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New portal for young people online

Anthea (seated, left), Anne (2nd left, front row) and Sevan (standing behind Anthea) browsing through the content of the web portal.

1st October, 2009

PENAMPANG: A new web portal representing the voices of the young people in Sabah is now online.

The portal named ‘Young Voices of Borneo’ is a place where young writers can express their issues, be it challenges in their communities, risks posed by socioeconomic factors, unemployment and threats to their identities.

Prior to the launch of the website at http://cijyouth.org , about 45 youths comprising Sabahans from mainly the rural areas of Sabah attended a journalism course conducted by the Center of Independent Journalism (CIJ) together with the support of The Asia Foundation and Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS) Trust.

One of the portal’s aspiring writers is James Monuin, 22, (pictured left) from Kampung Inarat, Tongod in Kinabatangan.

Becoming a journalist has never entered James’ mind prior to joining the course organized by CIJ.

“However, after going through it, I started having interest in blogging and writing,” he said.

He realized that there were many issues affecting the communities which were never raised and brought to the attention of those in power.

“It is up to us, the community, to raise them,” he said.

He added that blogs were one of the means the community members could use to bring up important matters that were affecting the lives of the people, particularly the natives.

“Not many people know about the rights of the natives so we must share our knowledge with them and what better way to do it than through our articles and writings,” he said.

James hoped to improve his grasp in English as he presently writes only in the national language for the portal.

“Writing in Bahasa Malaysia has its limitation. We can only relay our message to those versed in the language,” he said.

Also present to witness the launch of the website were PACOS director, Anne Lasimbang, CIJ program director, Sevan Doraisamy and The Asia Foundation’s country representative, Anthea Mulakala.

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