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Religious Youth Service

RYS Hold Unity in Diversity Program in Malaysia

 Participants: 49 Religions Represented: 5  Nations Represented: 13

Perlis, Malaysia Unity in Diversity

Duration: June 6 - 14, 2003

Central Work: Renovations on at the Ruah Sejahtera Chuping Elderly Center. Painting, landscaping, tree planting, cleaning.

This project brought young adults from 13 nations and 5 religions to a conservative area in Malaysia where they worked in cooperation with one of the nations seven Muslim Universities. This is the second project with the university and both were locally organized by a young professor who is a graduate of RYS.

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The project drew a number of international students who were residing in Malaysia and this helped give a broad international flavor to the project. Among the program highlights was the deep sharing of the participants with the local community. The comments of Kelly Henzl, a 28 year old teacher from the USA illustrates this: “ I finished up the project and was overcome with emotion! I have never cried so much in my life! The people, the children, the culture, the spirituality, the giving! I have met some people that I will never forget! I will never forget the old man who cried while he thanked us! I will never forget the 200+ children that lined up to touch my hands! I will never forget the tears of peace that were shed the day we parted!

 This was the second RYS project in New Zealand and the 1 st international program. This project drew much support from Australia and pulled in participants from a wide variety of nations and religious traditions. Networking with organizations was a key to the programs success as Habitat for Humanity, the local civic leaders and the Moreau Youth Movement worked to model the pattern of cooperative living so critical in building a culture of everlasting peace.

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