Refugees are one of the most vulnerable peoples even before the Covid19 pandemic swept across the world. Now with the spread of the pandemic, refugees and asylum seekers are even more vulnerable and at risk considering their many health and livelihood challenges especially women, children and elderly.
MSRI has been providing basic healthcare, education and livelihood services for refugees from the Middle East and North Africa with majority of our clients from Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. With funds running very very low, we are struggling to continue these much needed services because many of the women and children suffer from costly chronic and serious medical ailments and disabillities including cancer, leukemia, diabetes, blindness, high blood pressure, liver failure and many more.
Children as young as 6 years old are seeking chemotherapy treatments and we also have children below 12 who are slowly going blind from glaucoma while many children need heart treatments and medications.
We currently have over 1,000 refugees on our waiting list urgently needing medical treatments and livelihood assistance and the list is growing every day. We simply do not have enough funds and resources to help everyone and some of these needs can be life-threatening. We currently have over 7,000 refugee clients already registered with us and receiving assistance.
In our efforts to maintain sustainable funding, MSRI is embarking on a project to farm 4-acres of land to produce and sell papayas.
Through this sustainable funding initiative, we hope to reduce our reliance on donations to enable the continuation of the Sahabat Refugee Project’s free services for the refugee clients under our care.
For every acre farmed we will be able to plant 600 papaya trees which will be ready for harvest after 7-8 months. The fruits will be harvested twice a week for the duration of 4 years before needing to be re-planted again. The price of papayas in the market ranges from RM 0.80 to RM 2.20 per kilo, hence if each fruit is 1kg to 1.5kg, the expected income from each acre is RM 3,840 to RM 10,560 per month (before overheads and local workers salaries).
The income from this project will enable us to take on more than 500 refugees per year under our care without being 100% reliant on donations from organisations and members of the public.
In this project we will be training and employing 5 local Malaysian workers from the B40 groups to work on the farm for a salary and benefits. The profits from the farm will be channeled to benefit 2,000 refugees by improving their access to MSRI's free healthcare, education and livelihood programmes.
500 refugees to benefit each year x 4 years of harvest = 2,000 refugees to benefit
RM 80,000 investment translates to RM 506,880 funding per year for the duration of 4 years.
During harvest (when a lot of manpower is needed), we will engage with refugees to work on the farm alongside Malaysians for wages.
Profits from the farm will be channeled to the Sahabat Education Programme, Sahabat Healthcare and the Elham Empowerment Programme.
Goal 1 - One time start up cost (land clearing, microbes, fertilizers, rent, waterpump, driptape, polypipes, seedlings, fencing). Amount Needed: MYR60,000
Goal 2 - Monthly expenses (workers wages, roots and leaves boosters, utilities bill). Amount Needed: MYR10,000
Goal 3 - Monthly expenses (workers wages, roots and leaves boosters, utilities bill). Amount Needed: MYR10,000
The Malaysian Social Research Institute (MSRI) runs several programmes supporting refugees and asylum seekers with the goal of improving the lives of urban refugees from minority communities (middle east and north african refugees and asylum seekers).
As of December 2019, we have 2,000 families registered with MSRI, which amountS to approximately 7,000 refugees and asylum-seekers. Our clients come mainly from Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine, Syria, Pakistan, with a smaller number coming from other countries such as Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Sudan or Yemen.
MSRI provides support services which include education for both children and adults, family healthcare treatment and checkups, emergency and livelihood support. Our aim is to allow refugees and asylum seekers access basic necessities, whilst empowering them.