Foundation and Czech Embassy Join to Help Myanmar Refugees in Malaysia

Thursday, 06 May 2010 17:03 Tzu Chi Foundation
The Tzu Chi chapter in Kuala Lumpur signed an agreement with the Czech embassy in the Malaysian capital to co-operate in improving six schools for refugee children from Myanmar.

Since 2004, the chapter has formed a partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to co-operate in providing health care and education to some of the thousands of Myanmar refugees in Malaysia. As of January, there were 79,300 refugees and asylum seekers registered with the UNHCR in Malaysia, some 90 percent of whom were Burmese––mostly Chin and Rohingya ethnic minorities. In addition, up to 30,000 Burmese migrants are unregistered, according to the UNHCR.

Over the past six years, the U.N. agency became aware of the spirit and culture of Tzu Chi and introduced its volunteers to the Czech embassy in Kuala Lumpur. This led the two sides to sign a 'memorandum of understanding' at the UNHCR office to improve educational facilities at six refugee schools. Alan Vernon, the agency’s representative in Malaysia, said that they had been working with the Czech government to help them identify a partner that could implement humanitarian projects. "We are very happy that the Tzu Chi Foundation can step in and do this work,” he said.

Embassy official Jan Fury said that he had been impressed by all of Tzu Chi’s programs and delighted that it was the NGO selected for this project. “There are countries and people around the world who need our help and we need to support them as much as we can,” he said. In addition, his embassy made a donation toward the cost of medical expenses as free clinics for refugees.

With this new support and joint concern, the refugees in Malaysia can look forward to a better future.

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