2024 Project Story — Malaysia: Love


LOVE: Builders will become friends and advocates for the deaf and blind communities as they provide educational and social opportunities. LOVE is designed to create a sense of community and belonging to help reduce mental health struggles.

There are about 44,500 deaf people in Malaysia. In Malaysia, deaf people struggle to fit into the dominant hearing society due to communication barriers. Most Malaysian families speak multiple languages which adds to the communication challenge. Although the national language is Malay, most families also speak English, Mandarin, or Tamil as well. Studies in Malaysia have shown this communication complexity leaves the deaf person feeling socially excluded and struggling to fit in. The lack of sense of belonging increases their vulnerability to mental health issues. Deaf people experience poorer psychological health with higher rates of depression, anxiety, insomnia, emotional distress, and poorer quality of life than the hearing population. In children, psychological difficulties are four times greater than in typical hearing children. Although these statistics do not apply to the entire deaf community, deaf individuals are more vulnerable than their hearing counterparts.

Most deaf people congregate in the city where they can find work and meet other deaf people. They seek a sense of belonging through meaningful connections that are inclusive, connective, and equal. HXP builders will be serving in Kuala Lumpur as part of the valley’s most innovative form of education for the community. Builders will take a crash course in MSL (Malaysian Sign Language), a language based on (ASL) American Sign Language to bridge communication with the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Builders will become friends and advocates as they provide educational opportunities, social and recreational activities, and participate in Chinese percussion instruments with children and students. These activities are designed to create a sense of belonging to improve psychological and social well-being and reduce mental health issues.

Besides serving the deaf community, HXP will have the opportunity to serve the blind and vision-impaired population. There are 40,000 blind people in Malaysia and HXP will have the opportunity to serve in a community of 1000 blind people with The Malaysian Association for the Blind. HXP Builders will experience LOVE as they come unto Christ through their work serving the deaf and blind communities.