreams. I want them to know that there is someone out there in the world who loves them.”

Sponsor a child today! Be part of World Vision’s work in bringing hope to children and communities in need.

黄丽娟用爱心为孩子播种希望

「在我们的生命中,应该做些有意义的事。之前在电视上看到关于世界宣明会的资讯。当我想为有需要的社群出一份力时,就自然而然联想到世界宣明会。当我开始 助养第一名助养童时,当时的每月助养费是50令吉。这笔善款不算多,但却能帮助到有需要的社群,非常有意义。我很高兴能成为儿童助养计划里的其中一个助养 人。 」世界宣明会志工兼儿童助养人——黄丽娟(Rachel Ng)分享道。

来自槟城的儿童助养人黄丽娟,共助养了11名儿童,早前更参与了世界宣明会的助养人探访团,到蒙古探访当地的孩子。

2013年3月,黄丽娟第一次参加世界宣明会的助养人探访团,到印尼的特尔纳特(Ternate)社区探访她的助养童及了解世界宣明会在当地的工作。这趟爱心之旅开拓了黄丽娟的天空,让她亲眼见证到自己的小小付出,所带来的巨大成果,从此更加坚定了她支持儿童助养计划的决心。

「探访之前,我并不了解儿童助养计划如何运作及资金的分配。亲身到社区探访后,更加清楚地了解世界宣明会的事工,不但为有需要的社群提供资源,同时也为他们提供培训,提升他们的技能。」黄丽娟分享道。

黄丽娟不只是亲眼目睹到助养童的生活获得改善,孩子们的纯真和热情也深深地感动了她。初次见到自己的助养童时,黄丽娟的内心非常激动。「原来他比我想象中还要大呢!他14岁了,但是却连最基本的计算法也不会。我本身是安亲班的院长,当天看到了他们的情况后,很想当场教导他们。」黄丽娟有感而发地表示。

「我们和当地的孩子相处得非常愉快,最感动我的是,有个孩子问我马来西亚远不远?问我可不可以留下来陪他。他说话的时候,还靠在我的身上呢。 」短短几天的相处,孩子们的热情融化了黄丽娟,让她留下了深刻的回忆。

今年5月,黄丽娟再度参与世界宣明会的助养人探访团,到蒙古探访她的另一名助养童。「这次的旅程非常特别,让我同时见证到两个处于不同发展阶段的社区工作。一个是发展计划即将完结的纳赖(Nalaikh)社区,另一个则是处于发展初期的巴嘎诺尔(Baganuur)社区。」

其中最令黄丽娟印象深刻的是纳赖社区的感恩仪式。当地居民和职员一起上台表演,感谢所有的助养人。从他们的脸上,黄丽娟看到了他们的不舍之情。经过他们十多年的用心付出,今天终于看见成果了,大家都非常地感动。

黄丽娟在印尼及蒙古亲眼见证到世界宣明如何透过各种不同的发展项目和培训课程,帮助他们自力更生。「我非常认同这种『授人以鱼,不如授之以渔』的理念,也让我对世界宣明会在扶贫发展工作的善款分配与运作方式充满信心,这也是促使我想要助养更多儿童的原因。」

黄丽娟说道:「很多人并不知道社会非常需要他们。即使只是小小的付出,也能为这世界带来转变。您的善举不但可以帮到别人,自己的生活也过得更有意义。希望有接触过或听过关于世界宣明会的人,能抽出一些时间去了解世界宣明会的事工。如果一人助养一名小孩,凝聚大家的力量,就可以帮助更多的人。我非常感恩有一群如此热心和充满梦想的社区职员在默默地付出,努力地改善着社区的生活。他们无私的奉献精神远比我们的捐款来得更大。」

从一个儿童助养人到热心的志工,黄丽娟不遗余力地付出她的爱心,也从中感受到为善最乐的喜悦。「我从去年开始投入志工服务,在我家附近举行的巡展活动中当志工,借此机会与更多人分享关于儿童助养计划,希望能号召更多人一起加入这个爱心行列。」

除了助养儿童,黄丽娟(后排右2)也热衷于志工服务,身体力行地鼓励更多人加入她的爱心行列。

除了助养儿童,黄丽娟(后排右2)也热衷于志工服务,身体力行地鼓励更多人加入她的爱心行列。

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黄丽娟参与儿童饥饿行动8小时营会的志工服务。

如果您也深受黄丽娟的善举所感动,想了解更多关于儿童助养计划的详情,欢迎浏览 https://www.worldvision.com.my/ch/sponsor-a-child

 

 

Helping Victims of Violence Against Women – Like My Mother

Today on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Kristian Foster of World Vision Canada shares her own story – and describes how World Vision’s work is helping change the stories of women and girls around the world.

I first experienced male violence when I was 12 years old. My mother’s boyfriend grabbed me by my arms and yelled at me for touching his beard. Little did I know it at the time, but he was schizophrenic. I wasn’t really the cause of his anger. Still, my bruises were more than skin deep. I would never touch another man’s face.

In university, my gender relations professor asked us to interview someone about their history with violence. I decided to interview my mom. This was the first time I learned that, before I was even born, she had been kidnapped and raped.

Thankfully, my mom had escaped after four days. She made life as normal as possible for me and my brothers in the years ahead. I don’t know how, but she somehow buried the experience deep down inside, and hid it from the three of us until we were adults. She worked hard to be a wonderful mom, in spite of what she’d been through.

I feel so fortunate now to serve with World Vision, an organization that helps women and girls all over the world. While my mom went through something too brutal to imagine, there was no question that, after her escape, she’d be able to return to our house. I’ve learned that in some countries, many rape victims don’t even have that option.

A weapon of war

Women and girls all over the world are potential targets of violence, whether by family members, boyfriends or strangers. Rape is often used as a weapon of war. The Democratic Republic of Congo has some of the worst rape statistics in the world. In North Kivu during the first half of 2012, it was recorded that 2,517 people, overwhelmingly women, had survived rape.

Safi* is one of those survivors. She was raped by soldiers two years ago while she, her mother-in-law and other women were coming back from the market where they were selling vegetable oil.

“After I was raped, my husband denied me,” she says. “I was rejected. It was so painful to get separated from my children. It was unfair because it was not my fault.”

s130292-1: Bringing Hope of a Brighter Life to Survivors of Rape in Eastern Congo
Safi was raped by soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and blamed by her husband.

Fortunately, Safi met a fellow survivor, Florence, who leads an organization supported by World Vision to provide help to victims of sexual violence.

The journey home

After their recovery, the women are welcomed into a community of other survivors: women and girls who understand what they’re been through. When a woman is ready, the organization reaches out to her family on her behalf, helping them understand that the rape was beyond her control. This begins a reconciliation process with the families, and helps the women start the next chapters of their lives.

In Safi’s case, the process is working. She is back in her community with her family, and now runs her own business. The proceeds have helped the family build a sturdier shelter than they had before. It seems that, as with my mom, rape has not got the better of her.

“I am happy today,” says Safi. “I have all my children with me. My husband also accepted to take me back. I have built a house where (we) can stay. I feel so grateful. Other women like me are still living in huts and under plastic sheets. Others are still being raped or taken hostage in the bush. I can’t forget them, I pray that God’s hands reach and help them just like me.”

A way to help

Many countries have grassroots programs for women and girls who are victims of violence. They offer things like medical care, counselling, and places to live as the victims heal. Like Safi, many rape victims are blamed by their friends and even families. They need advocates as they ease back into normal life. As part of its ongoing work against poverty and injustice, World Vision provides support to many of these grassroots programs.

Safi is living proof that there is hope, even in the darkest conditions. If you are looking for a way to help girls and women, you can choose to sponsor a girl child through World Vision Malaysia.

*name changed for protection

This story was originally shared on Huffington Post Canada.

Building Relationships with my Sponsored Children

“Sponsoring a child was not an instantaneous decision but definitely a meaningful one.”
Yu Foong Sin, Child Sponsor of 3 children

It was the concept of building a relationship with the sponsored child that interested Foong Sin the most when she was deciding to sponsor a child. After learning more about World Vision’s work, she decided to take the step to sponsor a child in 2011 – Thi Pan, a little girl from Vietnam.

When Foong Sin received Thi Pan’s profile, she had the thought of visiting her someday.

She did.

Foong Sin
Foong Sin joined a child sponsors’ visit to Vietnam in 2012. She finally met Thi Pan face to face, and even her parents. Foong Sin was happy to know that Thi Pan’s parents were committed to her education and well-being. She also saw firsthand the dedication and commitment of the World Vision staff in reaching out to help and transform the local communities for self-sustainability. Due to the remote location of the communities, the staff had to travel the long distances on harsh roads but they didn’t mind. It was a heart-warming and eye-opening experience for her.

Foong Sin first got to know about World Vision and its work through a roadshow event.  Because of that, today she is a dedicated volunteer for World Vision roadshows, with a mission to tell others about the concept of child sponsorship.

“It is pure joy to see a child thrive and all it takes is giving a small portion of what we have. For those contemplating to join the child sponsorship journey, be assured that you will not regret it as you’ll be making a real difference. Knowing that my small giving can give the children better opportunities in life truly encourages me as a child sponsor,” says Foong Sin who now sponsors 3 children – from Vietnam, Myanmar and China.

Having a Heart for Children

“Our first encounter with World Vision was through its child sponsorship programme. It has truly been life-changing and fulfilling to see our sponsored children growing up healthy, happy and with the hope of a better future.” Eric Tham & Diane Vo, Child Sponsors of 3 children

A couple who has the heart for children, Eric and Diane first sponsored a child in 2010. When they started to volunteer their time and service at World Vision, they learned more about the impact of World Vision’s work among children and communities in need. As a result, they decided to sponsor two more children.

Eric_Diane
The epitome of their sponsorship journey was their visits to the sponsored children’s home in Myanmar and South Africa. They saw for themselves how World Vision’s development projects were empowering the local community. The dedication and care of the staff working among the sponsored children and the communities truly touched them. It was a wonderful time of bonding as they interacted with the local people. Most of all, it was priceless to be able to play and spend time with their sponsored children! They were finally able to see them face to face, instead of just looking at the photos they had been receiving.

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“Today, as World Vision’s volunteers, we are doing what we can to inspire others to join us on the child sponsorship journey! We believe that we are not only changing the lives of our sponsored children; they have in fact changed ours, too,” said Eric Tham.

Be a part of World Vision’s work in helping children and communities in need. Sponsor a child today at www.worldvision.com.my/sponsor-a-child

不要小看自己那一点小小的付出!

「我觉得身为一个助养人,应该常写信给助养童。我探访美撒良的时候,看到孩子收到助养人的信是有多么开心。所以我也常鼓励其他助养人写信给助养童,哪怕是短短的几句话。这些信件和话语是可以让孩子更勇敢成长的动力。」Emily Teoh非常恳切且真挚地这么说。

2014年,Emily偕同外甥女参加了美撒良亲子探访之旅。在这趟旅程中,Emily有机会看到社区小孩的日常生活。Emily说,「世界宣明会推行的发展计划真的帮了他们很多」。比如说,喝水这件事对马来西亚人来说,是再简单自然不过了;当她看到美撒良的小孩竟然很「享受」饮用干净的水,这让她心里受到了震撼! Emily赞赏当地的世界宣明会同工和社区居民维持着良好的关系。社区居民得到了任何好东西会和其他人一起共享,不会只想着独自占有。

出发之前,Emliy就开始对在城市成长的外甥女做心理建设。她让孩子知道贫弱社区的环境条件可能和城市并不相若,即使到时候心里会觉得不舒适,也要努力调适自己的心态,并入乡随俗。到了美撒良,外甥女很快的就和当地孩子打成一片,不费吹灰之力地融入了当地人的生活节奏。这趟旅程也让外甥女成长了许多,如今她懂得更加体恤别人的处境。

平时,助养人和助养童不太容易有机会面对面接触,因此信件通讯成为了他们之间建立关系的重要途径。在美撒良的时候,当地同工告诉Emily,孩子们会为着收到助养人的礼物或信件而非常开心。这让Emily确信助养人写信给助养童的重要,这个行动的意义非常重大。Emily说她之前曾因为一些缘故而错过了助养孩子的生日,心里感到愧疚。然而,她还是把生日礼物寄去,也持续与孩子保持联系。这个行动是助养人付出关心的表现,收到礼物和信件的孩子也会受到莫大的鼓励,孩子们会有更大信心与动力去面对生活种种。

Emily除了是儿童助养人,也是世界宣明会的志工。她定时来到世界宣明会的办公室协助处理一些琐碎工作,她说这样可以帮助我们同工节省许多时间,而我们也可以专注在更重要的工作上。而在巡展担任志工的时候,Emily发现接触人群并不是件容易的事,她学会了放下自我,更有耐心地去面对参观巡展的人们。

EmilyTeoh

Emily最后这么告诉我们:「认真说来,65令吉不是个很大的数目。一点点付出,就可以带来大大的收获,帮助到别人,也令更多人受惠。」

助人为善带来的快乐是用物质难以衡量的。儿童助养计划为孩子创造希望,也让整个社区走上实现梦想的道路。你愿意出一份力守护他们的梦想吗?鼓励你加入儿童助养人行列:https://www.worldvision.com.my/ch/sponsor-a-child

Your small sacrifice can bring about a big change!

By Emily Teoh
World Vision Child Sponsor and Volunteer

“I feel that as a child sponsor, I should write regularly to my sponsored child. When I visited Mae Sariang ADP, I noticed how much joy these letters brought to the children. That’s why I always try to convince other child sponsors to correspond with their sponsored child. These letters of encouragement will help the children grow up confidently and with courage”, said Emily earnestly.

In 2014, Emily and her niece took part in the Mae Sariang sponsor & child visit. Emily had the opportunity to see for herself the day to day lives of the children. Emily said, “The World Vision Area Development Programme has helped a lot of people. For example, drinking water is such a normal and simple thing for Malaysians; and when I see the children of Mae Sariang thoroughly enjoying clean
drinking water, the contrast caused such distress for me. Emily praised the World Vision staff and community for maintaining a good community, with a sense of people coming together to share good things rather than just doing their own thing.

Before embarking, Emily mentally prepared her city-bred niece. She explained that the situation of the village would not be comparable to the life she knew, that she might feel some discomfort, and that she would need to watch her actions and thoughts. At Mae Sariang, her niece quickly made friends with the local girls, effortlessly learning to fit in with them. She saw her niece growing in maturity by learning compassion for people who are different.

Under normal circumstances, a child sponsor and a sponsored child would not have the opportunity to meet face to face. This is why corresponding through letters is important. In Mae Sariang,  the World Vision staff told Emily that sponsored children who received presents or letters are extremely thankful. This made Emily realise how important letters are to sponsored children. Emily said that she felt guilty for missing her sponsored child’s birthday. However, she decided to send a birthday gift anyway to continue building the relationship. A sponsor’s acts of care through gifts and letters are meant to encourage the sponsored child and allow her to build confidence.

Other than being a child sponsor, Emily is also a World Vision volunteer. She regularly helps at the World Vision office with administrative tasks, allowing World Vision staff to save a fair amount of time and focus on other more important tasks. When she volunteers at roadshows, she realises that explaining sponsorship to a crowd is not an easy task. She has had to learn to be more patient with the people that she meets.

EmilyTeoh

In Emily’s own words: “Frankly, RM65 is not a large amount. Every bit forked out will reap a larger outcome. Helping others with what we have will bring much impact to those in need.”

The joy of giving is immeasurable. The child sponsorship programme brings hope for children while also paving the way for communities to fulfill their potential. Would you be interested to bring hope to those in need? Do take part in the child sponsorship programme today : https://www.worldvision.com.my/sponsor-a-child