In January 2018, a couple of volunteer tutors at Al-Ikhlas School decided to join forces to start a project, called “Al-Ikhlas Hope Project”, to fundraise for the school. Al-Ikhlas School was then (and still is!) already a busy kindy and primary level UNHCR-registered learning centre attended by 150+ children from the Rohingya & Myanmar refugee community living in Taman Sri Murni, Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur. The school, which also functions as a community centre for the 200+ families living in the vicinity, was founded by Rohingya community leader, Ustaz Arfat in 2015. Unfortunately, the centre had started to face financial issues in mid-2017 and was at risk of closing down.
Through the project, the volunteers set up a poster appeal on social media, called the “Adopt-A-Child-For-School” campaign, aiming to collecting RM25 per child per month. The campaign surprisingly gained much support from members of the public and within 3 weeks the RM45,000 required was raised. This was enough to cover the rent and the teachers’ salaries for the year. Over the subsequent weeks and months, the project started gaining interest from bigger funders and organisations, providing the chance for the school to double its size in mid-2018. At the same time, connections were made with UNHCR and other NGOs to better provide for the school and community. With the increase in the functionality of the project and funds being raised, the project founders formally registered it with Malaysia’s Registrar of Societies in February 2019 to continue the initiative within a legally-recognised framework, calling it Al-Ikhlas Hope Society or AHS.
Today, AHS continues to fund and oversee the running of the school. The premises is also used as a community centre to provide for the needs of the surrounding refugee families, e.g. as a centre for the distribution of aid and to host mobile clinics and workshops from external organisations for the refugee committee. AHS also extends assistance and aid to other refugee communities and other marginalised groups in need, through advice, fundraising for their needs.
In 2020, AHS expanded its activities to support the refugee community through the Refugee Emergency Fund (REF), providing the legal structure within which REF is able to operate and a platform to fundraise for emergency medical and rental cases.
The objectives of the Society are threefold, continuing on those of the project, which are:
to fund the running of Al-Ikhlas School & Centre (i.e. paying the rent, teachers salaries and other expenses).
to coordinate the education management of the school.
to support the wider refugee & marginalised communities, in the vicinity of Al-Ikhlas School and beyond (the partnership with REF) with food, rent and medical aid where required, through links with the kind and generous members of the general public and resources offered by external bodies.