WELFARE SUNDAY, 2nd June 2013
The Diocesan Welfare and Disaster Relief Board servesin providing welfare services and relief to our members in the diocese through various works throughout the years. Everyone can have a role in supporting the works of the welfare board, be it as a team member of a project, contributions in goods or funds, and prayer coverage to reach out effectively. In general, the Welfare Board commits to uplift the socio-economic status to those in need through education, health and income generating activities.
In the area of education, the welfare board provides grants in support of welfare educational projectsundertakenby churches in the diocese. One example is a literacy centre in outskirts of Sandakan where education is being provided to about 300 children who are not able to go to public schools. This year, the school which is running in its fourth year is looking into expanding the number of teaching staffs and installing electricity supply.
The Interior Socio-economic Empowerment ( ISEE ) program under leadership of Canon Lidis Singkung encompasses efforts in various forms to help raise the income in starting income generating activities, access to land for crops, application of identification documents, also puts attention in importance of education. It is hoped that more members in the interior can have access to tertiary education and later a stable income job. For this, funds are provided as an initial help for students to transfer and settle-in after being offered a place in tertiary education institution within Malaysia.
The ISEE will commence a few major projects this year with efforts to improve the economic situation of members in interior by helping to start income generating activities in aquaculture and plantations in Pitas and improving income of small scale oil palm growers in Telupid. These efforts include liaising and working together with governmental agencies in the related fields.
Medical needs are being addressed in providing medical and dental camps to areas with less accessible healthcare services. In 2012, there were six medical camps carried out, with one dedicated Dental Health Camp held in Telupid. Of the medical camps, five are small scale camps which have provided services to more than 1000 people. The main medical camp was held in Lalang Tenom where 600 people received medical services in pediatrics, eye, ENT, Dental and treatment of medical illnesses. An integral part of a medical camp is handing out walking sticks, milk supplements, de-worming of children, taking pap smear and prescribing reading glasses. The Dental Health Camp was held in the Valley of Blessing in Telupid in collaboration with a team from a Korean Dental Hospital andwas a five-day event where close to 1000 patients received 1500 treatments in the form of procedures including extractions, scaling, fillings, root canal treatment and general screening. A few medical camps are in line for this year.
Much appreciation to all who have supported in prayers, served by going out to the field and in various forms of contributions to ensure the success of the events.
Dr Peter Thien
Diocesan Welfare and Disaster Relief Board Chairman