Humana Child Aid Society Sabah is an NGO providing education for more than 12,000 children, who live on plantations and other remote areas far away from schools in the Malaysian state Sabah on Borneo. On request from local plantation workers, HCASS was created in 1991 when its first three centres opened in Lahad Datu, providing holistic education. Its primary support comes from plantation companies.
Many of the children the NGO serves have an “orang asing” (foreigner) birth certificate, which prohibits them from attending government schools. By providing education to these children, HCASS seeks to prevent these children from becoming de facto child labourers. Studies indicate that more than 50% of the plantation workers’ children will end up performing child labour if no education is provided. On plantation sites that have established learning centres, child labour is minimal compared to sites with no schools. HCASS is certain that schools in these plantations have helped reduce child labour and most importantly, given these children a chance for a proper education.