Support Kuala Lumpur’s New Refugee Network Center

By TLIA Same Skies

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Why is this needed?

Over the years, thousands of men, women and child refugees have settled in Malaysia. We went into the refugee communities in Kuala Lumpur and we listened to their stories. They told us that they have heaps of experiences in all kinds of fields. Lawyers, nurses, businessmen; these refugees bring many skills to the table and it was amazing to see how motivated they were to use these again.

The big problem is, in Malaysia refugees have a very insecure status. This means that refugees face many everyday challenges including finding decent work, sending their children to school, accessing health care. As a result, they are not able to make use of their skills and capabilities, have little engagement within the Malaysian community, and are unable to create steady income.

What will we do about it?

We want to create a collaborative, multicultural project together with refugees from the various communities behind the wheel. So, we move forward in establishing a refugee network center run by refugees for the refugee community in the wider Kuala Lumpur area.

What do we mean with network centre you wonder?

Well, a centre that supports refugees to connect and share their existing skills and knowledge and links interested refugees with a network of local Malaysian entrepreneurs as mentors, helping them to build up partnerships and start their own businesses.

How will this help the refugee community?

The way we see it, is that this center will facilitate language and skills trainings, taken and given by the refugees. It will provide vocational workshops, taken and also given by refugees. It will be a physical meeting point where small business owners from the communities, who have already figured out how refugees can start their own projects, can meet with ambitious others. A place where partnerships can be made and the refugees can be -yes we are going to use the word- empowered to build up their own initiatives.

How will we do that?

Well then, what’s the plan you ask of course.

So far, we have done the research, met with many enthusiastic people, and already found the first dedicated participants. At this stage, we need your help to kick-start this center. Once we have found the right space for this project and recruited a fulltime manager, we will recruit and support trainers from the refugee community to teach classes in language training (specifically English and Malay) and vocational training (handicrafts and maintenance to start). We will invite participants from the various refugee communities to come together in this space to meet, attend classes and workshops to share skills, but also knowledge about the Malaysian culture and its professional world.

After the initial setup stage of the center, refugees will be following vocational trainings, or giving them, and they will have explored the supply of skills within the community and possible partnerships with each other and with the locals. At this stage, small business projects will start rolling out of the center, building a foundation for a sustainable financial model to keep the network center going in the future.

Together, we can support refugees in Malaysia who are ready to improve not only their own situation, but also the situation for the people around them. With your help the refugees can turn into entrepreneurs!

How will we spend your money?

As this project is built on skill-sharing and networking, our major expenses go towards renting a physical space and supporting a full time manager for the center. With the targeted amount, we would be able to cover the network center's first six months of expenses.

Besides that, we will need a computer (I mean, who doesn’t in this modern age), we will need internet (what else will we do with the computer), stationery, a desk, maybe a fan (A/C delivers high electricity bills) and this place will start to look like a serious office space!

As the bank account linked to this page is Australian, the budget on this page and the donations are in Australian Dollars (AUD) (1AUD = €0,62 and 0.72USD). Please keep in mind that AUD 9000 convert to converts to 6500 USD, 5500 euros, and 27 000 Malaysian Ringgit (MYR). The pre-selected donations convert like the following:

5AUD = €3, $3.6, 15 MYR

25AUD = €15,50, $18, 75 MYR

50AUD = €31, $36, 150 MYR

100AUD = €62, $72, 300 MYR

Lastly, Chuffed is so kind to hand over the donations, even if we don't make the end goal. Guess then we might have to do without a fan for the first period, but we're up for that!

Who are we anyways?

We are eleven aspiring leaders from ten different countries with various educational and professional backgrounds, including refugees living in Malaysia. We are united by the same interest in supporting refugees to be capable actors in a diverse and connected world.

We are participants in Same Skies' leadership course “Transformative Leadership in Action” (TLIA) that builds our skills, while we are making a difference and contributing to social change. Same Skies is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) (registered in Malaysia, Indonesia, Switzerland and Australia), focusing on supporting refugee-led initiatives.

And here’s some amazing perks for supporting us that you can’t live without

  • If you contribute 35 dollars (= USD 25; EUR 22; MYR 105) you will receive a very big thank you and your name will appear in our annual report.
  • Would you like to receive a video message from one of our refugee team members to thank you for you contribution?
    • For a contribution of 75 dollars (= USD 54; EUR 46; MYR 225) you can.
  • Have you always dreamed of being a part of a Wall of Fame?
    • If you support us with 150 dollars (= USD 108; EUR 94; MYR 450) your name will be up on a dedicated wall in our new refugee network centre.
  • Would you like to hear from us personally and speak to a refugee living in Malaysia face to face?
    • For a contribution of 350 dollars (= USD 253; EUR 218; MYR 1050) one of our refugee team members will video call you to thank you personally and answer any of your burning questions.

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Team Members

TLIA Same Skies

Amaliah Begum

Anis Ullah

Annette Cook

Jason Spierings

Josee Huennekes

Julia Frei

Junior Olsson

Linde Lamboo

Marleen Roozen

Omar Youcef

Samira Al-Shawafi


Zahra Iravani