‘Marketplace’ platform for NGO - private sector networking on increasing support to refugee programmes

Kuala Lumpur (UNHCR), 5 July 2017 - Have you been keen to get your company or your friends involved in helping refugees, but don't know where to start?

This Saturday, come to the 'Marketplace'- a networking space for anyone keen to support projects that help refugees.

Organised by the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, as part of the World Refugee Day commemoration, the ‘Marketplace’ is an event that aims to connect the private sector directly with NGOs who are running assistance programmes for refugees in areas of health, education, livelihoods, and protection.

“There are currently dozens of welfare assistance and empowerment programmes run by NGOs aimed at providing welfare assistance and support to refugee communities and strengthening the communities’ ability to be self-reliant and independent,” said Yante Ismail, UNHCR Spokesperson in Kuala Lumpur.

“At the same time, UNHCR has observed a positive increase in the interest among private sector and private individuals to provide financial and in-kind support to projects aimed at strengthening refugee communities while they are in Malaysia, but they may not necessarily know how to find these projects.

“The ‘Marketplace’ event therefore aims to bring together potential private sector donors with those running projects for refugees, in an interactive atmosphere where NGOs can meet and speak to potential donors, and “pitch” their proposals for funding needs in areas of health, education, livelihoods, and protection.”

The first of its kind aimed at those working in the field of refugee assistance and protection in Malaysia, the ‘Marketplace’ will showcase projects from over a dozen NGOs in the country working to help refugees with projects in education, health, livelihoods, and protection.

A group of refugee artisans will also be present to showcase artisanal products in a refugee art bazaar, with the aim of generating interest and support for these artisans and supporting their livelihood through sales of their products.

“The ‘Marketplace’ is an opportunity to learn about are some of the projects to assist refugees in Malaysia in the areas of healthcare, education, livelihoods, community empowerment, and protection, and to meet the NGOs and the refugees who are involved in them,” said Yante.

“If you or your company, or your group of friends have been wanting to find a way to channel support to good projects that help refugees, but have not known where to look, this ‘Marketplace’ will provide a first step in doing so.”

There are some 150,000 refugees in Malaysia, who have no legal status in their country. Their coping mechanisms include finding support from NGOs and from their own communities to run projects that aim to strengthen their communities.

The Marketplace event will be held on Saturday, 8 July 2017, at Makespace, Quill City Mall, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, from 10.30am - 4.30pm.

Admission is free. Open to all.

Contact us at infomalaysia@unhcr.org for information.

Event components:

1. MARKETPLACE where over a dozen NGOs working on refugee assistance programmes will be showcasing their projects in areas of health, education, livelihoods, community empowerment, and protection.


Over a dozen refugee artisans will showcase their artisanal products skillfully made through various livelihoods and women’s empowerment programmes. These will be on sale, and the artisans will also be available to speak to any interested private sector company/individuals interested in supporting them. 100% proceeds will go the refugee artisans themselves.

The products include:

•             Artisanal handicraft items like handmade bags, loom-woven traditional cloths, leather-bound notebooks, accessories, organic perfumes, bath oils, and soap;

•             Food items like middle eastern deserts and Rohingya sambal and samosa

•             Services such as Somali Henna Tattoo, and tailoring and catering (to order)


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