As part of the living experience at Taylor’s Hostel, we offer a comprehensively structured learning framework known as our flagship Service Learning programme. We collaborate with internationally-renowned non-government organizations (NGOs) to facilitate resident-led community outreach initiatives and provide residents with opportunities to gain life and leadership skills while contributing to real community needs.
This year, our residents led the LaunchPad project which aimed to empower female refugees and develop refugee communities while also preserving the environment.
Presently, some 170,000 refugees and asylum seekers reside in Malaysia of which 32% are women. Refugee women and girls face many gender-specific challenges in navigating daily life such as menstrual hygiene. Period shame, taboo and misinformation, along with poor access to menstrual hygiene management has caused girls to miss school and prevented women from seeking employment or participating in social activities.
From April to June 2019, twenty residents engaged refugee communities in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Rohingya Women Development Network. The residents also gained necessary skills and knowledge from the Soroptimist Puberty Organizing Toolkit as well as Nashpotatoes.
On 22nd June, the residents donated 500 pieces of handmade reusable sanitary pads to refugee organisations and also taught refugee women and girls about menstrual hygiene as well as how to sew their own reusable pads.
It was certainly an eye-opening experience for the residents involved but the journey has just begun. This project will continue providing reusable sanitary pads and workshops to shape new narratives for thousands of refugee women and girls.
Front Row (L to R) – Clarissa Phung Pao Yee, Abdul Mateen Montree Mohamed, Dimitri Wickremasingne, Imiey Eleena Hanis binti Suhaimi
Second Row (L to R) – Chen Feng, Benjamin Teh Jhen Hing, Wan Azyan Zulaikha binti Wan Mohamed Salleh, Kamilia binti Mohd Hashim, Tanweena Rahman
Third Row (L to R) – Chloe Choo Si Ying, Bryan Saw How Meng, Tariro Kambeu, Patricia Chin Ling Choo, Tatenda Kambeu, Noor Hafsa Azmi, Goh Leanne, Nakeeran Kumar S/O Kanthavel
Staff & Guests:
Back Row (L to R) – Shirley Teang (THM), Elaine Yap (THM), Tan Poh Leen (International Catholic Migration Commission), Tasmida Sidik Ahmad (Rohingya Society Malaysia), Faisal Islam (Rohingya Society Malaysia), Sharifah Shakirah (RWDN), Dr. Susheela Balasundaram (UNHCR), Priscilla Wong (Dignity for Children), Sheena Angelina (THM), Lew Pik-Svonn (THM)
“It was the first time I conducted a workshop of this nature and I wasn’t sure how they would react to the content. However, the ladies were very enthusiastic and quite involved in the class. Through this experience, I am reminded of how blessed I am and how I can use my natural abilities to help those around me.” – Kamilia binti Mohd Hashim, SACE International
“I am grateful that I got to see the commitment, love, responsibility and accountability they hold for their family. Being involved in this project also showed me how to communicate in a team setting and the importance of clear communication in order to achieve our goal.” – Nakeeran Kumar Kanthavel, Bachelor in Law
“Volunteering is a global movement. It is very important to have such a programme as it allows an individual to chart a course that can be close to their heart and will increase the student’s own self-esteem and value. It brings more positive development to the students. Therefore, it is encouraging to see such effort being put in by Taylor's Hostel Management.” – Joseph Goh, father of Goh Leanne
Credits: Taylor's Hostel Team