Arissa Jemaima Ikram Ismail and Davina Devarajan founded Women for Refugees, which is an organization devoted to providing free education to immigrant women in Malaysia. The duo started this work after Ismail was contacted by a refugee leader for help with uplifting the refugee women in his community. Before the pandemic, Ismail and Devarajan recruited volunteers to run in-person classes teaching the women how to read and write. In-person classes for children soon followed. During the pandemic, the learning has gone online. In the long run, the founders hope to expand classes into other neighborhoods and include technical skills that could help the women earn an income. “We want to equip them with the necessary skills so that they can sustain themselves…and contribute back to the community,” Ismail said.

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