Using our education to give the gift of education to those who can’t have it. This is more than an idea, it is more than a project. It is out life, something we believe in; something we are investing our time and efforts into, and we hope that you will too.
Refuge for the Refugees (RFTR) started off as a project in June 2012 with a simple wish – to help a certain refugee school stay open. Refuge for the Refugees (RFTR) is a Non-Governmental Organization started by a bunch of 18 year olds passionate about living life to the fullest and making every single day count by putting others before ourselves, placing their needs before our own, touching lives and making a difference wherever we are, however we can and whenever we can.
When Chin Children’s Education Centre (CCEC) was told that their UNHCR funding would be ending soon in June, we – the student volunteer teachers there – decided that we needed to lend a hand. As neither the principal nor the pupils could afford to sustain the school on a monthly basis, CCEC would have soon closed down when financial sustenance stopped. Therefore, to facilitate fund-raising and publicity for CCEC, it became practical to create a charity NGO. Hence, on 3 September 2012, Persatuan Kebajikan Perlindungan Kanak-Kanak Pelarian (Refuge for the Refugees) was born.
In our work, we believe in impacting not only those who are on the receiving end of good works, but also those who are doing these good works. As we work on highlighting, raising awareness and improving the plight and situation of those in need, we also hope to encourage a generation of Malaysian youth to know that even at their young age, they can begin making a difference in the lives of those around them.
We also see it as our role to connect volunteers, sponsors, and partners from various levels of society to the school. We are keen to raise the awareness of the plight of these refugees in every strata of Malaysian society; from individuals to families, from young children to adults, from private corporations to governmental organizations. The more awareness we can raise and the more light we can shed on the plight of these refugees, the more opportunities we will have to be able to help and support them in their time of need.
For the past year, our organization has been working closely with refugee communities especially with refugee children concerning their education. Due to their refugee status, these children cannot attend schools and are therefore forced to make do with whatever limited resources they might have. Most attend schools which are sponsored by non-governmental organizations and even then, many times there are simply not enough available resources to provide all the children with their most basic needs.
This is just the beginning. While we are currently only involved with CCEC, we are fully aware that there are many other refugee schools that require aid too. Our hope is to create a network that would connect the donors to the charities they want to fund. While there are many underprivileged refugees in desperate need of help, there are also many good folk who are eager to help. We are looking towards bridging that gap and providing the refugees with the refuge they have endured, persevered and prayed so hard to get.