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Religious Youth Service

RYS-Malaysia Hosts Project with the Theme "Service to Humanity–the Path to Peace and Unity"

Religions Represented: 4 Nations Represented: 5

Bethany House, Perale, Malaysia— Asia Friends Project

The 8th RYS project to be hosted in Malaysia was held on May 5-9 at Bethay Home in Perak, Malaysia. The theme, which was “Service to Humanity – the Path to Peace and Unity” was expressed through a program of education and action that was guided by Ms. Sharifah Shakirah. She and Mr. Inderjeet Singh, were co-organizers of the RYS Malaysia.

Duration: May 5 - 9, 2004

Central Work: Painting, restoration and the building a drainage system

The educational program covered topic areas such as Cross-cultural understanding, Inter-racial understanding, Conflict Resolution, as well as a forum, “Appreciating different Religions and their Beliefs.” Also included was a daily cultural exchange of the respective international participants and the various races within Malaysia.

The RYS history in Malaysia began in 1992, but this 2004 project was the first that succeeded in bringing all the races within Malaysia together. We welcomed back alumni (members of the ITM University, north Malaysia) as well as new participants from the Hindu Sangam, the Malaysian Sikh Youth Organization, and Christian and Buddhist youth. The participants felt that the presence of all the races gave a special richness to the project. The international participants came well prepared and proved to be a cultural showcase of the highest order. Countries featured, in addition to Malaysia, were South Korea, Sri Lanka, England and Singapore.

The RYS volunteers worked on two distinct locations. Participants painted two Bethany Home Residential Quarters and also repaired a residence for a family of 4 handicapped children. Bethany Home is the largest facility treating and rehabilitating mentally challenged children in the country. Both projects ran concurrently and provided participants meaningful experiences of living the theme: service to humanity.

Key Sponsors: IIFWP, Sikh Community of Malaysia

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