Volunteer in Malaysian Borneo

Volunteer in Malaysian Borneo

In contrast to the sophisticated and cosmopolitan city that is Kuala Lumpur, the East Malaysia state of Sabah is officially the largest and most poor state. The northern most part of the island of Borneo, Sabah shares borders with the other East Malaysian state of Sarawak, and Northern Kalimantan in Indonesia.

While the capital Kota Kinabalu and the greater metro area has a population of approx. 650,000 of the 3.5 million inhabitants, a substantial percentage of its population are indigenous peoples living in poverty in rural areas. Many still live in kampungs (villages) which no electricity or running water. Education is a priority in these areas, not only for the school aged children, but for the youth and even adults.

Program 1

TGS runs a number of discipline specific programs for universities with PACOS TUST, a community-based organization dedicated towards supporting indigenous communities in Sabah.

We are currently developing a volunteer program for individuals.

More to come soon !

Program 2

Children born in Sabah of Indonesian parents who are illegally in the state are deemed stateless. They belong neither to Sabah nor to Indonesia and neither place recognises them as existing. They live in fact in ‘spaces of non-existence’. This means they have no access to education in Sabah as they are not permitted by law to enter a Malaysian school.

These marginalised children who are illiterate and without an education are subject to many societal ills causing problems for the Sabah authorities. There are many related issues such as; malnutrition, poverty, illiteracy, lack of access to health facilities, poor preparation for school entry, parents illiteracy and the psychological aspects of being stateless. It is estimated there are also 53,000 Indonesian migrant labourer’s children in Sabah. Over 20,000 are already in some form of school but there remains many more without access to education for life.

ETANIA was established in 2009 to focus on education for the marginalised and disadvantaged migrant labourer’s children in Sabah. These are primarily of Indonesian background many of whom have illegal and undocumented status. TGS is currently working with Etania to develop a program for volunteers who are interested in teaching in these schools, across any area (English, maths, computer skills), with no teaching experience necessary.

More details to come !

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