Building the shelves for the Library in the Zo and Sacheng Learning Centres
Members of a group from the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour helping Myanmar refugee kids build shelves for their library.

By Mabel Lee

Eight missionaries from the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour spent a week reaching out to Myanmar refugees in Kuala Lumpur.

From Dec 11-17, they visited the Zutong Refugee Catholic Learning Centre (ZRCLC), which was set up by Catholics to house Myanmar refugees seeking shelter from violence in their homeland.

The trip saw the Singapore visitors and the children from ZRCLC equipping two other Myanmar learning centres, the Zo and Sancheng learning centres, with libraries.

The trip was initiated by CHARIS (Caritas Humanitarian Aid & Relief Initiatives, Singapore) and the Fishing Rod Society, an organisation which serves refugees in Kuala Lumpur.

The project saw the Singapore missionaries purchasing shelves and easel boards from IKEA with help from the ZRCLC children.

According to the Singapore participants, the children from the three learning centres were excited to be involved in this project and eager to work together to build their libraries.

The first day saw the visitors guiding the children on how to piece together the shelves and easel boards. The next day, the children were able to take the lead and guided their teachers and peers in assembling these materials.

The visitors also planned a Christmas party with the children from ZRCLC and empowered them to take full ownership of it. The children planned the games, entertainment, sing-a-long and art-and-craft sessions, and served lunch to the children from the Zo and Senthang learning centres who were the guests.

The party was apparently a huge success with each kid receiving numerous presents. A Mass was also celebrated by a Myanmar priest living in Kuala Lumpur.

The final part of the trip saw the missionaries singing carols at the refugees’ homes, and getting a glimpse of their simple lives.

The Singapore participants said the trip helped them as a group grow from strangers to brothers and sisters in Christ. They have since formed a Parish Mission Group to lead more mission trips.

The CHARIS website is http://charis-singapore.org/

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