by Marina D'costa
MATUNGA-MUMBAI, OCTOBER 17, 2014: On October 14, 2014 DBYS Animators Fr. Glenford and Fr. Cleophas, along with Ms. Marina the Social Political Co-ordinator of DBYS and Ms. Divya, Resource Person and member of DBYS had a skype meet with the Catholic Human Rights Activist from Malaysia belonging to the SALT ((School of Acting Justly, Loving Tenderly and Treading Humbly with God) Movement to understand the Human Rights Issue in Malaysia and also to learn the methodology to train youngsters for social justice work.
The speakers were Erlinda Joseph and Amanda Leonie, fighting the Kaiduan Dam and Bakun Dam respectively in Sabha province of Malaysia. SALT was started by Fr. Jojo Fung, SJ as a training programme for youth in Human Rights which eventually has lead to a human rights movement. The discussion began with introduction of the participants and by introducing SALT movement and the SYM (Salesian Youth Movement).
Erlinda shared her university experience and the challenges she faced when joining the SALT work for Human Rights. Belonging to the Orang Asli indigenous community, she has worked towards the rights of her people, also motivating her village members to join her in the social justice work. Likewise, Amanda belonging to the Dusan indigenous community shared her experience about the same. She shared her struggle to fight the Bakun dam along with other Human Rights activist.
The other ideas covered in the conversation were challenges from home and the church, challenges in attracting youth for Human Rights programme, application of theology (the church's teaching) in social justice work, importance of leadership and ideas on movement building. The discussion was fruitful in understanding the challenges of Human Rights, inspiring the DBYS team to work towards social issues in India.
The meet also helped in working out a methodology to involve youth in social political sphere for awareness and action oriented activities. Towards the end of the meeting both the groups decided to be in solidarity with each other and share resources to work towards building awareness on Human Rights.