As you stand on our property and look out at our beautiful view, you might not know the connection it has to a man by the name of Nicolas Barre. That is partly because he lived over 400 years ago in France. So how does this man from centuries ago, and a different continent, play into the story of Dalat International School?
Nicolas Barre is a Minim friar and Catholic priest who lived from 1621 – 1686 and is the founder of the Sisters of the Infant Jesus, a Roman Catholic institute dedicated to the education and training of underprivileged children.
Two hundred years later, in 1852, after a very difficult journey, three Sisters arrived in Penang and set up a convent that contained an orphanage and a school. Over the next 150+ years the Sisters of the Infant Jesus have helped pioneer education in Malaysia, establishing schools in most states and in many cities around the country. Today you will find schools, learning centers, orphanages, homes for differently abled, and other ministries of the Sisters all across Malaysia.
So what does this have to do with our school? Well, the beautiful property here in Tanjung Bungah, the one that our school has been located on since 1971, is owned by the Sisters of the Infant Jesus Convent in KL. Earlier this week, I had a chance to go down and visit with them for the first time since Covid hit. It was wonderful to see them again, and I am always so impressed by these wonderful ladies and the work that they are doing.
The relationship between our school and the Sisters is as strong as ever. We currently have an agreement with them that gives us use of the land until 2043 with discussions already taking place to extend that. Additionally, I believe it is such a blessing for us as a school to know that the rent we pay goes directly into helping the Convent run their ministries and programs. How wonderful is it to know that the property that blesses us in so many ways also supports the Sisters and their important work in Malaysia!
Written by KARL STEINKAMP
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