Community Empowerment and Community-based Protection –
One of the most important goals of community development is to bring people together, empowering them to be more resilient and self-reliant, and eventually contributing back to their community. To achieve these aims, we implement various programmes and activities to foster community cohesiveness, promote self-development, and also advocate for the common good of the community.
Community Empowerment - Afghan Youth Empowerment
Our social work programmes aim to empower and develop the community by transforming mindsets, equipping them with skills, and forming community ownership.
Since 2021, ElShaddai Centre has been working with the Afghan community, in particular, the Afghan youth in Ampang, through our self-awareness programme. In 2022, we had the privilege to work with Korean ministers to provide community development education, through the “Better Life Programme”, to the Afghan youth. The programme has over 30 participants including youth, volunteers and trainers.
From May to August 2022, we worked on understanding an individual’s holistic well-being, empowering the community to take ownership and better control of their lives, and lastly, understanding community development and its application. One of the success stories that we would like to share is of one of our youths (shown in the picture below). When we first met her, she was shy and kept to herself. She frequently wore hoodies and caps to cover up and hide herself. However, after participating in our Better Life programme, she became brave enough to stand in front of the audience during the final session to talk about motivation by sharing the story of Mr Bean (Rowan Atkinson).
We are also proud of the Afghan youth for taking on the responsibility and ownership of running fundraising projects for the community, for the first time in their lives. Through organising an Afghan lunch (as shown in the poster below that they designed), they managed to raise substantial funds for the community. We were also able to reimburse the Afghan community people who worked for us during this fundraising project. These youth are full of potential and we are happy to give them a platform to flourish!
One of the main programmes ongoing in Ampang with the Afghan community is the Afghan youth club, NewRoots. Through the partnership between volunteers and Afghan youths, this youth club will focus on four areas: fun-filled element, skills and knowledge sharing, leadership empowerment and holistic personal development. The youth club also has three core values: social responsibility, growth mindset/grit and sustainability. We recently held our first picnic day, and have many more activities coming up in 2023!
Up till November 2022, we have connected with over 20 youths. With a shop lot unit that ElShaddai Centre has in Ampang, we are looking to build a youth club with a computer room, toys library, programme space and hangout area for the youth. We have also engaged an Afghan focal point to work with us in our initiatives.
Community Empowerment – Community Football Program
In 2022, ElShaddai Centre started a sports ministry with the intention of developing and empowering the community. Every Friday evening and Saturday morning, with the commitment of our faithful staff (Max, Tony and Mason) and the partnership of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), we run football coaching sessions in the neighbourhood. Students from our learning centres, children and youth from the community are welcome to join us. We are not just looking to train professional football players, but also community coaches who can run this sports ministry in a self-sustaining manner. We also see this as a platform for relationship-building, ministering and discipling youth in their values and characters to become the next leaders. We are glad that we now have up to 40 boys joining us in the football sessions, with at least 5 identified potential leaders/community coaches.
As the current football programme achieves sustainability and stability, we look forward to expanding the sports ministry with the inclusion of other sports such as frisbee and captain’s ball.