EAP 2017: Human rights issues of the migrant

My Reflection on EAP 2017: Human rights issues of the migrant workers

Hello everyone, I’m James (Wu Hsuan-Yi) from Taiwan. East Asia Programme(EAP) was a brand new experience for me since it is the first time I attended an international event organized by IMCS and hosted by CCUSA Taiwan, which brought students together from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and us–Taiwan to share ideas about an important issue. The topic of EAP in this year was “Human rights issues of the migrant workers”. As a resident of Taiwan, I believe we are not familiar with this theme. It’s easy to find many foreign laborers appear in some urban areas with different appearance, dresses…etc.

We can see them gathering in some transportation station. However, their words are not what we have learned, their staples are not what we usually consuming as well, as if there’s a river but streaming with different colors of water. The only thing people know is that they came overseas to a strange land and doing the lowest level of work in order to survive. Some people rule out them because   they look different, or even judge them with discriminatory comments, and try to avoid them as far as they can.

Perhaps they have never thought that these foreign workers are burdened with a great expectation from their homeland therefore they came over to Taiwan accepting these physically challenging and dangerous jobs. Some people expect to earn some money to use for their brothers and sisters’ higher-level education institutions; Some women are pregnant in a young age, and since their irresponsible husband flee away, so they are forced to work abroad to support their son or daughter. When their children grow up, they might not even recognize their mom because they have been separated from each other for a long time that the impression of mother has gradually been blurred. Some people were even too fearful of poverty.

Their parents couldn’t know the feeling of using proper bath for half of their lifetime, the convenience of electricity for the night, not to mention protection from the natural disasters since they can’t build a secure shelter due to their poverty level. Therefore, they came to Taiwan with a strong determination to work hard, for the sake of improving the life of their families. After that, they have to suffer from the government’s rule which limits their ability to engage in jobs. Moreover, they are being exploited by their employers based on some disadvantage in the contract. And they can easily be mistreated by the family that they are taking care of as a result of some communication barriers or other reasons. On the other hand, it takes time for us that having well cared in Taiwan to understand those miserable experiences, rather than criticized from the appearance that saying “Foreign workers will come here to steal Taiwanese’ working chances, they are all gyroscopes” What if one day you are going to do their job, can you achieve it? Well I put a strong doubt for that.

To me, although they are doing the easiest rough works, their attitude is better than any nobles in Taiwan. They are not only outstanding brothers and sisters, parents, but also marvelous model workers, because the paid determination and effort for sure. I am looking forward that members who participated in this EAP can teach more people to treat migrant workers with giving respects and empathize. Perhaps we can also spend some time to chat with these foreign workers, to understand their culture, customs, and so on.

For the EAP program this year, I appreciate a lot for inviting many Catholic clergies which engaging in migrant workers’ issue to come and gave knowledgeable lectures in order to helps us to get familiar with nowadays’ situation. Furthermore, I really thankful that my cousin Grace Wang who introduced this activity to me so that I can broaden my horizons and make many new friends from other countries, my Taiwanese teammates and staffs that contribute their best to demonstrate Taiwanese’ enthusiastic spirits. And finally, I thank IMCS Asia Pacific coordinator Ravi Tissera who did many educational sharing’s with me during this camp. To be brief, I think I did gain a great reward. May the Lord bless all of us, best wishes~

PMKRI meet Indonesian President

PMKRI and Indonesian President discussed about the current situation of Indonesia

Article by Tomson Sabungan Silalahi,
Research, Analytics and Development Commission of PMKRI

The President of Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo welcomed The National Board of PMKRI in The National Palace, Jakarta, Tuesday (22/8).

The closed meeting discussed about the situations of Indonesia. Firstly, Joko Widodo thanked PMKRI for the dedication to keep NKRI (Republic of United Indonesia) united. He asked to spread positive contents and messages in all occasion and all social media as he realized that nowadays there are many negative contents and messages such as slander, harsh talk, pessimist and hoax.

About the new legislation No. 2/2017 (about Civic Organization) he said; it was made to keep Indonesia safe from the extremism, now and future. In addition to this, we have to work together to overcome radicalism and terrorism, poverty and inequalities.

Then he gave the chance to PMKRI to give their views and Angelo as the representative of National Board of PMKRI  thanked the President for having them and delivered the greetings from the alumnies of PMKRI. Angelo also convey that PMKRI support the decision made by the President to counter extremism. He further commented that the history of our struggles fighting the colonization cannot be changed where it involved all groups of people, religion, culture and believe to get freedom from the colonizer and no one group has the right to change the way of live, the Pancasila.

Looking at the development of infrastructure increasingly improved in Indonesia especially in the border areas, in the era of President Jokowi administration, Angelo gave his appreciation to the President also above the development of infrastructure in Indonesia especially in border areas of Indonesia.

The President replied to the National Board that the border areas and the far most island are left behind but now he is trying to make it better, for example the he said in the past the price of fuel oil in those areas reached Rp 80.000,00 to Rp 100.000,00 per liter in very long time but now the price have been standardize throughout the whole of Indonesia. The president added that he was ashamed about the lag and he is trying to improve the situation.

The President reminded all the young generation that of Indonesian is smart. He found many young Indonesian do their best in all the fields. We are not brainless; we have to change the old mindset to new one. In 2045 the economic power of Indonesia will be in number 4 in the world after China, India and America. We hand and hand can reach it. Be optimistic, hopefully there will no political turbulence. The president end the conversation saying, now we should concentrate in the infrastructure, human resources, industry and services and technology,

In this occasion, the National Board invited the President to open the PMKRI National Assembly in Palembang, January 2018. The President received invitation and he will attempt to come. Hopefully.

May Thy Will Be Done

MAY THY WILL BE DONE Father..

A call will be real when we say “Yes” to God’s will as what Mother Mary did.

“Guide me to walk in Thy will, and teach me more about you; Thou art the Lord my Savior forever. I am here Father, use me according to Your will … “

My personal experience of the program “Laudato si” in Action AS  organised by IMCS Pax Romana in Bangalore, India on 20 – 28 May 2017

Thank you Lord Jesus, You know me thoroughly.

I am blessed with the opportunity to follow this program because all my questions about the IMCS program have been answered. The wonderful opportunity for me to follow the Laudato Si in Action programme is not wasted as it has given me  new awareness and has changed me from being passive to being more conscious and concerned towards issue  politics, economics, education, culture and social issues especially in Malaysia.

During the program, many sessions were conducted like Laudato Si in Action ( Fr Jojo Fung, SJ) Climate Change Research in Asia (Dr Noelyn Dano), Climate Change and Food Sovereignty (Ms Myrna Dominguez), Global Warming (FR Kasi Rayappa), Environment Conservation Strategies (Mr Leo Saldanha), Citizen Journalism (Prof Mark Rasquinha), Exposure and Eco Spirituality (Fr Robert Arthical, SJ). These sessions opened my eyes and mind on how faith and reality should be practiced together in mission.

In a few session, I was touched with the words which was said Fr Jojo  who said “If all races were united from the start to care for the environment as how God wanted, surely the world will not experience such destruction as we see today. Climate change is a consequence of human behaviour whom do not understand and are unaware of their responsibilities to care for God’s creation. Laodato Si in Action says very clearly that the world is not our property but God’s.

In the session “Climate Change and Food Sovereignty and Eco Spirituality”, I gained awareness on how important it is to change my behaviour from “EGO” to “ECO” so we can overcome the climate change crisis. Through “ECO”, I now understand who I am and my relationship with the environment. This session  reminds  me that one way to overcome climate change is to take action as real a Catholic who lives like Christ.

My awareness was  strengthen by the exposure programme which made me to think and reflect and become more aware that life and  the environment are both interconnected. Throughout the exposure program, I silenced myself, listening, experiencing, observing the surrounding situation of the exposure place, while at the same time I reflecting about my attitude towards the environment back home. With this, I have learned many things and I need to to change myself to be person of ECO and live the call to serve as a Catholic youth.

This program also thought me that as a youth of Asia Pacific, to always voice out justice and peace as written in Catholic Social Teachings. Besides that, we were exposed to a methodology called Web Chart Analysis to find the root cause of the complex climate change problem  and find effective solutions together.

One of the most valuable experience gained from this IMCS program is meeting youth from different Asia Pacific countries, which helped motivate me to be consistently concerned on current issues especially in Malaysia. They have also brought me closer to Jesus. Other than that, I also got to know more about the different and unique cultures of the participants during the cultural night.

 COMMITMENTS NEEDED TO BE MADE AFTER THE LAUDATO SI IN ACTION PROGRAMME

In this program, we were invited to make our commitment to action after this Laudato Si in Action program. A number of collective commitments were raised but I choose three life commitments which  are not wasting food, reduce eating meat and to take immediate action . After making the commitments, I was given 3 wristbands to be used every day to remind me of my chosen commitments.

Commitment to myself after following this program …

Jesus said, “Everything that you do for one of my most despicable brothers, you have done for me.” Many  faithful people are moved by this verse.

After the Laudato Si in Action program finished, a question arose in my heart “What does He( Jesus) want me to do next?” This question arises because I felt that if I don’t take follow up action, I have wasted my participation in the programme. Furthermore, I have sacrificed my time, energy, money and much more to follow this program. After reflection  and prayed, my conscience finally gave me a clear answer that what I saw, heard and experienced during the program had to be lived.

So, I first chose to go deeper into the Gospel before I approache my local enviroment by studying the issues discussed in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu PAX Assembly in 2015. Through this study, many things I have learned and need to take action wisely to address the three key issues that were identified and are critical today.

Why have I chosen to go deeper into the Gospel and reality (Church Social Teachings)? Because I really believe in the power of the Gospel and reality, that one can change the world like St. Francis of Assisi did. The Gospel also says “…for the Mighty One has done great things for me– holy is his name.” Luke 1:49

My Hope towards myself and for the youth today

Pope Francis said in the book Docat, “If until today there are Christians who do not care about the needs of the poorest of the poor, it is clear that he is not a Christian.”

My hope for myself is to continue getting closer and learning about Jesus so to change from Ego to ECO. Through a closer relationship with Jesus, I am confident that I will continuously be  concerned about matters around me. In addition, I also hope that I will always live out what is contained in the Laudato Si in Action and DOCAT says as this book helps me to see the world together with all the concerns and realities of today. This book also guides me to change and grow in values to do something small for the well being of the world, especially in my own home. This book also teaches me to live up to the Church’s Social Teachings that lead to charity.

As I hoped for myself, so is my expectations for today’s youth. Be active and always caring and aware of what’s happening around us, especially current issues in politics, economics, social, education and culture. This is because through awareness and attentiveness, we learn something that is expressed and implied in current issues. Let’s unite for the sake of justice and humanity, especially for the poorest among the poor. We are the Church and we are the one who will make sure whether the Church is alive or not.

The book “Social Teachings of the Church” teaches us about the principles of life namely People, Kindness, Solidarity and Subsidiarity. Let us live out the principles of life so that we can become  Catholic Christian youth who truly lives according to God’s will. Amen!

“Holy Father Frances called on the youths to make Mother Mary as a model of prayer who lived according to the “Eucharist” learning how to be grateful, prayful and hopeful despite the problems and difficulties in life.”

Alex Paulus Jiran
Youth of St Edmund Parish, Kota Belud