Significant contribution to Human Rights is recognized

Migration - a cause worth fighting for 

Mary Anne Baltazar’s dedication to improving the lives of migrants, especially children who have little or no access to education and healthcare, has won her a top accolade in the state of Sabah.

Photograph

Anne Baltazar receiving her award from Minister of Youth and Sports Sabah, YB Datuk Haji Tawfiq Bin Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Abu Bakar Titingan, who was also the Chief Judge of the Award.

 

A significant contribution honoured

Anne was recently named the Top Outstanding Young Persons of Sabah 2016 for her contribution to Children, World Peace or Human Rights by JCI Kota Kinabalu. JCI Kota Kinabalu is one of the 140 chapters of Junior Chamber International, the world’s largest non-profit leadership and training organization for the young people with the aim of creating positive changes in the world.

Despite six years of tireless effort from volunteering at learning centres for migrant children to advocating for the issues faced by migrant communities, Anne did not expect to win the award. 

 

Not a popular cause

“I was very surprised because my cause is not a very popular cause in Sabah. The experience was surreal because I have never been presented an award before!” she said.

As a member of Good Shepherd Services (GSS) management team and the centre manager of GSS Sabah’s youth outreach office, Anne said that the award has encouraged her to continue championing the sensitive issue of migration in Sabah. “The award reminds me that it is a cause worth fighting for, that there are others who also believe in this cause.”

 

Influence of Good Shepherd Mission Partners

Anne credited the Good Shepherd mission for shaping her views and thoughts. “I feel very blessed and grateful to be part of this group of people who call themselves the Good Shepherd mission partners, because they are truly, truly, one of the most sincere, passionate, fearless and compassionate people I know, always wanting to reach out to the most marginalized,” she said.

 

Anne's dream

Although Anne described her human rights fight as a roller coaster journey – from the high of rich fulfillment to the low of being emotionally-drained – she has her eyes firmly set on her dream.

“My dream is that someday, all children will have the chance to enjoy their childhood, not have to work so hard for their families, shake with fear at the sight of a police man, become young mothers because of poverty and are able to access education and health care no matter their race, religion, background and social status.”

 

Click here for information about one project - BAH Makan Programme assisting young students

 

Speaking at Vatican Youth Symposium in 2014

Click here for story of Anne Baltazar speaking at Vatican Youth Symposium on Prostitution and Human Trafficking in 2014 - http://www.goodshepherd-asiapacific.org.au/project/84