Students Go Green with Recycling and Tree-Planting

23 09 2010

KUCHING – On 15 September 2010, the Kuching Young Christian Students (KYCS) East Malaysian Encounter (EME) participants organised a Plant-A-Tree (PAT) program that was held at the St. Joseph’s Parish Centre from 7am to 12pm. The program was to signify an action of combating climate change, with a long term target to influence other student movements to join in the action of providing a better environment for all, especially in schools.

Young Christian Students from SMK Batu Lintang, SMK Green Road, SMK Penrissen No. 1, SMK St. Joseph, SMK St. Teresa and SMK Sungai Maong attended this program besides Student Animators and a few teacher animators which totaled up to about 40 people gathered at the St Joseph’s Cathedral Parish Gallery for the half-day program.

Recycling Program was held at the same time as the PAT program. During the PAT program, there were video showing and sharing on the EME camp. Fr Simon was invited to give a talk on ‘Christian Faith and Sustainability in Conjunction with UN World Environmental Day’. The session was on Christian’s perspectives about the environment and that man takes care of what belongs to God the creator.

In addition to that, Claudia Law, one of the Student Animators conducted the Review of Life (ROL) session on Climate Change based on the YCS Methodology of See, Judge and Act. In this session, students discussed about everyone’s responsibilities relating to environmental issues. A participant from every group was asked to share their groups’ ideas of how to contribute positively to Mother Nature.

A tree hunting session begins right after the previous session ended. Participants from respective schools were to find their own trees tagged with their school’s name on it. The trees were hidden at the St. Peter’s College grounds. Once the trees were found, everyone gathered at the gallery for the closing ceremony.

During the closing ceremony, Fr Simon blessed the trees that were sponsored by the Semenggoh Forestry Department, followed by a closing prayer. Everyone witnessed the planting of the KYCS tree at the allocated land near the Parish Centre, thereafter they were briefed on the planting of trees. Each school brought a tree back to be planted in their respective school compounds or any suitable location.

Rachel Remus

Student leaders learn to be humble in service

15 09 2010

BUNAN GEGA – The Kuching Young Christian Student (KYCS) Movement successfully organised a leadership formation camp in St Jude’s Parish, Bunan Gega from 6 – 8 September 2010. The theme for the camp was ‘To Form Holistic Leaders Humble in Service’ following the methodology of ‘See, Judge and Act’.  A total of 87 students, ranging from Form 1 to Form 6 participated. Among them were a group of 10 students from Sibu.

The camp coordinated by Student Animators headed by Julian Sim helped the participants to understand what makes a holistic leader. As Christian leaders, the participants were exposed to the leadership qualities that Jesus displayed throughout his public ministry. The participants were called to take on Jesus’ leadership qualities and apply them in their service as YCS leaders in their respective schools.

Besides the interactive input sessions, there was exposure to Kampung Mujat and Kampung Bunan Gega where students exposed themselves to simple lifestyle and humble living. A debate was run by the students on a given motion and Taizé prayers were held as an opportunity for the participants to reflect on what they’ve learnt throughout the camp. Mass was held on the second day presided by Fr Paul Herry. Solidarity night, a night of fellowship to enhance solidarity among the YCS leaders from different schools was also held.

In summary, the camp was run by the students themselves as they participated in different committees during the camp to put into practice leadership skills and humility when leading others.

Kelvin Jong


From this camp, I have learned how to be a holistic leader and a lot of things about leadership. Isut anak John, 16, SMK Penrissen No. 1

LFC is great. Praise the Lord that I am chosen to be here. Being in this camp, I realised that being a leader is not easy. During these three days, I am able to reflect back on my behaviour and I’m happy to change to be a better leader. Overall, I had so much fun here – being together with beautiful YCS-ers. Valerie Carlisle, 16, SMK St Teresa

First of all, I’d like to thank God for giving me this opportunity to join this camp. I had a lot of fun and have learnt many things about leadership. The debate during camp made me realised that humility is important for a leader as it is one of Jesus’ qualities. Jesus is always our leader and from him, we learn the true qualities of being a leader. Olivia Chen, 14, SMK Batu Lintang

Youths in Serian excited for God!

10 09 2010

SERIAN – About 160 youth chose to spend their first day of their mid-term holiday on 4 Sept 2010 to have a closer walk with Him at St Ann’s Church, Kampung Kakai.  A one-day youth camp was organised by the Sarawak Catholic Teachers’ Guild, Serian Branch.  The event was assisted by a team from Kuching Young Christian Students (KYCS). Among the topics shared were on Personal  Formation, Social Formation and Action Plan. These topics were meant to bring the students to the awareness of being a leader. Sr Lucina shared on Vocation and how God calls young people to religious life. Mass was celebrated by Fr Paul Herry.

Fresh Leaders for KYCS

2 09 2010

KUCHING – The Kuching Young Christian Student (KYCS) Students Leaders and Animators Gathering (SLAG) was held on 28 August 2010 at St James’ Room, St Joseph’s Parish Centre. The half-day program aimed to thank the outgoing committees for their contribution during the past one year and to gather and enhance solidarity among all the student leaders and teacher animators. A total of 49 students and 4 teacher animators from 7 different schools participated in this gathering. The schools present were Kolej Abdillah, SMK Batu Lintang, SMK Green Road, SMK Penrissen No.1, SMK Sg. Maong, SMK St Joseph, and SMK St Teresa.

SLAG basically had each YCS school president reporting on the activities in their school cell group besides the usual prayers and animation session. There was also introduction on Cardinal Joseph Cardijn and the establishment of YCS and a presentation video clip featuring KYCS events throughout the 2009 and 2010. The highlight of the SLAG was the election of the new KYCS Council for the year 2010-2011.  With the Council of Presidents system preferred, members present voted for Audrey Yap (SMK Batu Lintang) and Julida Shirley (SMK Sg. Maong) to be the representatives of KYCS. Rachel Remus (SMK St. Teresa) volunteered to be the secretary while Leonard Then (SMK Green Road) volunteered to be the treasurer. A Review of Life (ROL) session was also conducted after the election for the outgoing committee members to reflect back on their contribution and for the incoming committee members to reflect on what they have done in YCS so far and their future plans for respective cell groups.

SLAG continued after lunch with the completion of the installation. A handover ceremony was held with the outgoing council members handing over a lit candle to the incoming council members. Mr Fabian Kong, teacher animator of SMK Penrissen No.1 led the members present in a prayer over the outgoing and incoming committees. Tokens of appreciation were presented to the outgoing council members by Stephanie Ng, chairperson of the Kuching Archdiocesan Youth Commission who also thanked the outgoing committees for their contribution and added that YCS is a platform to serve. The upcoming event for KYCS would be the Leadership Formation Camp (LFC) in September.

Grace Lim

Internship Sharing

1 09 2010

A post of Ralph Balan sharing his internship testimony:

From 28 June to 28 July, I was sent for a one-month internship to the International Young Christian Students (IYCS) Asian Secretariat which is based in Metro Manila, Republic of the Philippines.  The Asian Secretariat is among the seven secretariats under the international office in Paris. The purpose of the Asian office is to coordinate and network with all the YCS National Movements in over 14 countries across Asia namely Korea YCS, Thailand YCS, Bangladesh YCS, and more.

Working in the Asian Secretariat has given me a lot of new experiences. One interesting experience was how the office communicates and organizes projects with the national movements, funding partners, the international secretariat and many other agencies. I was also able to experience living in a small community of people from different backgrounds and cultures yet at the same time dwell in harmony through our Lord Jesus.

I have had both good and bad experiences in my internship but ultimately, it was an opportunity which I did not regret taking up. Though there were many challenges and obstacles, it is a lesson that I have learnt and hope it will help me and those who journey with me in the future. To all Young Christian Students reading this testimony, I hope you will continue to actively participate or lead the YCS movement you belong to and live out the vision of Cardinal Joseph Cardijn to really SEE, JUDGE and ACT in your everyday lives and in everything you do especially when relating to the poor and the marginalized.  My heartfelt appreciations to the KAYC and the IYCS Asian Secretariat for offering me this valuable opportunity as well as assisting me financially for the internship, to family and friends who always love and care, and to all those who have willingly kept me in prayers. May God bless you abundantly as He has blessed me.

Ralph Balan