Wednesday, June 23

Highlighting the issue of refugees

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Aziza, Francisca, and Daly give out basic necessities.

A YOUTH leader and a beauty queen are close friends with a mission.

Sarawak Youth Icon 2018 Aziza Aznizan and Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 Francisca Luhong James first met at the International Paint the World (PTW) Concert 2020 last February and have since formed a strong bond in championing humanitarian causes.

They are now working to highlight the refugee issue in Malaysia.

Besides launching HELP Borneo, initiated by PTW Malaysia, and an upcoming collaboration with Women Rise to raise funds for minorities in Kanowit, Mukah, Miri, and Kuching, the duo recently launched a fundraiser for 18 refugee families in Kuala Lumpur.

“The fundraiser was a collaboration with Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation (Mumo), PTW, and Women Rise. We raised RM3,000 in three weeks,” Aziza said.

Aziza (left) and Francisca (right) with their new friends who helped them distribute necessities and coordinate projects.

On Dec 6, they joined the distribution of basic items with Mumo, including the latter’s national director Datin Elaine Daly.

“We hope to continue teaching English and maths every weekend to the children of the Rohingya community here,” Aziza added.

Aziza and Francisca have also visited the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to discuss collaborations for this year as well as launch an online petition on basic access to formal education for young refugees.

On Dec 25, 2020, PTW Malaysia collected donations and gave out necessities to 250 refugees, and in collaboration with Kedey Kamek, fed more than 250 refugees in Kuala Lumpur.

Aziza and team spent the day packing food and distributing items.

“Influencers from Sarawak such as Viviana Lin Winston and Maryanne alongside others have come to raise refugee awareness in the Malaysian community.

“The objective is to redefine refugees and the bad stereotypes that have been laid on them,” she explained.

Aziza is now working in Parliament while Francisca is preparing for the final of the Miss Universe pageant.

To know more about their projects, follow @painttheworldmalaysia and @womenrise on Instagram.

(From left) Aziza, Daly and Francisca give out items to a needy family.