Education: The Key to Success for Rohingya Refugees

Faisal is a Rohingya refugee living in Malaysia. He is the president of the Rohingya Society of Malaysia, a grassroots partner of ICMC. In this video, he shares the importance education has played in his life. He urges other Rohingya refugees in Malaysia to prioritize education so they can lead more empowered lives.

“I’m Faisal, from Arakan State, Myanmar. I arrived in Malaysia in 2013. Currently, I’m the president of Rohingya Society Malaysia (RSM).

RSM works closely with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and partner NGOs. ICMC is the closest among them, mostly partnering to create gender-based violence awareness. We work together to hold programs such as English classes, vocational trainings, and shelter management.

I love my work because I get to help people who are suffering every day. They’re very vulnerable, illiterate, and they need help. That’s why we have RSM, to help them heal from their trauma and rebuild their lives through community support and education. Over the years, from my experience, I learn that education and continuous learning are one of the most important things if we want to have a better future. Education is important in child development. At refugee’s learning centers and schools run by NGOs, our children can gain knowledge, language, and social skills for life and work.

They also about values, what it is to be morally right and wrong, and how to become a responsible person who can contribute to the community in the future. It is important to send our children, both boys and girls, to NGO schools or community-based schools so that they can have a brighter future.

Many of us did not have access to a good education in the past. Hence, it limited our potential, understanding, and job opportunities. However, do not despair and do not give up. Education is not only about going to school. Instead, education is a lifelong learning that allows us to expand what we know and develop skills we need for future employment. Take up short courses, English classes, computer classes, or any vocational training offered by NGOs. You will learn new things that will benefit your life and work.

Women play a significant role in our society and family. There is a saying, “you educate a woman, you educate a generation.” Women who are actively learning will not only help support the family. They will also teach their children. The family will be healthier, happier, and have a better quality of life.

My advice to the community, as my father always says, ‘Make time for education.’ It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a degree. Seize the opportunity to take up short courses, learn something, improve yourself. In other words, good education promises a good future. Only through education can we promise a better future for our generation.”


ICMC provides assistance and protection to vulnerable people on the move and advocates for sustainable solutions for refugees and migrants.