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Building Young Leaders on Pulau Omadal
Our Mastal Arikik are ‘little teachers.’ The first few Mastal Arikik we had were Malaysian students on the island, who would help with classes on weekends. Today, our pioneer MA are moving on to bigger things, and some of Iskul’s students are taking on the role.
Our Current Mastal Arikik – Stateless Children Who Have Grown With Us On Our Journey
Most of these children have been training as Mastal Arikik since 2020, teach level 1-2 classes, served as Iskuls Covid-19 relief movers, and are key liaisons for the stateless community.
Delah, the proactive child who rose above all expectations
Delah joined us at eleven, learning the basics of mathematics, Bahasa Malaysia within three years. She continued learning while working as a housekeeper, and in July 2019, stepped up to teach at Iskul
She is also leads a project that creates a stream of income for the stateless women – selling hand-woven pandanus mats, a collaboration with Yayasan Gamuda.
Enidah, a top student who is talented and committed
Enidah joined us at twelve, and made steady progress over her first three years as a student. Her consistent performance and tenacity allows her to know manage a class of her own – an impressive skill
Hardworking and resourceful, she teaches with kindness and patience, and is an invaluable part of our community.
She leads Kebun Iskul, providing fresh produce for the community.
Bilkuin, the idealistic boy who will make waves
Bilkuin was only ten when Iskul began – he is now his family’s sole breadwinner, and one of our top performers
Having spent some time in Semporna, he understands the importance of opportunity and financial security. Fluent in Bahasa Malaysia, he has a potential to do good for his family and community.
He currently takes the lead on our waste management and water projects.
Shima, the young girl who is raising the bar
Shima has only been training as Mastal Arikik since 2021, but she is currently teaching level 2 classes, and serves as our student health coordinator.
She has been in charge of giving medical first aid services to the other students and the community since 2022.
This is a big feat and really speaks to her passion and commitment.
Iskul runs day to day operations with a dedicated field team that is constantly working towards the best interests of our students
Our ground team consist of a full time teacher, field manager and coordinator, a projects manager, and a headmistress.
Iskul is more than just a school, and is sustained by so many people. Our students families always show cooperation and enthusiasm. District officers and authorities who have made it possible to get Iskul up and running. Board members who have worked tirelessly towards our goals since we’ve began. And you; people who take the time to follow our work and support what we do, in so many ways. We are eternally grateful for our community, and cannot wait to dive into the future together.
Rahmat Mosa – Projects Manager. Rahmat’s background and strenght is in teaching and activism with undocumented children. He was a teacher for 2 years in Sekolah Alternative Semporna. He has 3 years of experience managing Iskul’s community projects.
He has been Iskul’s project coordinator since 2021 and is in charge of our Water Project, Waste Management Project, renovations, Content Creation Project (YouTube & social media) and is our music teacher.
Ayu Othman – Full Time Teacher. Besides teaching, she manages students’ co-curricular activities and serves as a mentor and counselor to our students.
She has a strong background in administrative management and can provide a well rounded experience for our students.
Jefry Musa – Field Manager. Jefry is a teacher, editor, filmmaker, writer, researcher and activist. He creates Iskul’s basic literacy modules for 3 levels.
He has transformed Iskul from an informal school into a thriving community center by spearheaded Iskul’s Mini Clinic, Kebun Air, Water Project, Pentas Bulan Paluwak, Waste Management System, key mover in Iskul’s Covid-19 relief.
His experience and skill allow him to strengthen Iskul’s vision to build young leaders between both stateless and Malaysian communities.
Khairul Atim – Co-Founder, Field Coordinator & Society’s AJK. Khairul is Iskul’s co-founder and pioneer MA. He is a resident of Omadal. He conducted the first trial class at 14, and committed to teaching on weekends.
After SPM, he stepped up as the Field Coordinator trainee. His background and experience provides insight to the Malaysian and stateless communities of Omadal Island.
He began training as the Field Coordinator in 2020, and is in charge of Iskul’s meals, organising activities, key liaison with orang Kampung and external parties, and documents Iskul’s activities.
Roziah Jalalid – Co-founder, Society’s Deputy Chairperson & Advisor. Roziah is an Omadal resident and president of Wanita Pulau Omadal (WAPO).
She pioneers Iskuls effort to aneable local women to make a living out of weaving Pandanus mats; recruiting and empowering stateless mothers. The project has received funding and support, and serves as a leadership opportunity for young women as well.
She speaks Bajau language fluently and is often our main liaison/translator. Iskul could never have gotten off the ground without Roziah and her unwavering support and insight.
Chuah Ee Chia – Co-Founder And Society’s Chairperson
Ee Chia’s experience in her Master’s degree and in civil society initiatives have equipped her to run Iskul. In particular, her involvement with Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia and its Social Inclusion Agenda (SIA), Occupy Dataran, Malaysiakini and the ecumenical movement.
While studying for her Masters of Public Administration from the School of Public Policy, Central European University, she delved into her intrigue surrounding the sea-faring, nomadic Bajau Laut community. She studied their marginalised status within the state and local economy in Semporna through her Master’s thesis. Her research, passion and practices culminated into Iskul: a policy initiative meant to fill in a gap in public good. Her experience in her research has spearheaded Iskul in terms of grant writing and reporting.
She was featured as one of Wiki Impact’s inaugural 100 impact makers.
Ee Chia sees herself becoming a bridge that connects the stateless and underprivileged community with the resources and networks she has. She is grateful to be able to do so over a distance, with the support of a great field team on the ground!
She invites everyone to be curious, chase the why, ask the question and be a bridge. Use your privilege as a citizen to connect your resources with those without, one step at a time.
Liew Hui Ling – Co-founder & Society’s Secretary
Hui Ling is an environmental enthusiast who believes in positive actions that lead to impact in the global society. She envisions a world of equal opportunity regardless of gender or citizenship, where humans and nature live in harmony.
Along with a background in marine science, she has experience in communications, conservation, and event management. She complements the team, managing communications for the Society.
During her work in Semporna, under WWF Malaysia, she connected with Ee Chia, and has since been affiliated with Iskul on a voluntary basis. She planned our 5-day strategic planning meeting and conducted annual assessments on behalf of Iskul.
Despite only several years of introduction to the vulnerable and marginalised stateless community in Semporna, she strongly believes in the impact of community empowerment and hopes to see youth from the community championing the effort to attain better and equal access to opportunities.
Lalitha – Communications
Lalitha is a data science graduate who started off as our communications intern, working on our website and newsletters. She now serves as a board member and volunteer. Her experience with social work and policies gives her the passion to work towards the wellbeing of our school and children.