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09 June 2023

Malaysia

3Ev Program

3Ev Program

Partnership Category:

External partnerships on an Institutional level – e.g. community partnerships (such as with local government, with business associations, with NGOs)

Name of Partner:

UNHCR & Fugee School

Name of Partnership:

3Ev Program

Primary purpose:

The main aim of this partnership is to empower refugee youth through higher education. Through knowledge-sharing and awareness-raising, the aim of the school is to motivate refugee youth to continue their education. Part of the partnership with multiple-stakeholders is to develop a strong university application and increase their awareness of some of the skills they would need to succeed in higher education. This includes supporting entrepreneurship among refugees and imparting employability skills, crucial for the refugees’ survival.

Contact for this partnership:

Priya Sharma, priya.sharma@monash.edu

and Mimi Zarina.

Practical involvement:

1. Social Protection Fund Program

In 2018, Fugee, an NGO was granted the Refugee Social Protection Fund (SPF) Program by UNHCR, to be implemented in partnership with PRME School of Business, Monash University Malaysia. The UNHCR Kuala Lumpur introduced the Refugee SPF program in 2009. It operates as a fund for provision of small grants to refugee community based organizations (CBOs). 10 Refugee CBOs applied for the SPF grant from UNHCR, of which 7 CBOs will be successful. The objective of this program was to further strengthen the capacity of 7 refugee CBOs and ensure adequate support for these community led projects to promote self-reliance within the refugee communities. The program also aims to improve livelihoods of some 200 vulnerable persons in the community especially women and youth.

The role of the School of Business was to conduct 4 workshops for the CBO leaders and provide mentors to guide them. The workshops provided key tools to help the CBOs meet their individual needs, while also providing a platform for collaborative work and team-building across CBOs. The workshops also focused on project management skills which included developing project goals/objectives and setting key indicators for impact, output & performance.

Six projects, led by twelve, new volunteer community project leaders (majority women), were successfully funded through the SPF program. Project leaders successfully developed their own project goals, work-plans, budgets, monitoring, evaluation, and learning plan and indicators and risk registers. The programs have reached and provided life-skills training to 134 individuals, particularly women and youth. Major success of the project include having the majority of project leaders be women.

2. CERTE

CERTE stands for Connecting and Equipping Refugees For Tertiary Education. It is a task force that aims to support young adult refugees in accessing tertiary education opportunities through knowledge and resource sharing, a bridge course, school readiness preparation, and mentorship. The task force is supported by Open Universities for Refugees (OUR) and UNHCR Malaysia and Fugee. It’s mission is to provide quality education to refugees globally and international universities in Malaysia.

The aim of CERTE is to identify refugees who can demonstrate the motivation and academic potential to access further education and to equip and empower them to gain a place at university or college. The course is run over 3 weeks, during weekdays so that the refugee students are exposed to university campus life. Through this course, students are equipped with the basic knowledge of the application process of higher education institutes; have a better understanding of areas of knowledge and different academic disciplines; develop basic research skills in writing and presentations. This is an ongoing project which implements one cohort every year

3. Whitepaper Proposal to provide access to higher education for refugee youth

In Malaysia, for example, there is an absence of a national legal framework for refugees and asylum seekers because the country remains a non-signatory of the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. In terms of education, not having such a structure means no access to education. Without basic tertiary qualifications, many young adult refugees were forced to take up menial jobs, exposing them to exploitative conditions.

In light of the above predicament, a coalition of private tertiary institution academics, including Monash University Malaysia have teamed up with humanitarian actors to find innovative ways to boost access to higher education programmes for refugees in Malaysia. The Whitepaper proposal titled ""Towards Inclusion of Refugees in Higher Education in Malaysia"", proposes to the government to recognise the UNHCR Refugee Card as valid proof of identification to facilitate enrolment into these private tertiary institutions. This project is still ongoing.

3. Employment and Entrepreneurial Education Virtual Program (3Ev program) for Refugee youth

Employability and Entrepreneurial Education Virtual (3Ev) Program for Refugees 2021 was created via a collaborative effort between UNHCR Malaysia and the Monash Malaysia School of Business PRME platform in collaboration with the school's industry partner. The 3Ev Program for Refugees, which began on 13 July, 2021, was conducted for three weeks.

The program’s purpose is to enable refugee youth to develop their employability and entrepreneurial skills. This includes skills to communicate effectively in business conversations, manage their emotions, mental health and wellbeing in the workplace (especially during the COVID-19 pandemic), utilise technology to improve personal branding, be resourceful and innovative, apply idea generation techniques, and develop an entrepreneurial mindset. The 3Ev program largely achieved its main objectives, and shows the potential impact of such initiatives. It built opportunities for these young refugees to practice skills, discuss ideas, be creative, build relationships, and participate in a meaningful way."

Benefits of this partnership to the institution as a PRME Champion:

A collaboration like this between united nations organizations, civil society and business schools, builds partnerships and helps bridge the gap between educational institutions such as Monash University Malaysia as PRME Champions, industry and community under SDG 17, which refers to the need for cross sector and cross country collaboration in pursuit of all the goals by the year 2030. It enables universities to reach, empower and make a real difference to vulnerable communities directly.

Focusing on SDG 4.7, to ensure by 2030 that all acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, especially with reference to appreciation of cultural diversity and contribution to sustainable development, the data collected may be used by for research and education. This project may also be utilized for education purposes in the classroom, through student activities and a component on sustainability, demonstrating the importance of collaboration between educational institutional institutions, NGOs and UN bodies in empowering and bringing impact to vulnerable communities.

Through advocacy, education and research to create societal impact for refugees, Monash University Malaysia as PRME Champions is aiming to lead the way in creating meaningful initiatives with multiple-stakeholders to create societal impact for vulnerable communities.

Benefits of this partnership to the partner institution(s):

This partnership is important to UNHCR and other refugee NGOs as universities, as educational instructions can contribute to the mission to help and empower refugees through education and training. Such a collaboration builds partnerships and helps bridge the gap between educational institutions, industry and community. It enables us to reach, empower and make a real difference to vulnerable communities directly, thereby creating impact on society. To quote an old Sudanese saying, one hand cannot clap. Coordinating these types of initiatives can be challenging. One way to address such a challenge is to focus on partnerships, not just among international actors, but more importantly, between international and local partners. Emphasis on such partnerships can create opportunities to combine skills, expertise and resources that more effectively empower vulnerable communities.

Spillover effects/cross pollination/impact of this partnership:

These initiatives have inspired students to engage in more impactful measures to successfully impact society and communities. For example, as a result of this partnership, an informal learning center for refugees, Paint The World Academy was set up by Monash Business Alumni and refugee, Prince Abdul Rahman. The SOB-PRME has been a strong supporter of this initiative and has been instrumental in Monash Students Volunteer Program providing tutoring services to refugee students of this academy.

Lessons learned from the partnership:

Communication with the refugee mentees has not always been easy. As they are extremely caught up in trying to make a basic living, engaging with them can be an uphill task. Due to their difficult situation in trying to make basic ends meet, an initiative like this may be overwhelming. In such a predicament, it is up to the collaborative partners to be aware of this problem and press on, sensitively to help them.

One of the major challenges is that the CERTE bridge course does not guarantee admission into universities.

Duration of partnership:

This partnership was established in 2018 and it is ongoing.

Communications about this partnership:

https://primetime.unprme.org/2018/06/12/empowering-refugees-through-training-and-funding-monash-university-malaysia-part-1-or-2/

https://primetime.unprme.org/2018/06/18/empowering-refugees-through-training-and-funding-monash-university-malaysia-part-2-or-2/

https://www.monash.edu.my/pages/latest/articles/2020/empowering-refugees-through-education

https://lens.monash.edu/@business-economy/2021/08/21/1383666/opening-pathways-to-higher-education-for-refugee-entrepreneurs

https://globalcompactrefugees.org/good-practices/employability-entrepreneurial-education-3ev-program-refugees


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