Empowered to Pay it Forward - A Jeffrey Cheah Community Scholarship Alumni Story

Malaysian CARE is the appointed coordinator of the Jeffrey Cheah Community Scholarship and this partnership has brought substantial returns, though not in cash but in kind. This scholarship is fully funded to cater for students from orphanages as well as poor family backgrounds. For more information about the scholarship, please visit   www.malaysiancare.org/jcf.

Regina's life was tough. With the responsibility of supporting her sister and mother financially, along with caring for her youngest sister with special needs, she faced many challenges. But despite these hardships, Regina clung to the dream of getting a university education for a better future.

Tina, a social worker at Malaysian CARE, met Regina at church. Learning about Regina's dream of breaking the cycle of poverty through education, Tina encouraged her to apply for the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF) Community Scholarship. In 2014, at the age of 26, Regina submitted her application for the scholarship and, with assistance from the CARE staff, she successfully obtained an exemption to the age limit set by Sunway University, thus securing the scholarship.

Regina studied Hospitality, completing her studies in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in International Hospitality Management, just before the Movement Control Order (MCO) was enforced. Instead of going into a regular hotel job, she chose to work with Earth Heir, a social enterprise.

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Regina presently (Year 2024) serves as the Training and Community Lead at Earth Heir, an organisation that not only produces sustainable and socially responsible goods but also aids other social enterprises and NGOs in selling their products through its marketplace. At Earth Heir, she actively engages with diverse refugee groups, guiding them in the art of jewellery making through collaborative projects with UNHCR and MADE51, a global initiative that creates opportunities for refugees to earn income through their traditional skills. Drawing on her personal experiences and challenges, Regina establishes effective connections with refugee women, offering encouragement during challenging times. Her impactful work introduces her to a spectrum of individuals, ranging from refugee artisans to local business people.

In reflecting on her remarkable journey, Regina expresses a deep sense of gratitude for her transition from being a Sunway scholar to a productive member of the community. She acknowledges the support and opportunities that have shaped her path, attributing her success to divine blessings. With a genuine desire to pay it forward, Regina aims to spread love and positivity in her endeavours.

A decade later, she remains appreciative of the opportunities that have surpassed her initial dreams, affording her the ability to care for her family and savour life's joys. Now, Regina is not only fulfilling her personal dreams but also traverses the globe, actively contributing to positive change.

Regina’s journey is a testament to the power of determination, community support, and the belief that education can break the chains of poverty. She prays that her story will inspire others facing similar challenges, showing that with the right support and resilience, dreams can come true.

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  Work visit to the Mah Meri Village to visit the artisans working for Earth Heir.


Story written by Nicolle Chin - Communications. 

For more information about Jeffrey Cheah Foundation Community scholarship, please visit   www.malaysiancare.org/jcf