Tag Archive: 马来西亚世界宣明会

The scourge of human trafficking: Is there hope?

By Edmond Lee
Communications
World Vision Malaysia

The world is moving
In 2015, Europe faced an unprecedented refugee crisis. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that 1,011,700 migrants arrived there by sea and almost 34,900 by land.

Many of these refugees hailed from Syria, where the civil war rages on, driving families from their homes and forcing them on a dangerous journey to the safety of Europe’s shores. They face uncertain futures, but to them, that is preferable to almost certain death.

Unfortunately, where there is human suffering and desperation, there are people ready to exploit it.

The tragic costs of human trafficking
Closer to home, news broke in May 2015 that 28 illegal human trafficking camps had been found along the border between Malaysia and Thailand, near which were found 139 mass graves filled with the bodies of migrants. This case, and the subsequent trial of 92 human traffickers in Thailand, threw more light on the horrific spectre of human trafficking.

The scale of the problem is staggering: an estimated 21 million people have been trafficked worldwide – victims of a ‘business’ that has made $32 billion in profits. Sadly, 5.5 million children have been caught by this dark trade, forced to beg, perform hard labour, or even become sex workers.

Although traffickers often prey on refugee children, more commonly they lure underprivileged children and youths into their sinister web by the promise of steady work abroad.  Economic desperation at home often places enormous pressure on migrating young people to succeed and send money to their families; helping their families survive can make even the worst hardships seem worthwhile.

Occasionally, victims of trafficking escape or get rescued, but continuing poverty and suffering is driving more people into the arms of criminals every day. What can stem the tide?

A reason to stay

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Sauphorn with a large harvest of corn.

If economic desperation is a key reason people choose to leave, then economic opportunities can persuade them to stay. Take Sauphorn, a woman in Leuk Daek, Cambodia. Previously, during the dry seasons, she didn’t have the water to grow crops.

“I felt so upset when we didn’t have much food,” she says. “My children would get sick because they didn’t have enough.” In this vulnerable state, Sauphorn could have been swayed by the opportunity to earn an income abroad to care for her children at home.

But after World Vision arrived in her community, she was empowered to keep her children healthy through health and hygiene education, and has even gone on to train others in her community. By learning best practices for farming, her yields have more than quadrupled.

World Vision is transitioning out of her community soon, but she isn’t worried. “World Vision has already strengthened me for 10 years.” With her newfound confidence and expertise, others in her community gain the resilience to stay.

Education empowers
Traffickers often prey on the less-educated, but they would have a hard time in Leuk Daek, Cambodia. Families now have food security and know the value of education, so more and more children are able to go to school, where they can learn more about their rights and how not to be taken advantage of.

One such student is Bunteum, who is now 22.

His parents struggled to feed their family of 10. But through World Vision, they learned life skills and agriculture expertise that enabled them to provide for their family.

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Bunteum now shares his knowledge as a school teacher and advisor to the Youth Club.

By taking part in the World Vision Youth Club, Bunteum learned about children’s rights and how to help his community. He worked alongside World Vision to raise awareness on education, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and of course, human trafficking.

All of this had a lasting impact on Bunteum’s life. “After I joined the club, I understood about my future. I could prepare my plan,” he says. He finished school and has returned to his community as a primary school teacher. He also consults with the Youth Club, educating and empowering a new generation of children.

Having hope keeps them safe
In 2013, the UN adopted a resolution to make 30 July the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. Raising awareness is indeed important, but awareness alone won’t keep vulnerable children and families away from human traffickers; not as long as the economic rewards seem to outweigh the risks.

But what is true in Leuk Daek is true everywhere: by giving communities access to education, economic opportunities and social protection, children and families won’t succumb to the risks of trafficking and exploitation in order to survive. The promise of hope and self-sufficiency will keep them safe at home, where they belong.

By sponsoring a child, you can give families hope and help them resist traffickers. Click here to become a child sponsor today.

Labour prompted by Love

MichCViet
Here’s Michelle sharing a lighthearted moment with Mr Lam, Lac Son ADP Manager

By Michelle Chun
World Vision Malaysia

The tall, narrow buildings looked like colourful blocks as our bus left busy Hanoi and headed into Vietnamese countryside. Suddenly, the tiny green patches I had seen from the plane became lush paddy fields stretching far and wide until towering mountain ranges stopped them from conquering the horizon altogether.

I was on my way to Lac Son, a province in northern Vietnam. World Vision Malaysia is the support office for an Area Development Programme there, and we were taking a group of Malaysian sponsors (and their companions) to visit their sponsored children.

Having been in World Vision Malaysia for three months, I still feel new. Every day poses a new challenge, a new climb. When I was asked if I would be willing to travel to Lac Son and gather stories for some of our publications, my first thought was, “God, is this You?”

I had come into World Vision after months of an incredible struggle between surrender and safety. Having taken unpaid leave from my previous job to attend a three-month Bible school, I had already felt that something new was coming. And when He told me to leave my job and simply trust Him with my future, I knew the something new had come. It was terrifying.

Three months later, after many tears, crippling fears and learning to utterly depend on a God I knew I could trust but was many times afraid to, I found myself in World Vision.

Another three months on, and there I was: sitting in a crowded bus, surrounded by Manglish chatter and an almost tangible air of excitement as we left the colourful buildings behind. Settling into the steady jolting of the bus, I had a quiet conversation with God, thanking Him for this rare opportunity and asking Him to keep my heart close to His. I really wanted the trip to be more than an assignment; I wanted to know Him better.

Needless to say, He never disappoints. Throughout the entire trip, I felt as though I was on a journey into the middle of His heart. Each day revealed a little more of God’s heart, a greater revelation of who He is. And as I discovered more of Him, I learnt more about myself, my faith and my work.

Growing up, I’d always wanted to love and serve God perfectly. But it hardly seemed attainable. I eventually burnt out after years of trying to be the ‘good’ Christian, disillusioned and discouraged. It was in Bible school that I reconnected with Him and embraced the knowledge that He has a great purpose for my life. All I need to do is trust Him.

My time in Lac Son was where He reassured me that World Vision is where He wants me to be, right now. I had always wanted my work to be my ministry, and it’s definitely easier to find that place in a Christian organisation. However, it’s also easy to lose sight of it. In marketing, I sometimes find myself chasing numbers instead of looking to the One who brings in the numbers. In Lac Son, the Lord brought everything back into focus.

It was also during this trip that I saw this truth in action: God is love. I’ve known this phrase ever since I could read, but I have begun to see it with greater clarity.  He is love. As a Christ-centred organisation, World Vision therefore works from a place of love. It is His vision of love we weave into people’s lives with each step we take toward community transformation.

I saw His love everywhere. It was in Canh—an ADP sponsorship staff—who knew the name of every child running up to her trying to steal a hug and hello. I saw it shining through the gentle Mr Lam, faithfully leading his small but passionate team of staff committed to serving the poorest of the poor. I saw it amongst the child sponsors as they lugged their big suitcases and bigger hearts, bearing gifts for the children.

And I saw what His love brings—the shining confidence in Nguyet’s eyes as she recounted how, through World Vision’s training and help, she became a successful chicken farmer; the contagious joy in the children’s laughter as they darted around muddy puddles and yellowing columns; the beads of sweat glistening on young Minh’s forehead, proof of a healthy boy no longer suffering from a debilitating heart condition but now able to play football with friends.

I now realise my work extends far beyond the confines of my cubicle and the tapping away of fingers on my keyboard. From child sponsors to sponsored children, fundraising staff to field staff, volunteers to donors—we are all part of His vision of love. Immersed in His love, it spills out in everything we are and do. It starts with Christ, and ends with Him.

So I pray that my eyes remain fixed on Jesus, and that I live in the reality of my Father’s love for me. For I know that as long as I stay in that place, I will carry His vision of love—in my work, in my home and in my world.  As the Thessalonians lived, I too want my work to be inspired by faith, labour to be prompted by love and endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

That’s my world vision.

Day 4 – The Final Day

by Daniel Lee

Widow and her brood

Mother of 2 children, she is HIV-Positive, and just lost her husband 4 months ago. He died of the HI Virus. Right now she stays with her mother-in-law at a very small hut.

Daniel

When we visited their house, the mother-in-law showed the picture of her loving son that has just gone, and she just couldn’t control her emotion, and tears just came down from her eyes. Well maybe she really needs some time for her heart to heal.

But we are happy to see that the family is healthy and we didn’t even see any signs of complaint through their eyes, their responces, even they are staying in that small hut, even if she lives with HIV…

They seem to cope very well. The mother still able to earn a living and the children go to school as normal.

Young Couple

A 20-year old young man with both parents who have passed away cause of HIV, he’s now taking care of his grandparents, and his newly married bride.

They used to be very poor and he grew up as a child labourer in a tobacco company since he was 12. But after a year, World Vision has started to help his family. From a house that didn’t even have roof to a bricked house, he now lives comfortably and plans to start a family soon with his young wife.

Final thoughts by Daniel

Daniel

Now I can really feel that, many people in India have a lot of sad stories because of HIV/AIDS. But we are glad that the number of people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS has dropped. Many of them are taken care of by World Vision through education and regular medication.

Day 3 – Understanding the Complexities of HIV/AIDS

After a brief hiatus, we’re back to continue Daniel’s journey in India.

By Daniel Lee

HIV/AIDS Drop-in Centre

It’s a place where most of the HIV/AIDS mothers and children gather together. For them it is a safe space for them to share their experiences, get counselling and supplementary nutrition from the doctors.

The mothers shared their experiences of being neglected by the community, of their children being neglected in school; some were even chased out from their rented houses.

Through the help of this Centre, the community began to understand more about HIV, and the people living with HIV/AIDS have been accepted. And now the community treats them better, but they still wish to reach out to more HIV patients and to help as many as possible.

But I’m glad that they are coping well, I feel that they should have brought this issue to the court for being treated this way.

And they were really happy to talk to us especially the children. I guess they just want to live normal lives.

Family of 5

In a very rural area, we met Raju*, his 3 children and his old mother.

Raju is HIV-positive; his deceased wife passed away cause of HIV.

The current situation showed that he’s very sick and cannot work, while his mother is about 75, too old and frail to earn a living.

Daniel
Raju’s simple house

So the villagers work together to give them food every day, while the children were sent to a hostel for their schooling. And they are taken care by the villagers and World Vision.

Daniel
Meeting the community under a tree

Hope of a Family

Husband and wife are both HIV-Positive, with 2 daughters.

World Vision was able to provide them with better opportunities.

Both husband and wife seems to be living health lives and working as carpenters

The wife also runs a small grocery stores with a public telephone and a refrigerator. And in the future she hopes that she can afford to run a cafe with a small hotel business.

HIV/AIDS is not as simple as getting an illness and curing it with medication. The fact of the matter is, HIV/AIDS has no cure, many factors come into play to complicate the circumstances for a family and the community. Do click here to learn more about the work World Vision does in terms of HIV/AIDS.

* Raju’s real name has been changed to protect his identity.

Day 2 – Getting adjusted

By Daniel Lee

School Visit

World vision has help the primary school to level the ground, build a water pump, construct a wall for safety and security and most importantly provided school materials, food and nutrition for the children.

So that they can have place to train, especially in sports. And I felt so proud to know that, they have always been the champion among the 42 schools in the area of sports.

They performed dances for us, and it was a joy to see them sing for us, we really enjoyed that.

Daniel

The tragedy of HIV/AIDS

Just about a week ago, World Vision got to know of this 20-year old young man, taking care of his family of six = the grandpa, grandma, mother, 2 sisters and himself. The father committed suicide over the pressures of being HIV-positive and couldn’t handle the burden of taking care of the family. The mother who is also HIV-positive, is quite ill.

The family lives in 2 simple huts next to a railway station.

Daniel

And all the while, this young man worked as a hard laborer on a farm.

Right now, the situation is still not so good, but World Vision has just started to help them as they are able.

In a month’s time, World Vision will help him to open a sundry store next to the railway station. And will help to take care of his mother and the grandparents’ health, and as a first step, see that the sisters get an education.

And we feel that, at least everything will be okay for them.

Light at the end of a Tunnel

At the end of the day, we met Rehenna. She was a World Vision sponsored child for the last 13 years.

She came from a poor family, but with the help of World Vision, she was able to continue her studies, and now able to pursue her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Logistic.

We are thankful that World Vision Child Sponsors have given these children hope and success.

Conclusion of Day 2

Today, we have seen some very difficult stories, we see little children with so much energy, passion and hopes, we saw a family struggling to survive with the basics of healthcare and living in dire poverty, and we also saw a very successful child that has been blessed by World Vision.

Day 1 in India – Understanding the Situation

By Daniel Lee


Day 1

Slums in Vijayawada

We’re now visiting a slum area in Vijayawada, near the Krishna River. In the slum we could see families having this own small space of home, while the ladies are washing clothes in the river and drying it directly on the ground.

Daniel

Story of Heartbreak

Jaya*’s husband is a lorry driver that always travels for work and lives away from his family for a few months at a time. And he is HIV-positive, so the wife was also infected.

From her expressions, we could feel that she was very depressed about this matter. Before they got married, her family was proud of him and considered him a good man to marry, but when things changed, everyone held her responsible for marrying him. She was very upset at first, but had to just face it.

Well we are glad that she looks healthy and cheerful. But she’s worried about her daughter who is now only 1 and a half years old. She’s worried of one day needing to leave this world, and who will take care of her daughter?

Saree Seller

Rani*, a 20-year old girl, her parents passed away because of HIV/AIDS, and she was the one left to take care of her brother and sister. She earned money by selling sarees from house to house. The 3 of them are staying in a rented house, with a walkway to the entrance that is just about 2 feet. Every morning she wakes up, she cooks for the family, then she go out to sells the sarees for a living.

Daniel

When we asked her about her dream, she meekly says that she couldn’t afford to dream for herself, but she wishes that her brother and sister be good and study well. And maybe one day she can own her own sewing machine.

Well, we are very glad for them, and wish that they could always stay happy together.

Outskirts

A 10-year old boy Raja* who is HIV-positive lives as an orphan. His parents passed away when he was very young. The father passed away when he was 3 months old, and the mother when he was 3 years old. Right now he’s taken care by his elder sister and grandma.

We’re not sure how much he knows about HIV, but he knows that he is different from other children. However, his friends and people around him treat him as a normal child.

And when he grows up, he speaks of wanting to to be a policeman, cause he wants to help people. While the grandma just hope that he studies hard and is able to get a job that doesn’t involve hazardous work, so that he doesn’t need to work so hard.

Conclusion

After visiting these families, I actually think that they might not live in dire poverty, but being HIV-positive and losing family members has given them a very hard time.

But we are glad that they are strong enough to face it.

And thru World Vision, they are at least taken care, and educated about healthcare, especially HIV/AIDS.

Daniel

*all names have been changed to protect the identity of these people.

Daniel’s First Foray into India

by Daniel Lee

Landing in the Land of Hyderabad, India

It’s 1am in the morning, 20°C, we are on our way from the airport to the city of Hyderabad.

Daniel

Other than the presence of a lil’ bit more Indians, and the Hindi signboards, It doesn’t feel like I’m actually in India. Maybe they speak the English we normally hear from any of our Indian friends in Malaysia. And the Hyderabad airport is not very much different from KLIA.

Riding World Vision’s jeep into the city, it just feels like the Malaysia I know. Two lane highways, drivers driving on the left hand side, orange coloured street lights, trucks on the road, shop houses like that in Changlun…

But now further from the airport, the road becomes a lil’ more bumpy.

Still Don’t Know What to Expect

Along the way, from this very small airport to the hotel, this small corner of Hyderabad city seems to be quite developed. They actually have a very big rice field, while further away, they have this very beautiful hotel that we are staying in, ice-cream shops, branded jeans stores, cars showrooms…

So I still cannot imagine, how’s the village that we are visiting gonna be like?

Finally Vijayawada

With the Kingfisher turboprop, we finally land in Vijayawada a very cute town in India, with a small airport. This place is so beautiful, with plots of big rice fields.

Daniel

Do check out Daniel’s India journey through the entire week of  22 February 2010.

6天的印度之旅 (6 Days in India)

Check out this space as we bring to you Daniel Lee 李桀汉’s diary through World Vision’s work in India.

6天的印度之旅

从来没想过自己有机会,可以到印度去,所以我真的真的不知该有什么心理准备,也很不确定这一次以世界宣明会的代表,能够为他们做些什么。

不过在印度的6天,真的让我大开眼界,学到很多东西,而且我想,我会很想念这里的咖喱,繁忙的交通,这里的小朋友,我们探访的家庭,还有大马团的每一位。

我了解到贫穷固然是影响他们很大的因素,但更糟的是HIV在印度已经传染到很严重的地步了。所以很多贫穷的家庭都是因为健康的关系,无法好好工作,甚至很多都因为家长重病而逝世,小孩的未来就这样给毁了。很多都是因为HIV关系,影响了他们的经济能力,也影响了小孩的学业。

不过感到高兴的是,印度有很多社区都受到世界宣明会的照顾和帮助。他们的医务、药剂、学业、经济,及人民们的心理建设都有受到关怀,希望这样可以减低他们的贫穷率,及减少HIV的数量,同时也提高人民对HIV的了解,希望那些无辜的病患者都受到一样的待遇。

在此,我很希望各位幸运的朋友们,可以跟我们一起和世界宣明会联手帮助这些朋友们。

敬之,

李桀汉

Daniel

6 Days in India

I’ve never thought that I would, or ever have a chance to go to India in my life. So I really didn’t know what to expect in this trip. And I was quite unsure on what I could actually do as me or as a part of World Vision.

But everything’s seems to be great and cool, I thought it was fun and I learned a lot. I’m gonna miss the curry, the crazy traffic, the children and families that we met, and everybody from Malaysia in our trip.

And thru the trip, I learned that poverty might be an issue for the people, but the toughest thing to see is people living with HIV, as it’s a serious issue in India. Some of these people lose their health, some lose their loved ones, and it just changes their future somehow. A lot of them suffer because of HIV, then it affects their financial support and also children’s education…

Thankfully World Vision has helped this community a lot, in terms of healthcare, medication, education, financial and social supports, to decrease the number of HIV and poverty. And to increase the awareness about HIV, at least everybody understands that the innocent people who are infected should have the same treatment.

So we really hope all of us who are more blessed, can give a hand to World Vision, to help these people.

Love,

Daniel