Club to help creative refugees


A cheer for TRF Global Grant Project by Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise, which will provide refugees the opportunity to work and interact with professionals in the local community. — AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

A PROJECT to improve the lives of refugees through the arts was launched by the Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise (RCBKS), with funding from the Rotary Foundation (TRF) Global Grant Project.

The project is being carried out together with Parastoo Theater, a refugee performing arts troupe based in Kuala Lumpur, along with 12 Rotary Partner and Rotaract clubs.

RCBKS Global Grant Team lead Rotarian Edmund Dadson said the project’s duration would span about 28 months.

“The grant amount of RM218,120 was funded by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

“RCBKS works with Parastoo Theater to implement a sustainable project focused on mental health, income generation, public awareness and establishing the Parastoo Learning Centre.

“Beneficiaries will be refugees in the Ampang area of Kuala Lumpur, who are mainly Afghans and Rohingya; it will also be open to those from Myanmar, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan,” Dadson said.

RCBKS Refugee Projects chairman Carmen Lee Jhia Wen said refugees in Malaysia did not have ready access to education, medical care and work opportunities.

“We at Rotary are playing our part in providing some opportunities to relieve their difficult circumstances.

“We hope that programmes implemented with this grant together with the help of participating parties, especially Parastoo Theater, will go some way in relieving their challenging situation and also let them know that Malaysians do care,” she said.

Lee added that the project would provide refugees an opportunity to work and interact with professionals in the local community.

“It’s an opportunity to help themselves and give them a meaningful role to play (through performing arts),” she said during the launch of TRF Global Grant project by RCBKS at Bukit Kiara Equestrian Club in Kuala Lumpur.

RCBKS club president Dr Sanjay Doshi said refugees in Malaysia needed attention and support, and this project was being carried out with that goal in mind.

“The project is the result of two years of hard work and would not be possible without the collaboration of our main partner.

“Hopefully it will be a great run,” he said.

Also present was Parastoo Theater director Farzana Yakta and RCBKS former president Dr Yee Yoke Leong who hosted the event.

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