I am Arun, and I am from a small town in Malaysia called Klang. I started off as an engineer based in the US and Australia some years ago before entering into full time ministry with my local church where I served as a Youth Pastor for 4 years. I am now back to my alma mater as a postgraduate student in the field of artificial intelligence. It all began when I was offshore one day trying to make sense of my life. I slowly realized that I had a very strong conviction to serve the community. I knew God had a certain purpose for my life and after much thoughts and prayers, I decided to pursue the path of ministry where I got to see the actual situation of the young people in my country.
I was actively involved in schools, providing motivational talks and career guidance; essentially helping to navigate them towards their true passions and dreams in life. In Malaysia, young people are brought up to prioritize financial security above all. To achieve this, career options were narrowed down to high paying jobs such as a doctor, engineer, lawyer etc.
The truth was, they have many hidden passions within that they find hard to express. They were never going to say to their parents that they wanted to be a dancer, or a football player. It would be frowned upon. I remember meeting someone in the US who wanted to be a whale trainer, and went on to be one. Such stories are not common in Malaysia. I really wanted to help make a change and provide the support needed for them to pursue their dreams.
The Lighthouse was a project I started with a fellow friend over a year ago. It is essentially a youth lounge that provides a safe space for school students to hangout, socialize and meet potential mentors who have made it in life. For instance, if a kid wanted to be a filmmaker but had no idea on how to be one, we would get friends from the entertainment industry to be at the center where they could meet and share their journey. The Lighthouse aims to teach the youth how to not quit from their dreams.
Since March last year, we have conducted certain gatherings, hosted students as well as reached out to the schools. Our struggle at the moment is in the finance. The center is located within walking distance from a cluster of 5 schools. We have been paying rent, utilities and so much more from our own finance for the last year because we really believed in our vision. The youth themselves helped us to paint and make the place look good. But costs of running the center is increasing and we are in need of some financial support to help us sustain and conduct more activities that can benefit the youth.
Therefore, on behalf of the people behind The Lighthouse, I would like to seek your kindness to support us in this cause. I hope you can see our vision and the need to empower the young people. They are the leaders of tomorrow.