Malaysia is unique and we believe it is directly related to her unique purpose and calling. Malaysia is multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and multi-national -a ‘salad bowl’ nation with people coming from all over the world residing, working, studying or finding refuge here.
As of end of October 2016, there are some 150,669 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) in Malaysia.
- About 135,475 are from Myanmar, comprising 54,856 Rohingyas, 41,420 Chins, 10,928 Myanmar Muslims, 5,221 Rakhines and Arakanese, and other ethnicities from Myanmar.
- There are 15,194 refugees and asylum-seekers from other countries, including 2,859 Sri Lankans, 2,692 Pakistanis, 1,809 Yemenis, 1,600 Somalis, 1,525 Syrians, 1,323 Iraqis, 841 Afghans, 633 Palestinians, and others from other countries.
- Among them, about 68% of refugees and asylum-seekers are men, while 32% are women.
- There are 35,069 children below the age of 18.
Refugees in Malaysia are ‘on transit’, waiting to be resettled in refugee receiving nations. However, this wait can be very long, ranging from months to years. At the meantime, they live among us, left to fend for themselves.
ElShaddai Centre, endorsed by UNHCR, is to help refugees and asylum seekers, by providing education, primary healthcare, shelter as well as setting up simple sustainable social enterprises.