IDEAS ( Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs ) was founded in 2010 as a Malaysian think tank dedicated to promoting market based solutions to public policy challenges. One of the major initiatives supported by this group is IDEAS Academy and last evening we enjoyed a fund raiser for the Academy which was held at the home of the Dutch Ambassador to Malaysia. The Academy recently received endorsement and support from the UNHCR which has a goal to have 1 million stateless and refugee youth worldwide in secondary school by 2016.

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IDEAS Academy well open in August as a secondary learning center for the under privileged youth in the core of KL many of whom are stateless and thus not entitled to education in this country. This is one of the projects that Taylors, Steve and a number of the Canadian staff have been involved with, providing input into curriculum development. When the center opens some of the Canadian teachers will volunteer their time to teach core curriculum and mentor local teachers.

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We thoroughly enjoyed the evening on a gorgeous patio and yard with an actual lawn, sharing ideas with others from many organizations who share our passion to change the future for young people and families in this country. This is a huge problem, not just in Malaysia, but many countries in this part of the world as economic and politic refugees flee poverty, oppression and violence in the country of their birth. Malaysia has half a million registered refugees, and probably four times that number who are flying under the radar. It is also home to a large and growing population of expats who are looking to do some good in the world. Hopefully we can be part of getting those two groups together.

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