UNHCR names Indonesian philanthropist as eminent advocate for refugees

UNHCR names Indonesian philanthropist as eminent advocate for refugees

Founder/Chairman Mayapada Group & Tahir Foundation, Mohammad Tahir. (tahirfoundation.com)

Although we just have smaller funds, I want to use it on a concrete and direct program, which is school building."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has named Dato Sri Tahir, an Indonesian conglomerate and philanthropist, as the first eminent advocate for refugees from East Asian region.

"I am very pleased to welcome Tahir as part of the UNCHR family and as an eminent advocate for refugees," Thomas Vargas, UNHCRs representative in Indonesia, said at the UNHCR office here on Wednesday.

Tahir is appointed as the worlds third eminent advocate for UNCHR after Hamdi Ulukaya of the United States and Sheikha Jawaher Al Qassimi of United Arab Emirates.

Vargas noted that the appointment of Tahir was in recognition of his valuable and selfless work on behalf of millions of refugees.

One of the main duties as the eminent advocate for refugees, Tahir would work closely with UNHCR in gaining support from the private sector to contribute as a donor source for the agency.

"To give is to gain. It is my belief, as it is in all religions, that we do not own our wealth but we only manage it, and it is up to us to be good managers," Tahir said.

Tahir donated US $1 million, through his Tahir Foundation, during his visit to refugee camps in Jordan, which hosts more than 650 thousand Syrian refugees.

In addition, Tahir also pledged a donation of $14 million to support educational programs for refugee children around the world.

"Although we just have smaller funds, I want to use it on a concrete and direct program, which is school building," he said.

Tahir added that when he met the Syrian refugees in Jordan and talked to them, he found that most of them accepted their fate to be never able to return to their home country.

"But what burdened them the most was the future of their children and how they would live in the new country. Hence, school will be their answer," he said.

Tahir is the founder and chairman of Mayapada Group, a multi-business company in Indonesia, which has gained a name in social issues through the Tahir Foundation that helps humanitarian causes with vital funding and commitment to raise public awareness about global refugee issues and engaging other business leaders to support refugees.
(T.A060/Uu.INE/KR-BSR/F001)

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