Malaysia is one of the founding members of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations). This country has about 32 million inhabitants and a wide variety of religious groups. Islam, which is professed by about 61.3% of the population, is the official state religion. Other religious groups are represented as follows: Buddhism (19.8%), Christianity (9.2%), Hinduism (6.3%), Confucianism (1.3%) and Taoism (0.4%).
Malaysia is divided into West Malaysia, known as the Malay Peninsula, and East Malaysia with the provinces of Sarawak and Sabah. The two regions have developed very differently. The provinces of Sarawak and Sabah number among Malaysia's poorest regions.
Education for everyone
There is an evident divide between rich and poor in Malaysia, and it is becoming noticeably wider. This is especially apparent in Sabah, the poorest Federal state. Mission 21 is involved in the educational sector in Sabah, with scholarship programmes for children and young people. Particular support is given to stateless children from Indonesia and the Philippines who have no access to public schools because they lack official documents. Through its programme of scholarships for girls, Mission 21 also aims to reduce the number of under-age marriages in Sabah.
Help for victims of violence
The lack of future prospects and oppressive poverty have a negative impact on family relationships. Women and children in Sabah are often victims of domestic violence. Mission 21 provides support for the victims of violence and their families in collaboration with SAWO (Sabah Women’s Action Resource Group), a non-government organisation, and our two partner churches: BCCM (the Basel Christian Church of Malaysia) and PCS (the Protestant Church in Sabah). This assistance takes various forms such as ongoing education, advice and support for disadvantaged women and children.
Professional support from Mission 21
Mission 21 collaborates closely with its partners, guaranteeing that they receive professional support. Mission 21's various partners in Malaysia are in close contact with one another. Through the ecumenical network, many synergies are utilised across national borders to steadily enhance the impact of their joint work. One example: for children of Indonesian migrants who are in Malaysia without documents, it has been possible to achieve recognition of primary school leaving qualifications in their home country. Development of the projects on the ground is supported by specialist staff from Malaysia and abroad.