PAR’S UNIQUE ROLE
The Policy, Advocacy and Research department (PAR), set up in 2016, is the newest addition to Malaysian CARE.
It has the unique role of looking into the causes of poverty and injustice and formulating strategies toward biblical justice. The main strategies include empowering people who are affected by injustice, empowering Christians and churches to advocate alongside, and affecting policy change at the national level. We aim to address long-standing systemic and structural causes of poverty and injustice.
At the Policy, Advocacy and Research department, we support colleagues in sections such as the Community Development (CD), who are serving the community directly, through our relevant research and joint advocacy, and lobbying to change policies.
PAR’s core focus
As the issues that Malaysian CARE works on as a whole are wide-ranging, we have selected these three areas to focus on so that our models and strategies can be tailored to suit our context. We also use these to learn together as an organization, address these issues, understand the mechanisms of advocacy and policy change, and create spaces in the public forum for a Christian voice.
We hope to advocate with and for the stakeholders until eventually, the target communities are able to advocate for themselves, and to lobby with and for them on their issues and concerns. To strengthen the foundation of biblical justice for Malaysian CARE, we also work on internal capacity-building on justice issues, for example, the Justice Month series which we ran for two years.
PAR’s biblical motivation
Through our work at PAR, we try to reach out to all the groups who are so close to Jesus’ heart.
Because He is a covenant God, God is keeping faith with the poor, widows, orphans, the blind, prisoners, sojourners, the hungry, and the oppressed through you and me.
In practical ways, we are helping the Orang Asli to map, document and protect their land. We are helping people living with HIV to get appropriate care and to get jobs. We are working with the Prisons Department to ensure better living conditions for prisoners with HIV, to ensure that they have equal rights and access to jobs, classes and other programmes.
Biblical justice might not be fully realized in our lifetime. Even as we encounter roadblocks and difficulties in sensitive situations, we have seen how God has provided ways for us to be a shining light in the communities we serve.
This has all ultimately led us to be constantly reminded that indeed He is the Great Master Weaver of all, in His perfect time.
Orang Asli Advocacy
The biggest challenge facing the indigenous people in Malaysia today is the loss of their land and livelihoods to encroachment or outright dispossession. Orang Asli’s cultural territories are not recognized and protected. To address this challenge, Malaysian CARE, together with our partners Koperasi Sengoi Pribumi Perak and local churches, aims to improve the customary rights recognition of the Semai indigenous grassroots organizations in native land protection through a combination of community organization, capacity building and advocacy support.
Malaysian CARE is inspired by Isaiah 61:1: “He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…” Since 1981, CARE has been working with prisoners and ex-prisoners.
Advocacy Efforts and Projects
Malaysian CARE's multi-pronged prison reform strategy focuses
Malaysian CARE was invited to be part of the workshop process in 2019 co-hosted by the Malaysian Prison Department (MPD) and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), which drafted prison reform proposals for inclusion in the 12th Malaysia Plan.
One of the biggest challenges the indigenous people in Malaysia are facing today is the loss of their land and livelihoods to encroachment or outright dispossession. Orang Asli’s cultural territories are not recognized and protected.
Persatuan Pekerja Prihatin & Pekerja Sosial Kristian Malaysia
One area of Malaysian CARE's advocacy is to support Social Workers. In the wake of the Social Workers Bill, we gathered Christian social workers together to inform, support, and prepare them for the changes to the policy. This saw the birth of Persatuan Pekerja Prihatin dan Pekerja Sosial Kristian Malaysia, a national society registered with the Registrar of Societies.
Safeguarding Children (an abstract from Child Protection Policy)
Malaysian CARE is working towards safeguarding children from harm from child abuse ranging from physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and deprivation, sexual abuse, and bullying. Malaysian CARE shared common commitment, standards, and guidelines through its adoption of the Malaysian CARE Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct for Working with Children which was approved in November 2020.