THE Church of Divine Mercy (CDM) in Sungai Ara, Penang, will be organising a food and fun fair on Sept 1 to raise funds for the construction of a RM10mil free-for-all learning centre.
CDM’s first parish priest Rev Father Martin Andrews Arlando said the Divine Mercy Learning Centre would mirror the La Salle Learning Centre in Penang Road and serve the needs of the neighbourhood community from all walks of life, regardless of race, religion, age or gender.
“There is a growing need to cater to not only spiritual, but to other needs of the parishioners and the surrounding community here. We want to take the opportunity to gather and grow the talents that we have.
“Some of the things we hope to carry out with the setting up of the centre are life skills classes for those with learning difficulty, medical therapy and consultations, counselling services and special activities for senior citizens, as well as hairdressing, make-up, baking, cooking, handicraft, computing, language competency, martial arts and tuition classes,” he said.
Father Martin said the parish wanted to focus on the less fortunate by helping to build their lives through the programmes at the centre.
“We realise that within the community, there are many who are marginalised due to the lack of opportunity to obtain certain skills.
“These include not only ourfellow Malaysians, but also the migrant community here. As such, we have decided to build a free learning centre on our newly leased land adjacent to the church.
“The extent to which we are able to offer such services will depend on us sourcing qualified volunteers and generous donors to build this RM10mil facility,” he added.
Father Martin said the parish had obtained approval from the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) in July last year to lease the land for l0 years to develop the centre, which is a five-storey building comprising a multi-purpose hall, two levels of classrooms and two levels of car park.
“The centre will also be equipped with three badminton courts, two futsal courts and a 250-seating capacity auditorium,” he said, adding that ground-breaking for the project would take place next month while construction is expected to be completed within two years.
Father Martin said the parish had started various initiatives such as free tuition classes, free health checks, counselling services, formation programmes and distribution of food to the poor in the streets over the past three years.
With the tagline #JomENJOY, the fair will see over 40 food stalls, merchandise and garage sales, face painting activities and other interesting games being set up.
To purchase the fair tickets at RM20 per coupon, call 04-646 6881. They can also be bought at the fair.
Details, visit www.cdm.my or the Church of Divine Mercy Sg Ara Facebook page.