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Looking to Belong: The Power of Mentorship and Community

This story is written by Nicholas, a community development staff based in Setapak where he met Shawn* (pseudonym) and embarked on a mentorship journey with him.

I am humbled to bear witness to the profound work of God in the life of a young man named Shawn. 

Shawn, 17 years old, faced the immense challenge of a broken home, with no friends and no male role models in his life. By the grace of God, our paths crossed, and we were given an opportunity to form a brotherly relationship with one another.

A Christian from out of town, Shawn had not been attending church since his move to Kuala Lumpur. Understanding the importance of having a sense of belonging, I introduced him to friends his age and connected him to a church community that could provide support and camaraderie. Through Malaysian CARE’s weekly community sports sessions, he found a circle of friends who embraced him and became his source of encouragement and strength. 

My role extended beyond mentoring Shawn alone. 


Shawn along with other volunteers setting up for Hari Komuniti, a community event organised by Pusat Sumber Komuniti CARE (PSKC) in Setapak. 

Through Shawn, we came to know of the struggles faced by his family, particularly his mother. We assisted her in finding employment and secured food provisions for the family. A few female colleagues also came on board to journey with her and provide emotional support. The local church community has also been very helpful and supportive, often shouldering her financial burdens.

As a “big brother” figure to Shawn, I have witnessed an incredible transformation take place in his life. From a timid and insecure boy, he has grown into a confident young man who fearlessly expresses himself and embraces new experiences. It is awe-inspiring to see the growth he has achieved. 

Shawn and his peers during our weekly community sports session (top) and mentorship session with Nicholas in PSKC (bottom).

Notably, Shawn has taken on a leadership role in our captain ball community sports team. Recognising his potential, we have closely mentored him, instilling in him leadership values and skills. Additionally, he has embraced a heart of service, actively serving in his church. He has even dedicated his time to tutoring primary school children, earning an income to help support his family. 

I am grateful to God for the privilege of being a part of Shawn's life and being able to witness this remarkable journey of growth and transformation. We hope to continue journeying with Shawn as he makes a positive impact in the lives of others.

*  Name altered to protect identity.
Story written by Nicholas Perera, Community Development Manager (Youth)