Refugee children in Malaysia are denied access to the formal education system, and thus obtain education via an informal parallel system of community-based learning centres.
Tzu Chi KL & Selangor began to extend humanitarian aid to refugees in Malaysia in 2004. In 2007, Tzu Chi and UNHCR signed an MoU on the enhancement of mutual cooperation on education and medical assistance to refugees.
Currently, Tzu Chi runs two education centres, namely Tzu-Chi Harmony Alternative Learning Centre and Tzu-Chi Unity Alternative Learning Centre in Klang Valley, in collaboration with UNHCR, to provide primary school education to refugee children.
Other than academic knowledge delivered by the teachers, volunteers also conduct regular lessons to instil wholesome values in the children. Moreover, outdoor activities and field trips, such as sports day, and visits to the zoo, Science Centre and aquarium, are also arranged to broaden the students' horizons.
As of August 2021, the learning centres have provided over 4,600 enrolments, and successfully helped over 60 students to proceed to secondary school since 2016. Little by little, they are transforming the lives of the children.