Interview with Deborah Henry


For those who don’t know can you tell us a little bit about Fugee School?
Together with my University friend, Shikeen, we started Fugee School in 2009. We are an education centre for refugee children living in Malaysia. With every day a refugee is denied an education, it is another day they are removed from a chance to improve their odds at a better future. At Fugee School, our mission is to equip refugee children with knowledge and life skills that empower them to make informed decisions and choices that will govern their direction in life. To date, over 200 children have come through our doors, and we currently have 130 students from Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Palestine.

You are known widely as the face of this amazing School. What was it about Fugee that pulled at your heart?
I remember when I first met our first refugee family and saw that the children weren’t going to school, they couldn’t read or write well and this broke my heart. I found it unacceptable that in the 21st century in Malaysia there are kids who can not learn. I had to do something and it started with tuition, which eventually evolved into a school. No child should be left behind and it is our duty to make this happen.

Raising funds is no easy feat. What are you most proud of accomplishing with the money you have raised?
You’re right!
What makes me proudest is when I see the transformation in the students from when they first started as shy, silent closed off kids to bright energetic and passionate people. I know they will go far and live a good wholesome life and every cent that is donated helps us make this a reality.

Kids for Kids is a partnership that you have done with local brand Bowerhaus. What drove you to create this charity event?
Elizabeth and I have been friends for a while and we were at an afternoon event when she suggested we do something for Fugee. Of course, I was more than excited about the collaboration as I love Bowerhaus and women (we love jewelry) will buy the specially designed necklace, but more importantly, we are engaging with kids to help support other kids. It is a fun charity event where all the children can have fun and still change someone else’s life.

Are you looking forward to being swarmed by Kids and Adults on the day?
I say, bring em on!! We want as many people to come by and have a good time doing something good!

How do we book?
The best place is to book online at Walk ins are welcomed on the day but pre-bookings are the best.

If we can’t make it can we still donate?
Most definitely, you can always purchase an Educate necklace that I designed together with Bowerhaus for RM150. 100% of proceeds are going directly to Fugee School or you can donate directly here.