Richard Onsegit: I am a senior trainee of Batch 15 in the Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Department. I’m 18 years old and I come from Kg Dalamas, Paitan, Beluran, is very far from Montfort Youth Training Centre, Kinarut. It takes about ten (10) hours by bus and boat to reach my home. It is a very harsh place to live; we have no clean drinking water during the dry season, and when the place is flooded during rainy season, we do not have food.
I come from a poor family. I have 5 siblings and I’m the third. I have a twin brother. My parents broke up when I was two. I was too young to understand then, but I know now, it must be hard for them. I was raised by my father whereas my twin brother, Donny, by my mother. I attended kindergarten school when I was 6 years old. I did not complete my pre-school because my father could not afford the school fees. To pass time, I read cartoon books and this is where I picked up my reading and writing.
Life became more difficult when my father fell ill. I had to take care of him. My father passed away when I was 14, then my mother took me in. My aunt brought me to church. I tried taking part in the church activities such as the choir. Unfortunately some of my friends smoke and drink. Soon after that, I started following my friends smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. My life began to get worse.
Fortunately I heard about Montfort from my uncle. I then approached Sr Dorothy, a Franciscan sister, teaching in a kindergarten in my village. I went to meet her and asked when the next intake was. Actually I needed to find a sponsor to help me enrol. I wanted so much to go to school but I know it is impossible to ask my mother.
Praise the Lord! Sr Dorothy agreed. She brought me to Montfort to make sure I was accepted. She even bought the things I needed for the training. I was so happy and excited but also apprehensive. I had no education background and the officers there were speaking in English! I couldn’t understand a word at all. Nevertheless, I started making friends and progressed to learn as much as possible to keep up with my fellow trainees. Montfort fed and cared for us very well.
I was in the weakest class called St Louis class in my 1st year. There were a lot of us there. I started to learn how to read and write in English. My friends always laughed at me every time I tried to speak English but I just went on speaking. Montfort taught me to never give up, and to ‘Do The Best, Give The Best And Be The Best’. I followed the programme diligently. The programme involved building up one’s character and spiritual knowledge through holistic programmes. I learned how to pray and trust in God.
In my 2nd year, I was promoted to the best class in English because I was able to speak, read and write in English. I felt good and grew to be more confident. I have also improved in my skills for example; wiring, troubleshooting, servicing and installing an air conditioner. After all the hard work, I am proud to say that I achieved a distinction which is ‘Terampil Cemerlang’ in my Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia examination.
Besides English and technical skills, I found myself learning many other skills at the home-side. We have many extra activities which helped me to pick up leadership skills and determination. I also learned the importance of punctuality and time management. I deepened my faith and trust in God. All these helped me to grow and build my character. I was appointed to become deputy prefect assisting my head prefect to coordinate the sports and recreation activities.
I acquired good values here. I learned to be responsible, reliable, respectable, willing to respond and build good relationship with people around me and the environment.
I hope the public will continue to support Montfort Youth Training Centre and give youths like me a chance to live a new life. I wish the Batch 16 all the best and my advice is, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND ALWAYS TRUST IN JESUS TO GUIDE YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE.
Before I end my testimony, I wish to thank Bro Francis, our MYTC Director, Bro Gasper, the Board of Governors, my workshop coordinator Mr Shun, my instructors Mr Erexy and Mr Ahmad, teachers, staff, friends of Montfort and fellow trainees. Special thanks to Sr Dorothy, for being so kind and generous in sponsoring my studies here. Without her help, support and love, I would not even be standing here before you. I wish to thank my family for their support and prayers. Once again, thank you and God bless.