Deborah Henry On Helping Refugee Children Get The Life They Deserve

By Kevin Tan

The social entrepreneur and former model founded Fugee School and Fugeelah to empower refugee children in Malaysia through education

Tatler Asia
Deborah Henry, co-founder Fugee School (Photo: Rizq and Adam Raden)
Cover  Deborah Henry, co-founder of Fugee School and Fugeelah, with the latest Xiaomi 12 (Photo: Rizq and Adam Raden)

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When families are displaced by war or natural calamities, children often suffer the most. While hosting a documentary for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) years ago, Deborah Henry heard the story of a refugee family living in Malaysia and was inspired to take action.  

Henry established Fugee School in 2009 to provide refugee children with proper education for free and nurture a positive mindset in them. Over the years, the not-for-profit organisation has grown and impacted more than 500 students. It also transitioned from its reliance on donations to fund its operations to build a more sustainable source of income in the form of Fugeelah, a social enterprise and conscious jewellery brand that Henry established in 2017 with a US$5,000 grant from UNHCR and Rotary Malaysia. Fugeelah aims to equip refugee youths with skills in entrepreneurship, communication and creative thinking, as well as provide them with employment to enable them to support themselves and their families. 

Read more: Why Do Gender-Based Violence And Domestic Abuse Still Exist?

Hectic workdays are part of her life as an entrepreneur, that's why Henry relies on technology such as the Xiaomi 12 to help her manage her appointments and priorities every day. 
"The perfect phone for me needs to be intuitive, have a great camera and [be able to] handle multiple applications," says Henry, who adds that it also needs to have a long-lasting battery and a fast-charging feature to allow her to stay connected throughout the day, even after work ends.

The Xiaomi 12 is equipped with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and an Android 12 operating system. It also features a 6.28-inch AMOLED display, which makes reading a text message or watching a movie on the phone a vibrant experience, and a triple camera array that can capture great photos any time of the day. "Regardless of which lens I choose, I can snap clear and crisp photos of the latest products and take great selfies with the Xiaomi 12. Its powerful processor also helps me stay organised and efficient through the day."

Watch the video below to see Henry describe her professional mission and how she tackles a busy workday.


Videography   Rizq and Adam Raden

Make-Up   Shallee Lee (Tale Makeover Studio)

Location   Colony at Star Boulevard, KLCC

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