Heroes Among Us: Reaching out to Rohingya refugees in KL

Raeesah Khan founded Reyna Movement in 2016 to empower women through different programmes.
Raeesah Khan founded Reyna Movement in 2016 to empower women through different programmes.ST PHOTO: RACHEL QUEK AND SHAWN LEE MILLER
Raeesah Khan founded Reyna Movement in 2016 to empower women through different programmes.
Raeesah Khan founded Reyna Movement in 2016 to empower women through different programmes.ST PHOTO: RACHEL QUEK AND SHAWN LEE MILLER
Raeesah Khan founded Reyna Movement in 2016 to empower women through different programmes.
Raeesah Khan founded Reyna Movement in 2016 to empower women through different programmes.ST PHOTO: RACHEL QUEK AND SHAWN LEE MILLER
Whitney Tan, 21, the executive director of Reyna.
Whitney Tan, 21, the executive director of Reyna.ST PHOTO: RACHEL QUEK AND SHAWN LEE MILLER
Raeesah Khan founded Reyna Movement in 2016 to empower women through different programmes.
Raeesah Khan founded Reyna Movement in 2016 to empower women through different programmes.ST PHOTO: RACHEL QUEK AND SHAWN LEE MILLER
Raeesah Khan founded Reyna Movement in 2016 to empower women through different programmes.
Raeesah Khan founded Reyna Movement in 2016 to empower women through different programmes.ST PHOTO: RACHEL QUEK AND SHAWN LEE MILLER
Whitney Tan, 21, the executive director of Reyna.
Whitney Tan, 21, the executive director of Reyna.ST PHOTO: RACHEL QUEK AND SHAWN LEE MILLER
Raeesah Khan founded Reyna Movement in 2016 to empower women through different programmes.
Raeesah Khan founded Reyna Movement in 2016 to empower women through different programmes.ST PHOTO: RACHEL QUEK AND SHAWN LEE MILLER
Together with Whitney Tan (right), the executive director of Reyna, Raeesah Khan runs an education centre in Kuala Lumpur for Rohingya women and their children.
Together with Whitney Tan (right), the executive director of Reyna, Raeesah Khan runs an education centre in Kuala Lumpur for Rohingya women and their children. ST PHOTO: RACHEL QUEK AND SHAWN LEE MILLER
Raeesah Khan founded Reyna Movement in 2016 to empower women through different programmes.
Raeesah Khan founded Reyna Movement in 2016 to empower women through different programmes.ST PHOTO: RACHEL QUEK AND SHAWN LEE MILLER

When she heard about a large population of Rohingya refugees living in Kuala Lumpur, Singaporean Raeesah Khan, 24, decided to reach out to them.

“The more I heard their stories and what they had been through, the less I could stand by and do nothing,” said Ms Khan.

In 2016, she founded Reyna Movement to empower women through different programmes.

The organisation has two projects – Kakak Dan Adik, an initiative that provides support for Rohingya refugees displaced around Kuala Lumpur, and Project Ria, which creates spaces of support and learning for women in Singapore.

Together with fellow Singaporean Whitney Tan, 21, the executive director of Reyna, Ms Khan runs an education centre in Kuala Lumpur for Rohingya women and their children. 

She and Ms Tan are also compiling recipes from the women for a cookbook, called Recipes Of Resilience, to be launched in November.

Said Ms Khan: “I was thinking through the stories and recipes of the women... that this is such a great way to preserve and continue Rohingya culture, and provide the women with additional income by paying for their time and giving them royalties from the book.”

The duo behind Reyna Movement are featured in the last episode of the Heroes Among Us series.