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Encouraging Result Form Perkasa Remaja Programme | 15/04/2010
Untitled document WASHINGTON, April 15 2010 (Bernama) -- The pilot Perkasa Remaja Negara programme to instil confidence and a positive outlook in the youth has shown encouraging result, the prime minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor said.

Rosmah, who is also the Permata Negara patron, said 30 young people aged between 18 and 25 who had broken the law had voluntarily signed up for the programme run by Permata Negara and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and were reported to have shown a positive change in attitude towards themselves and the society.

"The programme, which is aimed at inculcating belief in themselves and not to regard themselves a failures, is important because they too are entitled to receive education and attention just like other youths," she told Malaysian journalists after visiting Martha's Table, a non-profit organisation which is actively involved in welfare and voluntary work, Wednesday.

The organisation, which was set up 30 years ago, aims to help at-risk less fortunate individuals in the surrounding communities to develop their living situation into a better one through volunteer programmes.

Rosmah, who is also president of the Wives of Ministers and Deputy Ministers Welfare Body (Bakti), said a full report on the achievement of the two-month programme, which started on March 1, would be made after the programme ended.

She said the youth must be given the freedom to choose the field they were interested in and efforts must be made to nurture this interest so that it would blossom and bring them success. They could not be forced.

On her visit, she said she was thinking of a youth programme where the youth could be kept in a place to fill their time after school with useful activities.

"They can study in fields they are interested in like music, singing, drama and so forth besides doing their homework assisted by teachers. It's important (for these places) to have suitable teachers who are keen to teach," she said, adding that they also needed volunteers.

Earlier, Lindsey Buss, president and chief executive officer of Martha's Table, in his briefing, said that since the setting up of Martha's Table in the drug community area in 1980, many positive changes have occurred in the area, and it had become a second home for the children and youth in the area.

The organisation, which gets only 18 per cent of its revenue from government grants, has two programmes -- a short-term programe involving food and clothing for the poor and a long-term programme involving education and family services.

He said the centre had 10,000 volunteers a year assisting in its activities and 70 teachers with minimum qualification of a degree taking care of 300 children, aged three months to 18 years, after and before school and assisting them in doing their homework and getting them involved in various activities such as graphic design and video production to enhance their skills.

The centre also recorded 100 per cent passes for its high school students and had assisted many in furthering their studies in colleges and universities, he added.

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