|Contact person||Enoch Kim|
|Phone number||012 611 7710 (Enoch Kim)|
|Phone number||012 635 7710 (Esther Kim)|
|Fax number||603 4278 5112|
|Year of establisment||2007|
|Address||54, Jalan Seri Merdeka 2, Taman Seri Merdeka, 6800 Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia|
- School shoes
Human suffering due to war, strife and deprivation had forced many people from Afghanistan to leave their homeland. Most of the people end up in neighbouring countries, like Iran and Pakistan. Others have gone further to Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia. Their aim is to find a better future for themselves and their families.
In Malaysia, these people are registered as refugees under the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees). Their hope is for the UNHCR to relocate them to first world countries in Europe, Australia and North America to start a new life. However, for many of them the wait to find a host country may be long. Some of the refugees have already waited for more than 3 years. Meanwhile, they face difficulties in getting jobs and educating their children. As refugees, they are not permitted to hold jobs or send their offspring to public schools. Most of the refugees survive on the little savings that they had brought with them. Some managed to find menial jobs as a means to survive.
History of Hilla Community Centre
A small group of Korean expatriates and Malaysians living in Kuala Lumpur (Ampang, Selangor) recognized the predicament faced by the refugees and started an initiative to help them. The main effort is to provide basic education for children and was started in premises provided by a Korean language studio in Ampang. Initially an informal class had been started to teach simple English to Afghan children. A small group of 7 children started class in October 2007. Teachers served on a voluntary basis. Some Korean expatriates, Malaysian individuals, Uzbekistan nationals and a German residing in Ampang, Selangor offered their services to teach. Later more social workers joined in to provide their services and help. With humble beginnings the Hilla Community Centre in AMPANG, SELANGOR (Hilla) was born. The name ‘Hilla’ comes from the Pashto language of the Afghan people that mean ‘hope’. It is indeed our heart’s desire to give hope to the Afghans and other refugee communities. We try to give them a start through education because we firmly believe that ‘education is the beacon of hope’ that can transform individuals and communities to be successful and better people.
Through Hilla, we reach out to the people in need of help .The classes began to grow bigger as more Afghan parents came to Hilla to request that their children be admitted for classes. As more people came in, space became a constraint and larger premises were needed. Eventually, in January 2008 the centre moved to a double storey corner link house in Ampang. Two classes were formed with 30 plus students. Initially, only students below 15 years old were admitted. However, later more demand came from older people. This includes older siblings and some parents who also want to learn English. By 2010 the centre has 5 classes with a total of 19 volunteer teachers. The total enrolment of students attending day classes is 65.
The students age between 7 and 19 years old. Day classes are conducted from Mondays to Saturdays, 9am to 1pm. Parents are encouraged to attend separate night classes as the approach to teach adults is different. Initially the centre focused on Afghan refugees. However people from other refugee communities, e.g. Myanmar refugees, also approached the centre to admit their children. Today the centre strives to reach out to all refugee communities in need of assistance regardless of their nationality, religion or creed.
Function of Hilla
The centre started with teaching English. Learning the language was an urgent matter for the refugees as most of them spoke only their own mother tongue. They need the English language to communicate with other people as well as prepare for their future relocation to a foreign land. As more volunteer teachers came forward to provide their services, the centre progressively was able to offer education for more subjects. Today the classes conducted include Bahasa Malaysia, Mathematics, Science, Arts and Craft, Piano, Vocal and Computers. Educational trips are organized to enhance the students learning experience. The centre also has an adjacent piece of land within its compound. Physical education classes are conducted here. It also serves as both a playground and activities centre for the students. In 2009, the Malaysian Ministry of Education announced that refugees are allowed to sit for the local government examinations. Hilla need to look forward to employ proper tutors to assist the students in their studies for the exams.
The centre has also embarked on the initiative to provide job training and counseling for adult refugees. A flat near the Hilla Community Centre had been rented for the purpose. Adults and older students are taught working skills. The subjects include computer skills and hairdressing. Where possible, we also assist to find work for the adults. This includes jobs like tailoring, baking, cleaning, furniture removal and sales assistants.
Our vision and aim is to help the refugee communities in Ampang, Selangor through education and job training. We aim to provide them with basic education and some job skills to improve their situation and self-esteem.
The Hilla Community Centre was started with charitable contributions from kind hearted individuals. The money collected is used to pay for the costs incurred in running our school and training centre. This includes the rental of the school premises, books, stationery, utilities, maintenance, transportation costs and teachers’ allowance. We take the students for educational outings and sports competition with other refugee schools. For this we incur transportation, admission ticket and other incidental costs. The following table lists our estimated monthly expenses.
|No.||Expense Item||Monthly Cost|
|1.||Rental for school premises||1,700|
|2.||Rental for training centre||500|
|3.||Utilities – Electricity, Water, etc.||300|
|4.||Transportation for students||600|
|6.||Maintenance of school premises||500|
|7.||Books and stationery||500|
|TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENSES||7,600|
The money to finance our rental, utilities, administrative costs, stationery, teaching material, transportation and other costs come from kind-hearted public donors. We held a Charity Sale in 2008 to raise funds and hope to do it again. Our total monthly expenses amounts to approximately RM 7,000 per month.
It is our hope to provide as much education as possible to prepare the students for their future but we are constrained by the availability of teachers who are willing to contribute their services as part of social work. We appeal for more individuals to come forward to help in this area. Within the limitations of our resources and funds we try to help as many people as we can. We also appeal for more donations and consistent sponsorships to help finance our operational costs and educational activities.
Non-cash donations – Air-cond, guitars, recorders, enid blyton’s story books, dictionaries, Oxford dictionaries, school shoes. Further information, please call Jeanette Chan.
You can volunteer:
We need volunteer teachers for school year 2013 (January – November 15, 2013)
1. Subject Teachers for kindergarten to secondary level
2. English Teachers for the parents
3. Computer Teacher
4. Music (musical instruments: Flute, guitar, piano, voice lesson and tambourine -
(singing) (every Friday only)
5. P.E. (Badminton, dancing, football, volleyball, etc.) every Friday only.
6. Computer teachers for the parents.
You can donate:
We need school materials: writing or exercise notebooks, coupon bonds, crayons, pencils, erasure, white board markers, shoes for kids, etc.
You can give:
Financial donations can be sent to:
Hilla Community Centre
BANK ACCOUNT name:
Tneh Yen Fung
For tax free donation:
Please make a cheque payable to Yayasan Sunbeams
Homes and make a note at the back “for Hilla Community Centre”