22 year-old proud Malaysian to meet the Queen

Written by: CT | 16 Jun 2017 15:02
Heidy Quah, a proud Malaysian to receive the Queen's Young Leader Award. Photo Source:
Written by:
16 Jun 2017 15:02

The 22 year-old Heidy Quah is on her way to meet Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II. 

Heidy is Malaysia’s only representative for the 2017 Queen’s Young Leader Award. Established last year, the Award is meant to recognise and celebrate exceptional people aged 18–29 from across the Commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives.

Winners receive a trio of training, mentoring and networking, including a one-week residential programme in the UK. Then, they will also collect their Award from Her Majesty The Queen.

But who is Heidy, and why was she chosen?

At the age of 18, she co-founded Refuge For The Refugees (RftF), an NGO that champions bringing education to refugee children in Malaysia. It also aims to raise awareness of the state of these refugees and the importance of education to them.

Overseeing 8 refugee schools, they manage a group of volunteer teachers, help to develop structures and syllabuses, and network with partner organisations.

And, she does all this while still studying for a degree in finance.

How all these started? And what inspired Heidy to establish Refuge for the Refugees?  It’s all began with raising money for a refugee school she was volunteering in. In 2012, Heidy was a volunteer teacher for a refugee school and that time, the school was facing the risk of closing down due to financial difficulties. So she took the initiative to raise money for the school. She recalled she did a lot of things to raise funds with her friends, which included baking cookies and sell door to door, and as well using the social media to raise awareness about the refugee school’s situation. Eventually, the school managed to survive. 

Along the way, Heidy discovered that many other refugee schools are facing the same problems too. So from setting up fundraising campaign, step by step, Heidy co-founded the Refuge For The Refugees (RftF). 

Besides recruiting volunteers and gathering resources, one of RftF most important mission is to educate the public, raise their awareness on the issues of refugees. 

Heidy stressed that, her primary aim through this trip to Britain isn’t just to receive the award, but hope to expand her network in order to let more and more people know about RftF.

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