In 2004, Mr.Mitsuhiko Abe (CFF Malaysia Founder) was dispatched by the Japanese Government Agency, JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) to serve the Handicap Children of Seri Mengasih at Tanjung Aru, Sabah. During his stay at Sabah, he saw many street children in the cities and children in the rural areas who were in the state of hopelessness. In response, Mr. Abe made preparations towards establishing a children’s home in order to help the underprivileged children of Sabah who were mostly from rural areas.
Before the center commenced operation in 2008, while preparing to build the center’s foundation, Mr. Mitsuhiko Abe established good relations with some Malaysians especially the village communities surrounding the center. Out of those relationships, the Japanese-Malaysia exchange program was birth out in the form of a study tour in 2007 and subsequently work camps from Japanese participants particularly from among university students. These sort of exchange program not only expose Japanese participants to issues beyond the confines of Japanese society but also contributes to the financial and human resources needed to develop the children’s home at CFFM.
CFF (Caring For the Future Foundation) means to build a foundation for the future. The foundation of the future is youth and children. With this concept in mind, I established CFF Malaysia.
I was born in Japan in 1965 & have lived there until I was 40 years old. It was in 2004 August that I met a street boy who looked so miserable in front of the post office at Kota Kinabalu city center. He was withdrawn and he showed neither facial expression nor reaction. He looked as if he was almost non-alive. I just sat down beside him and tried to communicate with him but still, he showed no reaction. I gave up trying to talk with him. But suddenly an idea came to me of showing a trick to him. I took a 50 cents coin from his paper cup used for begging and spun it on the ground. I said, “Tengok! Tengok! (Look! Look!) and he raised his dropped head and smiled at me. It was a shock to me because it looked like he came back to life!
Through this experience, I understood the need for a child. It is not in giving money but to show that I acknowledge you and are aware of your existence, that I love you. You were born to be loved even though you lived on the street. Nobody is born in unloved. I have felt something in my heart that gave me joy. I saw the light in his eyes. That was the first time I realized the feelings that came from something beyond myself. From that day onwards, I committed my life to serve the underprivileged children.
In 2008, 3 years after the incidence, I established CFFM. That incident totally changed my life from living only for myself to living for others. Even though it meant giving up the life of financial guarantee and social status in Japan, I experienced joy in the work of restoring underprivileged children. And furthermore, this joy brought me another unexpected blessing as I met my wife through this work and have been blessed to have my own daughter. Nobody would want to follow a person with no social status and income but my wife did. She made the decision to follow me.
In spite of CFFM starting with zero finance, it has been miraculous encounters that every part that was needed – land, money and human resource, families to stay on-site and so on have been graciously provided as people began to believe and support the work that we do.