MEET OUR CHANGEMAKERS!
CO-FOUNDER, INTERFAITH YOUTH CIRCLE
In the past decade, Islam has been in the spotlight and breaking news more than any other religion - mostly negatively. This has inevitably led to misinformed opinions, narrow views, stereotypes etc of Muslims all over the world.
Interfaith Youth Circle (IYC) was created in 2015 because its founders felt that there was a great need for interfaith work in Singapore to advance to the next level. While Muslims in Singapore used to be 'sheltered' from events that have transpired, the need has arisen for Muslims to actively build genuine and respectful relationships that will lay the foundation for deep and active inter-religious dialogues. Relationships that are beyond just sharing food and celebrating festivals, but are built upon sharing knowledge, understanding and compassion.
From the start, they have strived to include more diversity in our committee and currently have Christian and Sikh council members. They wish to continue to develop IYC as a platform for creating and connecting interfaith leaders of various faith groups, so that each of us may lead our faith communities in making religion a bridge and not a barrier - inspiring each other for the common good.
VOLUNTEER WITH: "DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS" AND "YAYASAN GEUTANYOE"
Durriah is a Paediatric Physiotherapist as well as a humanitarian professional that views the importance of play and education for all children regardless of disabilities or access. Locally, Durriah provides therapy services for children in a special school and private practice.
For her humanitarian work, she provides clinical and referral services for the refugees or children in villages. She had participated in projects and mission with the refugees in Jordan, Turkey, Aceh and Malaysia. These trips were impactful and motivates her to do more for these refugee children at her best. Every child deserves the right to play and develop – this is something Durriah strongly believes in.
REGIONAL MANAGER, LAUNCHGOOD
Ameera Begum is the Regional Manager of LaunchGood, a global Muslim crowdfunding platform. Her blood type is A(ctivist) and she has volunteered or worked for various local Muslim organisations in the past 12 years. She helps individuals, businesses and organisations run successful crowdfunding campaigns, build communities and achieve their dreams through crowdfunding.
Recently, her own crowdfunding campaign that she started with a friend managed to raise over $70,000 for migrant workers in Singapore even though their initial goal was $10,000. The campaign was featured on Berita on Suria, Berita Harian and Straits Times. Through the campaign, one of the injured migrant workers managed to receive medical attention and underwent a brain tumor removal surgery recently and is thankfully recovering well!
FOUNDER, ADVOCATES FOR REFUGEES
Advocates For Refugees - Singapore (AFR-SG) is a ground-up, volunteer-led movement focused on bringing about greater awareness on the issue of forced migration in our region and beyond, to inspire and to galvanise community action. Since 2016, AFR-SG's flagship event Refugee Awareness Week (RAW) has been held in commemoration of the globally recognised World Refugee Day on June 20th. AFR-SG's other areas of focus include: Policy, Research and Government Relations, and International Partnerships.
Nur Khairiana Malek is a Co-Founder of FiTree, a Muslim youth environmental advocacy group. In the past five years, FiTree has worked with mosques, schools, corporates, non-profits, government agencies, interfaith organisations and other Muslim youth organisations to remind that being Green and environmentally-friendly is an important part of Islam in relation to our God-ordained role as Stewards of the Earth. FiTree's activities includes nature walks, upcycling, promoting greener alternatives and most notably, a continuous campaign to get Muslims to waste less water when doing their daily wudhu’.
Prior to starting FiTree, Khairi had spent 7 years as a volunteer with APEX Mentors which provides academic assistance for madrasah students in preparation for PSLE. A firm believer in harnessing the full potential of youths, the power of good intentions and the necessity of making sincere connections with people and between knowledge fields, she is always hustling for opportunities for new collaborative projects. Other times, she works as a senior parks manager and travels regularly in search of inspiration for new (and old but forgotten) ways to do things better.
CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR, MIJ SPECIAL EDUCATION HUB
In 2003, Madam Faraliza Zainal's firstborn was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a form of autism.
Her son Mohd Ashraf Mohd Ali was three.
For Madam Faraliza, as with the many other caregivers in her shoes, it was the start of a journey of ups and downs, especially when it came to her son interacting with other people.
But raising a child with autism led Madam Faraliza to realise the importance of education specifically tailored for children with special needs.
She left her high-flying job with Dow Jones in 2011 to set up My Inspiring Journey Education Hub (MIJ) which is a private special needs school catering to a variety of students with different learning needs from the age of 5 to 32. MIJ focuses on a holistic education for their students covering social, emotional, intellectual, physical and moral subjects, to prepare them for independence, self-advocacy and to better integrate into the society.
The school now has around 250 students, in all of its three branches combined - Changi, Jurong and Woodlands.