Move For Hope, a worthy cause for refugees

The aim is to raise RM100,000 to provide WiFi routers and Internet for refugee families enrolled at the HLC

By LYDIA NATHAN / Pic source Move For Hope

THE Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated contactless learning with everything moving online but yet, not every student has the technology to support this sudden, new plan.

This is how the Move For Hope initiative began, when Amira Kamaluddin and Ula Wyss realised that there were many students who were not equipped for online classes due to lack of funds and resources.

With an aim to raise RM100,000 for refugee families using technology, and the art of dance and fitness, the duo set out to ignite the passion within others.

“The initiative started out as free classes for people to move, sweat and have a good time while donating for a good cause.

“After we recruited yoga teacher Vanessa Tay, the vision became clearer on who we wanted to donate the funds to, the Hope Learning Centre (HLC),” Amira told The Malaysian Reserve in an interview recently.

The team initially set off on a mission to raise RM100,000 that would be channelled into a project that provides WiFi routers and Internet for a year for 54 refugee families enrolled at the HLC.

Founded in 2010 by the Zomi Christian Assembly, HLC has about 75 students enrolled each year from all over the globe including Myanmar, Iran, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Students are taught a variety of subjects for school, as well as have social gatherings to help families adapt and assimilate well.

Wyss said the primary target was to raise at least 70% of the full amount by the end of this month.

“This amount will be able to provide an Internet connection for 36 families, which is 60 refugee children enrolled for the first term in 2021. We want to support the children in having access to education for the rest of 2021”, Wyss said. She added that the initiative was formed alongside seven people in the team with more than 45 fitness and dance instructors who began their efforts in the middle of February 2021.

The team has so far raised more than RM60,000 and now on its way towards the RM100,000 target.

The original plan was to run classes until the middle of March, but the team decided to continue with its fundraising efforts until the end of the month or even longer.

“Beyond just raising funds, we wanted to start a conversation about the needs that are out there. We want to share the need for support and volunteers. We do hope to raise awareness beyond this campaign and hopefully get people interested in volunteering for or working with HLC long after our campaign is over,” Wyss said.

She said it was an easy process to get involved in the classes since everything has been contactless, safe and secure.

“A person can choose the instructor or class they want, then head over to the specific personal ‘ Simply Giving’ page of the instructors. A person will be required to donate RM30 or more, then you will receive an email with a Zoom link and be able to join the class,” she said.

Classes include HIIT Boxing, Heart Ballet, Afro-Dancehall Basics, Spinning Sesh, Vinyasa Flow, Urban Contemporary and many more.

Wyss hopes this initiative will help bridge the gap for a greater refugee community in the country as people work together to support each other in these trying times.