Rungus Bible Translator and Sectoral Coordinator for Community Education Programme with M21, Protestant Church in Sabah & Mission 21
1. What was your first connection with Mission 21 or Basel Mission?
I am a member of The Protestant Church in Sabah, founded by Basel Mission former missionaries in 1950s. Since then, the connection sustains until these days and frankly speaking, we are the fruits of Basel Mission/M21 ministry. Thus, to me, the connection is more of a parent-children relationship with mutual understanding, purpose and common goals.
2. What have been your contributions to the empowerment of women?
I am an ordained minister and women listen to me when I talk and seek for my advice. I give talk in small group about women and their uniqueness, purpose and power based on Christian teaching of course.
Apart from that, I am partly working with Mission 21 in women empowerment goal through community education programme. We visit partner organizations and their specify project area, meet up with the community, listen to their stories and empower their girls (or even boys) via scholarship for a better education. We are also working along with other M21 programme like economic empowerment for women and overcoming gender base violence. Through these programmes, women were brought to understand spiritual welfare, gender equality, socio-economic balance, better education and health, political rights and human rights and as a result more women nowadays stand and speak for themselves louder than before. My contribution is little in measurement but I will not cease to do my part whenever is needed.
3. Why do you think the empowerment of women is important in the Faith Based Organizations?
To understand that the essence of a woman being is from God for woman as well as man, was created in God Image. Therefore, empowering women should involve holistic transformation and the foundation of this work is through our strong relationship with The Creator of the heaven and the earth. All the true, correct and main purpose of empowering women come from above and to be executed on earth as blessing to many.
4. What are, in your experience the main challenges to overcome as an advocacy leader for women’s human rights in a context of Faith Based Organization?
The main challenges are the diversity of the backgrounds, customs and tradition which mostly patriarchy and the illiteracy among common people which hinder them from understand their true rights.
5. What are the main issues you would like to advocate (or you are already advocating for) in your community in order to fight for women’s human rights and achieve gender justice?
Equality for better education and widows welfare. Women should be knowledgeable , smart and courageous in order to help herself or others. Education is indeed the gate to true liberation from any bias execises.
Widows are part of the community and their existence is as important as the rest, and their life is as precious as others. Widows are not a sex symbol and not a lowly human being. Widows can be leaders and can live freely according to their rights.