Refugees and displaced communities have no legal identity in Malaysia, and are thus denied rights to formal work. They are also excluded from public services like healthcare and education. Compared to the general population, they have less awareness about their rights, reduced access to legal aid, justice and resources, and are more vulnerable to harm and exploitation.
ElShaddai Centre provides four major services for refugees and displaced communities: Education, Social Work, Vocational Learning, and Healthcare. Through our Education service, we are connected with 2,000++ students, along with their families and ethnic communities. This forms a large natural client base which ElShaddai Social Work team serves.
Our Social Work initiatives include the following:
a) Safe Placement
· Providing protection and self-development opportunities to women and children (under 18) who may experience or be at risk of abuse, child marriage, homelessness, etc.
b) Case Management
· Assessing, addressing and following up on cases, by providing access to services (e.g. food/material aid, cash-based intervention, medical or psychosocial support, legal aid etc.)
c) Community-Based Protection
· Empowering refugee community representatives as Protection Actors to form a first line of prevention, response and support.
· Facilitating community empowerment programmes such as ‘Protection through Sports’ which incorporates Child Protection Education into sports training.
d) Wellness & Advocacy Programme
· Educating students and parents on topics related to Child Protection
· Facilitating birth registration for stateless children, including Indonesian and Filipino children born in Malaysia without any legal documents
Through these multi-pronged initiatives, ElShaddai Social Work pursues peace, justice and gender equality for vulnerable women and children within the refugee and other displaced community. We are proud to have been selected since 2020 as an implementing partner of UNHCR in addressing Child Protection and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) protection.
Project Results / Impact on Stakeholder
Some key indicators (figures cumulative to May 2023) are:
-102 persons at risk sheltered
-249 clients provided with case management services and other forms of support
-13 Community-Based Protection actors appointed
-More than 14,000 families supported with provision or financial intervention
-More than 1,300 students empowered through Child Protection training
-115 birth registrations for students without documentation
Qualitatively, our impact is also highlighted in the positive life changes experienced by many clients – see Supporting Document #2. For example,
i) A 13-year old girl was rescued from abuse and child marriage. She is now coping better emotionally and has been resettled.
ii) A client who attempted suicide was rescued. He has been given opportunities for English learning and vocational training, and is now mentally stable.
iii) A family experiencing domestic violence was restored to peace. The father of the family struggled with alcohol abuse, but was able to overcome it after his wife gained the confidence to confront him.
iv) As a result of Child Protection Training, a student reported being sexually assaulted. After receiving psychosocial support and shelter, she has returned home and her environment made safer.