Wesley Methodist School (WMS) Melaka closed down with the conclusion of the 2018 academic year. With the impending closure, Wesley Methodist Church Melaka applied to the Council of Education (COE) to convert the school into a hostel for “orang asli” (OA) children. A big “thank you” to members of COE who graciously granted permission. In partnership with Pastor Joseph O of Jus Chapel Tribal Ministry, this project, a brainchild of Rev. Andrew Lim, has since been passed into the capable hands of Rev. Teoh Lee Yng. The Southern District churches have adopted this ministry and together with the Central District I churches have assisted financially, given donations in kind, and conducted programs with the students.
A pro tem committee was established at the end of 2018. Little Lamb’s Lamp (LLL) Society Malacca was registered on 1st February 2019 with the Registrar of Societies. Members of this NGO consist of volunteers from Wesley Melaka.
The joint management board consist of LLL members, Pastor Joseph and his wife Lisah, representatives from Malacca Presbyterian Church (Chinese) and Pastor Ronnie from Straits Baptist Church Malacca.
To provide accommodation, care and other relevant services to poor and needy students to study in education centers in Melaka.
To provide aid in other forms where necessary to the poor and needy students and their families.
To run activities for fund raising for the Society to achieve its goal with prior approval from the Society’s general meeting and the relevant authorities.
To encourage emotional and spiritual growth and maturity according to biblical principles.
The hostel for OA children opened with a “bang” on 1st January 2019 with close to 220 children but the latest head count on 30th October was 179. This is because the OA population is “nomadic”. Each time they go back to their kampong over the school holidays some children will dropout and some will be added. Prior to the opening up of the premise of the former WMS, Pastor Joseph used to house his charges at 4 different locations under 4 different wardens. Now there are 9 wardens and 6 fulltime teachers at a single site.
Most OA ministries in Malaysia are mono-tribal. The OA hostel at Jalan Tengkera poses a unique challenge in that it is multi-tribal and hence multi-dialect. Pastor Joseph recruited children from 3 different states in Peninsular Malaysia.
(tribe in italics)
172 (earlier total)
The Level of Education:
|Solid Rock Learning Centre
Besides the above, 3 boys are undergoing vocational training in automotive engineering at the Batu Berendam campus of Despark College, the leading automotive college in Malay-sia. Eleven girls are attending the Vocational Training Opportunity Centre (VTOC), YWCA, Kuala Lumpur in Sewing & Tailoring (7), Hair Dressing & Beauty Care (3) Culinary & Bakery (1). Seven children are learning art & craft for making costume jewellery with Joe of Calanthe Art, Herren Street. Joe was a former Boys’ Brigade Officer.
In the past many churches and NGOs conducted missions trips to remote areas to expose their members to OA ministry. With the opening of the OA hostel at Jalan Tengkera, the OAs are literally brought to our doorsteps. Many organizations, like City Communty Church, Presbyterian Church besides Wesley Melaka have taken the opportunity to help the OAs in cash & kind, with “kutu” treatment, hair cutting sessions, medical care, combine worship and children ministry without having to travel far.
As LLL approaches its 2nd year we would like to issue the following appeal. Donor fatigue is a real challenge and we would like to appeal for fresh donors, while the appeal is for all existing donors to persevere. Secondly, the 11 children currently in Form 2 will be facing PT3 next year and are in need of good tutors to help them excel. Are there any retired teachers out there willing to spend some time to help coach these children?
Many have contributed and continue to work tirelessly in different capacities in the setting up and running of the OA hostel at Jalan Tengkera. But regardless of their roles, they share a common aspiration that is to provide a conducive environment for the OA children to study in Melaka. It is only through education that they hope to free themselves from the clutches of poverty.
By Chuah Seong York
Editor of LLL Newsletter