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Urgent help needed for UK youth abandoned in Borneo

$1,183 of $5,000 goal
Given by 19 generous donors in one year

Youth abandoned in Borneo as a child needing support.

Auckland

Hi if you need verification this is not a scam please contact me directly. You can find me on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/lawrence-wong-62617818 . If you click the "Contact Info" you will find my email. If you need more evidence I would be willing to provide you the contact details of the person I have been working with at the British Embassy who can validate this person.

(Please if you have problems processing a donation payment do let me know. I know of one person who has and got it fixed. You can contact me below by using "Got a question for the page owner?" Thank you, Lawrence)

Please click on Readmore for the full story and background.

The background

I met in Mid November 2019 a youth abandoned in Sarawak (Borneo), I will refer to him as Joshua to protect his identity for the time being.

Joshua is half Iban (Native of Borneo) and half Scottish. His parents divorced at a young age and he was later taken to Sarawak at age 11.

Since arrival he has lived in squalled conditions in a 4m x 4m room with his mother and sister, now on his own. I have included a photo of his room. Joshua has not been schooled since arriving in Sarawak. His mother kicked him out at 16/17 after financial support from overseas ran out, I believe this was social services.

Last year he understood why his mother called him illegal when he got his childhood passport returned. It only had a 3 month visitors visa and he has been in Sarawak for 8 years. I contacted the British Embassy who advised they can do nothing for him as he is an adult, despite his arrival into Sarawak and his illegal status not being his own doing.

I contacted the UK and been advise he would not receive social services on his return for 3 months. I understand he does have a father who is an addict and gambler so can provide no support in anyway in the UK. His grandmother is sick and elderly so in a similar position. Other than this he has no family in the UK, nothing to actually return for. I am raising funds for him to help with application to be a Malaysian Citizen and to support him while he has no work. He has tried to find work but this is hard to find if you are illegal.

He has just lost his job, a few days after I met him, due to the nature of the chef in the kitchen he was working in so now has no income. Joshua just got it lucky for his first job that he wasn’t asked for ID because he was so young at the time, but the rules have toughen up since and fines for hiring illegals high making it almost impossible to find work. I am also raising the funds in the event he is deported to give him a better start in the UK and should he stay in Sarawak then perhaps an education and some financial support to help kickstart him. Anything you can provide will help. Fortunately Sarawak is not as expensive as many other countries so even the smallest contribution will make a difference.

A meal would cost about $2 New Zealand, 1 Pound British, $1.50 US. Rent about $160/mth NZ, 80 pounds/mth, $110/mth US. ( I think your gifting will be in NZ $) Even if you gift $1 it will help and be appreciated.

Also if anyone can offer him a roof and food in the UK should he get deported or any support for education maybe an institute or individual. Perhaps a scholarship in another country for a bridging course then a tertiary education. You can email me at lawrence.wong@hotmail.co.uk.

Please do note that Malaysia is where he wants to be as he has lived his whole adolescent life there. He is close to his sister but due to challenges around the mother, she left for West Malaysia and there has been some recent disconnect but this is resolving itself and them living together is being discussed. He will need Malaysian documentation to make the flight and live with her there. It is important to also note that there is nothing in the UK for him other than some childhood memories. He won't have the best capability to live in the UK. But I am being pragmatic and also planning for the worse.

Joshua’s message is written below by using his mobile phone, please forgive his grammar as it has been some years since he was schooled.

And the full story of his situation as I know it further below Joshua’s message.

From Joshua

Hello my name is Joshua i followed my mother here to malaysia when i was 11 , now i loved my life in the uk I had education and everything i had friends who always accepted diferent cultures everytging about there, i wasnt able to go to school here in malaysia, but that never stopped me from wanting to learn i always leaned what ever i could picked up two languages here then one day my mum kicks me out i was still young 17 she said i was useless cause i couldnt make money cause i wasnt able to leagally work here i found work did my best but made a living had enough to eat and a roof over my head did what i could worked when i was sick cause i had to make sure i had as much as i could i covered for others, worked hard. my mother used to only contact me just for money so i had not much savings as i paid her rent for a whole year even after what she did to me cause even tho i suffer i dont want to see other suffer

i found my dad on fb who hasnt talked to me for nearky 10 years he is scottish but he admitted to a gambling debt that he has to pay and couldnt help me and told me himself taht he isnt the best role model for me m my mum and dad have been divorced not long after i was born so thats why i hadnt contacted him for so long so my current situation is i meed to get back to the uk before the end of the year if i want to avoid jail time here i didnt do anything wrong i dont desearve to get maybe a few months in a jail with people who have done real crimes like murder and the like, i am now currently jobless after the people as work dont like me even tho i cover for them when they dont come to work for personal problems they used me cause i was nice took advantage of me got beat up at work te other day for a small mistake i made in reading a bill he chocked me and punched and kicked me and my boss said he had to let me go as he cant lose the cook so i had to go living off of a few hundred rm less than 100 pounds ive limited my self to eating once only per day to save money hoping that i can find a job but people dont want to risk hiring me cause they dont want to risk losing there “food vending license” i have so much experience working ina. Kitchen and hope to make it a career one day

Before i was 17 i used to stay indoor hardly went out cause my mum never wanted to take me out i am really shy about a lot of things even now cause of that

It was a single room one bathrrom me and my mum sister in the same room i slept on the floor for a while they both had matresses from my mums sister who never liked me said im a boy i should sleep on the hard floor, then i got a job and got a proper matress and my own room still i helped my mum pay her rent and my own

The room was hot but we had a fan its not like to hot but it is very humid we had a roof fan atleast

We did used to get some support from the uk 100pounds week but taht somehow went missing very fast i used the same clothes for 2 years while my mum always favourd my sister cause she was able to go to school here so i didnt need clothes she said

Sometimes no food cause of her poor management of money my mum, she would burn through 2000rm ina. Week somehow

Thre was also this one time my mum faked a stroke and i ended up giving her money out of my own hard work and finding out she wasnot sick at all that she lied to me just so she could go on a holoday with her sister and stuff she cant even help me try to get my malysia idntity card or citisenship so im here ro suffer so much

My half sister o dunno they dont galk to me unless they need money

Sadly i get my passport back 3 years after the expiration date which is the worst feeling ever for me my dad is an alchaholic and gambler with massive debts at the momment

I want to be a chef mainly but my other hobbies invlude gaming on a phone hope to maybe be a streamer one day so many of my friends and people i meet in game always say i make there day with my weird jokes and say i am a great friend to have and im always caring saying i should maybe try taht career

Full Story

I was in Sarawak (Borneo), which is part of Malaysia in Mid November 2019 visiting family.

There I met a youth from the UK in need of assistance and I am doing what I can because of his circumstance.

His mother is from there and an Iban, which is one of the native tribes and his father from the UK. His parents are separated. At age 11 his mother brought him to Sarawak in 2011.

For the first 4 years he lived with his mother and sister in a single 4m x 4m room in a rented flats in squalled conditions with little time out of the room. His mother has not send him to school since they arrived.

In the last fews years from age 16 or 17 he was kicked out of the room as he was not earning. I believe it was this time the child support from UK ceased as the mother’s bank card may have stopped working due to being expired. He did manage to find some work. He work to clear his mother’s debts, cover her room rent as well as his own.

Last year he was able to get his passport and birth certificate from his mother, which are British, only to find out the passport has been expired for 4 years. Additionally, he identified that his Visa into Sarawak was a visitors entry for 90 days back in 2011. Therefore making him an illegal immigrant for the last 8 years. Since finding this out a year ago he has been unable to sleep properly from the stress of not knowing what to do.

Earlier this year his mother made contacted with the young man to ask for money saying she had a stroke and required an operation. After providing the funds he discovered she had no ailment but instead used all his savings to go on holiday with her sister (aunty).

He has not seen his father for 10 years other than a recent contact by chance through social media only to find out his father is an alcoholic and gambler in debt living in Manchester, his grandmother is poorly somewhere near Glasgow in the countryside. They have not financial means to help. There are no other family members in the UK. In Borneo he has had no contact with his mother’s family other than one cousin as it would appear the family have never accepted him and his sister being half foreign. Other than his Iban grandfather who cared for him but has since passed away. His sister despite being only a year older is Malaysian due to being born in Sarawak. The youth was conceived in Sarawak but was born in Scotland, 2 months after his parents married.

I have made enquiries with the UK authorities and Embassy in Malaysia. There is no immediate support they can give him and there is nothing they can offer him should he be able to get back to the UK as social services would not provide any support for 3 mths which means he will be homeless on arrival seeing he would not be able to reside with his father or grandmother. This is a much worse situation than his situation potentially than where he is now, as he would then be exposed to the dark side of life in the UK.

He did have a job in a kitchen but he has lost this job the week after we met due to making a mistake with an order and then getting beaten by the chef.

He is a rather desperate state and losing the job has only made this worse.

With now living almost half his life in Sarawak he identifies with being Sarawakian. He speaks fluent Iban and some malay as well as English. He wishes first and foremost to be a citizen of Malaysia as this has been his home for so long now and he feels he is Iban. This is where his sister is.

I have though kept in touch with him to support him emotionally while I try find help. He has almost no funds and what little I had on me that I gave would not last more than 1 month.

The 2 potential options for him is to be Malaysian but this comes with challenges due to strict rules around citizenship where you receive automatic citizenship from your father not mother. The other option is to go back to the UK. He has no current passport, nor funds for flights or means to support himself in the UK. If he fails getting Malaysian Citizenship and found by authorities he will likely be imprisoned and then deported. Which is a situation I struggle with considering none of his situation was his choice or doing.

Please do note that Malaysia is where he wants to be as he has lived his whole adolescent life there. He is close to his sister but due to challenges around the mother, she left for West Malaysia and there has been some recent disconnect but this is resolving itself and them living together is being discussed. He will need Malaysian documentation to make the flight and live with her there. It is important to also note that there is nothing in the UK for him other than some childhood memories. He won't have the best capability to live in the UK. But I am being pragmatic and also planning for the worse.

I have been spending most of my time outside work hours to find a solution. I have had some free basic legal advice which shows how he may get to become a Citizen and stay. Even so the approval process for citizenship can be exceptionally long, taking months or even more. So he needs funds, first for food and shelter. To cover any application fees for Citizenship. If taken by authorities will be kept in jail until he can fund his way out of Malaysia, which makes no sense I know as he would be even less able to secure funds.

Whatever the outcome of the next few months it would be good if there were enough funds to help support him either in Sarawak or UK. In addition to funds I am hoping there are those out there in the UK who may make room for him in their lives should he be forced to the UK. To help provide him food and shelter and perhaps an organisation or education institute who might offer him a scholarship to do a bridging course and then a tertiary education. Noting he stopped schooling at age 11. Joshua is bright and from my discussion with him he is interested in developing his professional cooking skills having being a kitchen hand. And potentially doing something in technology, potentially device repairs or production.

I have provided photos of his living quarters. I have covered his face to avoid being recognised by the authorities while we find a legitimate way to get him Malaysian Citizenship or to get him safely to the UK with support on arrival.

Anything you can provide will help. Fortunately Sarawak is not as expensive as many other countries so even the smallest contribution will make a difference. A meal would cost about $2 New Zealand, 1 Pound British, $1.50 US.

UK on the other hand would be more challenging.

Lawrence Wong's involvement (page creator)

I met this young man by chance while in Borneo when I heard he needed some advice.

Use of funds

The funds will be used to assist with Malaysian citizenship application, food and accommodation, and potential education later. If unsuccessful to get him to UK and cover him for the 3mths expenses before social services will provide any support.

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Latest update

Progress has slowed  16 October 2020

Unfortunately with Covid 19 this has dashed the opportunity to apply for citizenship somewhat.

Currently waiting to see how to safely get him back to the UK.

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Latest donations

Mata
Mata on 18 Feb 2020
All the best Lawrence Wong from your mates Chris & Mata Manu
Private
Guest Donor
Guest Donor on 09 Jan 2020
$50
Rev Tim Saiet
Rev Tim Saiet on 11 Dec 2019
Hope things work out for this young man. Lord please step in and help him. Amen
$200
Remi
Remi on 09 Dec 2019
Good luck, Lawrence and hopefully it ends up well for the boy. From a former resident in Brunei.
$100
Ruth
Ruth on 29 Nov 2019
Private

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Created by, and paying to a verified bank account of, Lawrence Wong on behalf of Boy stuck in Borneo
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This page was created on 22 Nov 2019 and closed on 16 Jan 2021.