by courtesy of George B.
|Presentation of the mock cheque, witnessed by Ir James Wong and Bro Francis Chua sg|
L-R : Daniel Pang, Michael Tan, Ir James Wong, Bro Francis Chua, John Pang and Suzanna Hon
Sandakan : The Board of Governors and the Management Committee of St Mary's Youth Hostel in partnership with the Montfort Youth Training Centre organized a charity dinner, last night 18th May 2014 at the Sandakan Hakka Hall. Some 1,200 people; donors, sponsors, partners, supporters and well wishers attended the function.
The event was aimed at raising funds for the operating cost, additional dormitory facilities and other infrastructure projects. Currently there are 21 boarders with four full time staff. It is the vision of the Management Committee to provide space to cater to some 60 boarders once the facilities are in place.
The Organsing Chairman, Mr Michael Raymond Tan, who is also the Chairman of the Hostel Management Committee in his welcoming speech extended his appreciation to all donors and supporters for their kind generosity. He thanked the top ten finalists of the Astro Classic Golden Melody Singing Competition 2013 for their assistance in providing the night's entertainment.
He disclosed that the fund-raising team through their strong commitment and teamwork has raised an awesome sum of RM674,089 in a mere two-month charity drive. The team comprised of Daniel Pang, the secretary, Suzanna Hon, the treasurer, Raymond Wong, Jacob Pang, Jerry Lo, Christopher Chia, Vincent Chow and Brother Stephen Tee sg as committees. Brother Francis Chua sg, the Provincial Superior of the Montfort Brothers and Mr John Pang, the adviser to the fund raising committee and the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Hostel were both instrumental and remained very supportive of the drive from its conception till implementation.
He said, 'The huge turn out shows the tremendous support and kind understanding of the local community in helping those in need especially the under-previledged students from the rural areas across Sabah to experience a better and more conducive learning environment.'
Brother Francis Chua sg, the Provincial Superior of the Monfort Brothers commended the good work of the Organizing Committee. He thanked the people of Sandakan for having responded so generously in support of St Mary's Youth Hostel. He touched briefly on the background of Montfort Youth Training Centre (MYTC) Sabah, established some 16 years ago. Hundreds have graduated with technical skills from the institution and are working throughout the country and Singapore. 69 trainees from Batch 14 have just graduated from MYTC Kinarut two days ago, 17th May 2014. A number of them hails from the Diocese of Sandakan.
He said, 'In MYTC, the trainees are not just taught the technical skills but are given a holistic formation throughout the program. They came in with an individualistic mindset but over time they develop a communitarian mindset. They learn to share which is a requisite for giving back to society.'
He concluded by saying, 'MYTC believes in empowering the youth, especially youth from disadvantaged environment. For that, a vast majority are from the rural areas. We are committed to give them the 'fishing skill' so that they may sustain and be uplifted in life .'
Among the local dignitaries present in the event were Ir James Wong, the President of Sandakan Municipal Council, ACP Rowell Marong, the Sandakan Police Chief and Fr Thomas Makajil, the rector of St Mary's Cathedral, representing Rt Rev Julius Dusin Gitom, the Bishop of Sandakan. Fr Simon Kontou of St Dominic Parish, Lahad Datu, Fr Sunny Chung of Sandakan, Religious Sisters of FSIC and RGS and Religious Brothers of SG were also present, lending support to the event.
The Church has made an option for the poor which is understood as a special form of primacy in the exercise of Christian charity, to which the whole tradition of the Church bears witness. We are called to find Christ in them, to lend our voice to their causes, but also to be their friends, to listen to them, to speak for them and to embrace the mysterious wisdom which God wishes to share with us through them (Evangelii Gaudium #198).