Myanmar Refugee Community Learning Centre (MRCLC) is a refugee school in Kuchai Lama, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The school is recognized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) where displaced communities have the right to seek safe refuge and build a better future at their new homes. Most of the 82 students who attend MRCLC are from the Chin community and are aged between 5 to 15 years old.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced an extension of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) until 9 June 2020. This has led to a total “lockdown” period of 12 weeks thus far with a possibility of further extensions. Non-essential businesses and schools including MRCLC are required to close in order to prevent the transmission of this infectious virus. As a result of the lockdown, widespread unemployment and hiring halt have transpired in the country due to restricted business activities.
While the Movement Control Order (MCO) has undoubtedly affected Malaysians either financially or emotionally, the parents of the MRCLC students have an additional worry of providing essential food for their families as they are unable to work and receive nominal daily wages. Unlike Malaysians, these refugees have not received food or financial aid from the government. During this period of the MCO and with a high possibility of another extension, these refugee families who live on day-to-day wages are left to face a longer period of hardship, grief, and hunger.
MRCLC has been obtaining financial assistance from private donors, church groups and other NGOs including Soroptimist International Club of Damansara (SID); however, the prolonged MCO is causing the funds to deplete rapidly. We envisage that business activities would be substantially slow to normalize even after the MCO is lifted. Consequently, the parents of these refugee students who typically work in construction, retail, and F&B would not be able to return to work immediately.
The right to adequate food and freedom from hunger is a fundamental human right. Providing lifesaving food to the poor and vulnerable is a global effort, especially during this period of crisis. SID would highly appreciate any amount donated and are committed to continuously advocate for these refugees to obtain food supply during this trying time of COVID-19 pandemic.
ABOUT THE FUNDRAISER
Soroptimist International Club of Damansara (SID) is strictly a not-for-profit organisation and is part of the Federation of the South West Pacific with an international network of 82,000 members across 123 countries and territories. Established in 1993 by a group of professional women, the members aim to help women and children to be at their best through awareness, advocacy, and action. As the members believe in creating an equal and peaceful global community, they devote their time to serve those less fortunate, help realise aspirations, and ultimately transforming the lives of others.
For the past 27 years, SID has worked with numerous corporates and non-profit sectors. One of the long-standing partnerships is with Just Volunteers, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in the UK, with which we established the Building Bridges Beyond Borders (BBBB) programme to arrange youth volunteers to teach at MRCLC and other underprivileged homes supported by SID. The volunteers come from Malaysia and the UK but also from many other countries. The strong partnerships established over the years have continuously helped SID to educate, enable, and empower women and children, so they can grow and make a mark in this world.
To date, SID is very happy to confirm that we have received £1,623 (approx RM 8,587) for this fundraising project from previous BBBB volunteers and other generous donors!
Amount to be Raised
Currently, there are at least 40 Myanmar refugee families who have growing children of ages 5 to 15 years old that attend regular classes at MRCLC. Our funding target is to raise a total of RM 32,000 (approximately USD 8,000). The allocation of funds is detailed as below.
Allocation of Funds