One Billion Rising (OBR) Campaign 2016 went to secondary schools and hostels in Malaysia to spread the message about sexual harassment and violence in a relationship. It provided an eye opener to teachers and students regarding the issue of emotional and mental violence.
Good Shepherd Malaysia, represented by Theresa Symons, itsExecutive Director, together with seven other civil society members, were invited to a roundtable discussion with Mr. Barack Obama, the President of United States, in conjunction with his official visit to Malaysia for the Asean Summit in Kuala Lumpur.
GSS (Good Shepherd Services) successfully piloted a community-based project to downstream pineapple production for the women of Kg Kiau Nuluh, a village which was badly affected by the June 5th Sabah earthquake and its after quake tremors.
On 20 September 2015, we had our Graduation Ceremony for 135 students who successfully completed their respective courses with DAWN, a ministry which offers courses for foreign domestic workers to assist them in enhancing their advancement and development towards a better future while working in Singapore.
Good Shepherd Malaysia is active in responding to the urgent humanitarian crisis of refugees now off their coast. Mostly from the oppressed and non-state-recognized Rohingya minority of Myanmar, they are seeking asylum in Malaysia via Thailand. The governments of the region have been rejecting them resulting in a deplorable plight.
May your heart be an altar, from which the flame of unending thanksgiving ascends to heaven.
St. Mary Euphrasia
International Women’s Day Celebration
Video courtesy of UN Women
International Women’s Day Celebration
International Women’s Day (IWD) was widely celebrated by the various Good Shepherd ministries in Malaysia. These ministries are located in Sabah, Kuala Lumpur and Perak.
1) Seri Murni Crisis Center (SMCC), Sandakan, Sabah
In Sandakan, PKGS collaborated withthe Catholic Women's Apostolate (CWA) of St. Mary’s parish, Sandakan to conduc a half-day programme with the theme "Catholic Women: Precious and Loved." Some 150 women and youth attended the event.
The main focus of the programme was affirming that all persons, women and men, are created in the image and likeness of God, that the life and dignity of a human person is sacred and to be respected regardless of gender, race, economic status and others.One of the questions for reflection was, “How can I better respond to God in my being a woman, precious and loved?” The participants had an enriching time of sharing their own experiences of struggles, challenges, joys and pain as women, mothers and/or wives.
Whilst the women’s session was in progress, the children participated in the Children’s Group Activity. The 19 children concluded the day’s programme with a song presentation to appreciate and thank their mothers on this special occasion.
The Sandakan team had also reached out to a group of 19 migrant women and youth on a separate session on 9th March with the same theme. It concluded with each receiving a gift of appreciation and a fellowship meal to celebrate together our recognition as women, who are precious and loved by our Creator God.
2) Youth-PREP Centre (YPC), Sabah
The YPC organised the Faith in Action programme from 7th to 9th March for 17 youths from
different locations, schools and colleges in Kota Kinabalu. The objectives of the Faith in Action programme were: to create an opportunity for youth to reflect on “Who is my neighbour?”; to instill community spirit among the youth to contribute to society especially to those in need; and to be aware of the presence of God among, around and in the people in need.
The key message imparted to the women in Kg. Tampasak was about the role of women in the community, society and family in relation to social justice. The youths stayed with their foster mothers and joined the women in their daily routine such as fishing, weeding,
gardening, going into the forest to look for wood and wild ginger.
During the 3-day programme, the participants had the opportunity to learn about the history and struggle of the village, how they were displaced by the construction of a dam, and how the mothers voiced out for their rights and the needs of the community. This was done through an awareness session entitled Social Justice and Women. The programme was instrumental in increasing the participants’ awareness on social justice, the social teaching of the church, issues faced by women, and the aspiration and hope of women.
3) Teenage Centre, Kuala Lumpur
On 8 March 2014, the Centre celebrated IWD with the theme as “Equality for Women is Progress for All.” In line with this theme, Sr. Kelly presented the message from the UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, which amongst others, called for the recommitment of ourselves to “working harder for gender equality, together as women, men, youth and leaders of nations, communities, religion and commerce.” Our girls reflected on the inspiring message and shared what resonated most with them as well as what innate quality they recognised in themselves as a way of affirming and empowering themselves.
The second celebration took place on 12th March and joining in the celebration were Ms. Ruth Clarke and the HR Staff of Ritz Carlton Hotel. They provided the girls with baking lessons and shared their experiences of working in the hospitality industry. It was helpful and encouraging for the girls to be more aware of what it takes to pursue a career in the industry, namely patience, hard work and discipline.
4) Rose Virginie Good Shepherd Center (RVGSC), Ipoh, Perak
The preparation for the celebration of IWD in RVGSC began about 2 weeks before the actual day of IWD. All the children and residents in RVGSC were introduced to the objective and meaning of IWD. The purpose of the celebration was to create awareness about IWD among the children and residents, and to show them some of the achievements of successful women in the world. It was also an opportunity to encourage the residents to run a program for the women in the house, focusing on empowerment and leadership among the girls and ladies in the shelter to bring out the message of gender equality.
In planning how to celebrate IWD, the children organised a party for the women in the shelter. During the two weeks preceding the IWD, the children made collages and decorations for the party, practiced their song and dance, and planned the games and menu for the party.
On IWD, all the children and residents came together in celebration and appreciation of the gift of women.