Destiny for Children Sibu continues initiative to assist stateless children in care apply for citizenship

Pauline fields questions from the press at the event.
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SIBU, April 13: About 40 per cent of the 52 stateless children at Destiny for Children (DFC) Association here have applied for temporary documents.

“There are 104 children at DFC. Half of them are stateless while the other half are non-Malaysians. Between 10 to 20 of the stateless children are applying for temporary documents,” said DFC principal Pauline Rogers after receiving a donation of RM2,100 from JCI Seduan and Yartist (Gen Y Artists) today.

The association works to provide education and free classes to stateless children and those who are too poor to afford to go to school.

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According to Pauline, some of the applicants would need their parents to obtain a marriage certificate first, while others need to renew their passports.

There are some cases where DNA tests need to be conducted to determine whether they are the parents of the child.

“When they (parents) come to us, they will have to sign a document to certify that the child they are enrolling is really theirs, and not from human trafficking activity,” said Pauline.

She said she personally feels that stateless children would be much better with DFC than loitering aimlessly on the streets.

“They will be safer here. That is why we need the community here to work with us to protect these children. We don’t want any harm to come to them when they are on the streets,” she added.

On the function of DFC, she said it is running a primary school for stateless and non-Malaysian children as they could not enter government school without documents like a birth certificate.

“We basically give them education at the primary school level at the moment. We also bring up their self esteem because I think that is the quality they need in them.

“Because even though they might not be able to get their documents, they can still become a responsible adult to the community and at least contribute to society, given the right education and opportunities,” she said. — DayakDaily

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