Monday, September 7, 2009

Infant Jesus Sisters and the Learning Centre in Kampung Pasir

By Sr. Theresa Chua, I.J.

The I.J. Sisters of Seremban community decided in the early 1980s to be more immersed in the lives of the people of Kampung Pasir area which was then one of the biggest squatter areas in the town. The Centre was originally a barren little wooden hut, standing precariously at the edge of a river, half a kilometer from the main road, and accessible only by a mud path through tall lallang and bushes. The abject poverty of the little hut and its simplicity with no electricity nor piped water (it only had a well), could not have been more challenging for the Sisters and the volunteer teachers.

A number of years later, the ‘hut’ slowly grew into a modern, white-washed building with its own compound and fence, and electricity supply. By then the river changed its course so that there is now a safer distance between the building and the river. The road leading to the Centre was also tarred.

Today, the Centre caters for the educational needs of 40 children here by conducting remedial classes for children from Nursery to Secondary levels and other human development programmes. Bi-monthly birthday celebrations and other festive seasons are also held to provide opportunity for leadership training.

The volunteer teachers are retired teachers mainly from the Convent schools in town and others who have a heart for the poor children and want to share life with them. All these teachers are truly committed and some of them have been with the Centre for more than 8 years.

We are proud to acknowledge that we during the past 10 years, we have among the young, 4 who have graduated from tertiary level. Two of them who are still in Kampung Pasir come back to offer their time and knowledge whenever they are free and feel very much part of the Centre.

The white-washed wooden building has been replaced by a double-storey brick building which caters for the educational needs of the young around this area as well as serving as the Formation House for the young women who would like to search for God’s will as IJ Sisters.

Monthly formation sessions are held for the volunteer teachers to deepen the Spirituality of this ministry to the deprived young in this kampong.

The Sisters are truly grateful to the support of the benefactors from the Visitation Parish as well as other well-wishers of Seremban.

The IJ Sisters see this ministry as a call to be with this group of God’s people, sharing their lives with them and to continue to experience the Providence of God which does not fail to guide them in this challenging mission.

The encouraging and supportive role of the priests of the parish is an added sign of living in communion of Spirit in mission to the poor in Seremban.

May God continue to lead all in this way of living the spirit of faith, hope and love in Christ.

(Those wishing to contribute or be part of the IJ Sisters' ministry to the Urban Poor, are invited to contact Sr. Theresa 06-7655099)

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