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Lighting Refugee's Dream Through Education: Train the Trainer Initiative by Taylor's School of Education

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as of the end of February 2024, there are 187,020 registered refugees and asylum-seekers in Malaysia, including approximately 51,640 children under the age of 18. Refugee children, like all children, have the fundamental right to life, survival, and development. However, living in exile, refugee children are often deprived of a normal childhood. In Malaysia, they lack access to the formal education system and instead rely on an informal parallel system of 128 community-based learning centers.

Since 2023, the School of Education has joined forces with Taylor’s AIESEC on the "Light A Refugee’s Dream: Train the Trainer" initiative. This collaboration aimed to conduct teaching and learning workshops for Malaysian youth volunteers who are subsequently placed in specific learning centers, where they assist in teaching refugee students on various subjects. This partnership fostered solidarity and cooperation among the School of Education, AIESEC, and Malaysian Youth Volunteers. AIESEC is the world's largest non-profit youth-run organization. It is an international non-governmental not-for-profit organization that provides young people with leadership development, cross-cultural global internships, and volunteer exchange experiences across the globe. The organization focuses on empowering young leaders to make a positive impact on society through actions.

The opening ceremony for this initiative took place in Taylor's University Lakeside Campus. Esteemed guests and passionate advocates, including Malaysian youth volunteers, postgraduate students, teachers from refugee centers, and an AIESEC representative, gathered to shed light on the plight faced by refugee education in Malaysia. Taylor's School of Education emphasized the importance of nurturing young talent with a commitment to community service. Through workshops and support from the school, we aimed to provide more meaningful learning experiences for refugee students. During the keynote address, Ms. Mahi Ramakrishnan, the Founder of Beyond Borders Malaysia, shared insights from her extensive work with marginalized communities, emphasizing the importance of quality education and enhancing overall quality of life.

Ms. Angelina Tay, Volunteer Teacher and Coordinator at Living Waters Learning Centre, along with her students, provided valuable insights into the operations of a typical refugee school system and the common challenges they face. These presentations highlighted the pressing need for collective action from society and volunteers to address the educational challenges confronting refugees. As impact makers, it is our responsibility to ensure that education, a fundamental human right, is accessible to all, including millions of refugees children worldwide who are currently deprived of quality learning opportunities. As educators and advocates, we must address this injustice and work towards a more inclusive and equitable society.


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