Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Through proper education, we can secure a better tomorrow for our world.
Hope Learning Centre was started by Pastor Michael Liman towards the end of 2007 with a dream to provide basic education to the stateless children of Sabah. The education center started with just Pastor Michael and his wife, teaching 25 children, 3 of whom were their own children.
“The vision is to break the cycle of poverty through proper education,” Pastor Michael says. “[And we do this by] developing and enhancing [the children’s] natural talents.”
The stateless children know the bitter taste of disappointment all too well. Born into a world that would not give them a place to belong, the dreams that they have are soon lost in an increasingly bleak reality and a rapidly darkening future. When there is no one who will have you, every day is a continual struggle for survival.
The first and most challenging step was to help the children move on from this survival mindset, so that they can look further and higher.
“Once we overcame that, the success of the school just exploded. And now we are reaching our maximum capacity,” Pastor Michael reports. “This leads us to a desire to expand our operations and to strive to provide a higher quality of education. We also do social work, feeding the poor students and involving the kids to sow the value of giving back at a young age.”
The dream is not just castles in the sky: the local police reported a reduction in juvenile crime ever since the school started. One student, Fatimah, who went to the school in 2009 as an illiterate teenager who could not even hold a pencil, has now finished schooling, and even got a job as a cashier in a big supermarket – something unheard of within the stateless community.
Today, the school is teaching 350 children on a regular basis, and has touched over 2,500 lives over the past years. With a dedicated team of educators, the school aims to groom the children to become leaders and contributors to their communities.
“[We want to] teach them to engage the community and [also] how they can contribute in their own way,” Pastor Michael shares his vision for the children. “We hope to bring the school to impact the lives of neglected groups of people.”
There can be only brighter skies ahead for Hope Learning Center and its children. Through proper education, we can secure a better tomorrow for our world.
#Read this article in Chinese