Centre for self-betterment
Posted on July 1, 2012, Sunday
A non-profit NGO has set up a centre at MJC Batu Kawah Township to help young people beat the ‘lepak’ syndrome by allowing them to fraternise and learn life skills
THE teen years can be daunting because they are often a time of uncertain transitions.
Teenagers not only undergo physical changes but also experience changes in the way they relate to their peers. And they must manage the changes while navigating the pressures of exams and everyday life, leading up to their eventual emergence to adulthood.
It can be a confusing and trying time, the pressure being near unmanageable at times, especially without the support of role models in their parents who are busy at work.
These days, youths are often confused over the environment they live in and can be influenced by negative elements to do things they may regret later in life.
To help provide a non-hostile and healthy environment for youths to hang out in, a caring, apolitical and non-profit NGO, known as Breakthrough Network Centre Berhad (BNCB), has set up a centre, called BYC Youth, at MJC Batu Kawah Township in Kuching.
The location is strategic as it is flanked by the Stapok Resettlement Area and Desa Wira. And the aim is to help young people beat the “lepak” syndrome by allow them to meet, foster fellowship and learn life skills.
BNCB director and the centre’s overseer Neduncheliyan Adaikalam told thesundaypost youths living or working around MJC had shown a lot of interest in the centre’s activities.
He said the youths could use the facilities at the centre for self-betterment at minimal cost.
“We picked MJC because most families living there are from the low income group – some are hardcore poor.
“Through our activities, we hope to get young people off the streets. We want to give them a place to learn things that will benefit them.”
Adaikalam said before the centre was set up, they did a survey and discovered that youths in the area liked music, a place to read, computers and the Internet.
“So we decided to provide musical instruments, a library and a computer corner which is very popular among the youngsters,” he added
Adaikalam said a very small fee was charged to offset the overheads, especially for Internet use.
The centre also runs a café offering food at affordable prices.
Among the weekend activities, music is the most popular. Karaoke sessions are held on Friday nights while jamming and live band performances on Saturdays.
According to another BNCB director Ivy Pan, the centre is presently not linked to any government agencies but hopes to connect with them after it has become more established.
She reiterated the centre was set up to provide a venue where young people could do something useful instead of loitering and doing nothing.
“We have an ideal place to help young people pass their time constructively. I hope they will not abuse the place. They are welcome to fraternise with one another here.”
Ivy likes to see youths learn to lead a better lifestyle and for this, she encourages them to use the facilities provided by the centre.
“Most young people cannot tell the good from the bad and without proper guidance, chances are they will stray to the wrong path.”
Although Breakthrough, formed three years ago, is basically self-funding, it, nonetheless, has done a lot to help the underprivileged.
“We show them how to plant vegetables using the natural farming method. We help the children with education by working with a child care centre.
“Most people we helped tend to take for granted we are there for them all the time. But we explain to them our cause and I think they are more confident now.”
Breakthrough will also help young people who are unhappy at home find some peace and comfort at the centre.
“We will teach them family values and life skills to cope with stress,” Ivy said.
The NGO also helps build or renovate homes for the less fortunate.
“At the same time, we encourage them to set up small businesses in their neighbourhoods and will help them with the initial working capital.”
She hoped the public would recognise their charity works and help them with donations, saying any forms of assistance, no matter how small, could make a difference to someone’s life.
Breakthrough will organise WECAREFEST 12 at the Associa-tion of Churches (ACS), Jalan Stampin and Kuching on July 14.
The event is from 7am to 4pm. The programme includes games, food and beverages, exhibition stalls, haircut booths and sales.
The objective is to create awareness of the job scope of Breakthrough Network Centre Bhd and raise funds for its yearly maintenance. For more information, can call 082- 427478.