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Heidy Quah


Founder, Refuge for the Refugees

Armed with strength and courage, Heidy Quah prides herself as an individual who fights for the voiceless. The founder and executive director of non-profit organisation Refuge for the Refugees has been working tirelessly over the past eight years to raise awareness about the state of refugees in Malaysia and provide education assistance for the refugee children.

According to Heidy, 16 out of 35 schools under the organisation are now financially independent. “I ensure the sustainability of the organisation by running skill-based training with the communities we serve, equipping them with new skill sets while teaching them financial literacy and how to self-sustain,” says Heidy, who has been presented a Queen’s Young Leaders Award in 2017 for her work with refugees. Over the years, she has learned to be patient with the process, citing incredible support from family and friends.

One of the most defining moments for her throughout her activist journey was when she took on a case to reunite a migrant mother and her baby. “I did not think it was possible to have a positive outcome due to the complexity and danger of the case. With hard work and persistence, not only did we manage to reunite the mother and baby but we also managed to shut down the clinic and send the mother and baby back to the Philippines, away from their traffickers and abusers,” shares the activist.

Ultimately, Heidy’s vision for the organisation is for it to live up to its name. “We hope to create a safe space where refugees feel seen, heard, trusted and understood. We hope to dignify and amplify their voices and be a one-stop resource centre where they can walk away feeling more empowered and in control of their situations,” she says.

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