SHAH ALAM: Montfort Boys Town (MBT) situated in Jalan Montfort in Batu Tiga is the biggest charitable institution in Malaysia. This year MBT turns 51 years old. It was established in 1959 by the Brothers of St Gabriel (SG) for the care and development of underprivileged youth, as a welfare and vocational training centre. Since its inception, Montfort has helped more than 5,000 underprivileged boys and 80 girls become contributing members of society in Malaysia through empowering them with skills and character formation programmes to stay away from social ills.
These 5,000 skilled workers are from different ethnic races in our society. The Canossian Daughters of Charity (FDCC) have since 2002, been assisting the Brothers of St Gabriel to care for the girls, with the establishment of the Montfort Girls Centre in MBT. Sr Christie Ho is the local superior. The MBT director is presently Bro Peter Issac, SG. Today Montfort, a residential welfare home that houses some 350 underprivileged youths, trains them in vocational skills such as Motor Mechanics, Welding, Electrical, Printing, Machining, Graphic Design & Multimedia, Computer Maintenance and Bakery & Pastry. In all these courses youths are given industrial and production training.
They are also given language training, namely English and Bahasa Malaysia plus Mathematics and Computer Appreciation, in the process enabling them to be part of the nation’s workforce. All these have been made possible through the past five decades by the kind and generous contributors and benefactors. The students in MBT basically come from poor families, some are orphans and some are from single parent families. This year Montfort received more than 300 applications, but they are only able to admit 180 deserving students between the ages 16 to 18 years old due to financial and workshop constraints.
The new courses start in June. In a recent letter early this year, Bro Peter said that with faith in God and trust in our benefactors, MBT is initiating the Hospitality Programme course for our next intake of students in June 2010. MBT requires RM4.8 million to feed, house and educate these students, therefore it has to reach out to seek more donors for financial assistance, as every donation will benefit the underprivileged youths. In 1991, the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur celebrated the Eucharistic Congress, themed Come Union in Christ held in MBT with thousands of Catholics participating at the day-long event which included an exhibition, talk on the Holy Eucharist and an ‘open-air’ Mass. The theme for MBT’s 51 years is Building Youth For A Better World. — By Bernard Anthony