24/04/2024 10:10 AM
Opinions on topical issues from thought leaders, columnists and editors.

By Dr Lee J. Peter

In a world often divided by borders and circumstances, there are shining examples of solidarity and compassion that transcend barriers. One such inspiring event took place recently in Cyberjaya, where students from Heriot-Watt University Malaysia (HWUM) came together to organise a charity football match in support of the Fugee School, highlighting the transformative power of education and collective action.

The Fugee School, situated in Kuala Lumpur, grapples with immense challenges due to limited resources and financial constraints, hindering its ability to provide quality education and holistic support to refugee children. Recognising these obstacles, HWUM students, under the EmPOWER Programme, orchestrated a charity football match on March 7, 2024, aiming not only to raise awareness but also to garner vital financial support for the Fugee School.

Collective efforts

The event was more than just a football match; it was a symbol of unity and empathy. Through this noble initiative, a total of RM6,590 was raised, reflecting the collective efforts of the community to support education and drive positive societal change, particularly benefiting refugee children striving for a better future.

The football match itself was a spectacle of determination and teamwork. With 26 players from both teams – HWUM undergraduates and students from the Fugee School – the TSI mini stadium in Cyberjaya buzzed with electrifying energy. Spectators, including members of the public, HWUM students and local schoolchildren, filled the stadium, creating a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere.

The match was highly competitive and a fierce battle was visible, where both teams displayed resilience and determination. The halftime score of 2-2 underscored the game’s changing fortunes, emphasising the players’ never-give-up attitude. HWUM students not only showcased their skills but also dedicated themselves to uplifting the Fugee School children. The Fugee School’s eventual 3-2 victory epitomised perseverance and hope against all odds.

Meaningful engagement

Bowen Chew, a first-year student at HWUM, emphasised the significance of the event in promoting equal opportunities and providing a platform for meaningful engagement with the refugee community. Such initiatives not only foster personal growth but also nurture a sense of social responsibility among the youth, paving the way for a more inclusive and compassionate society.

Fudhail Akhtar Fakhrul Anwar, the leader behind the charity football match, spoke about the profound impact of education in transforming lives and communities. His words echoed a sentiment shared by many, emphasising that education is not just a privilege but a fundamental right that can break barriers and build bridges.

Tangible impact

The commendations from Kudzai Charlton, Head of Education at Fugee School, underscore the tangible impact of these initiatives. The support from HWUM students goes beyond financial aid; it symbolises a shared commitment to creating a brighter future for all, regardless of background or circumstance.

Such initiatives exemplify the essence of unity and compassion. They remind us that beyond our differences lie shared values of empathy and solidarity. As we celebrate these efforts, let us also reaffirm our commitment to supporting education and empowering communities, for every child deserves the chance to dream and thrive.

By coming together through sports, education and collective action, we can turn aspirations into reality and pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable tomorrow.


Dr Lee J. Peter is Assistant Professor at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia.

(The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy or position of BERNAMA)