Upon the initial conceptualisation of the Rotary Education Fund (REF) mentoring programme for students between the ages of 15 and 19, Dr Yee Yoke Leong and the Rotary team never expected it to impact as many lives as it has.

The positive impact REF had on the futures of over 150 students that were mentored over 10 years aligned with the mentoring programme’s motto “A Better Start. A Better Life.” The outcome reflected the vision to make a positive difference to young lives, by helping those who want to help themselves, and putting them on the start of the road to a better life.

Under the Rotary Club of Bukit Kiara Sunrise (RCBKS), the award winning project won the Rotary International Significant Achievement Award for 2012-2013 for Rotary District 3300 and continues to be a talking point among rotary clubs.

To date, 12 Rotary Clubs and a number of Inner Wheel Clubs have adopted the REF and in 2019, the District Action Group (DAG) on REF was set up to coordinate the efforts of rotary clubs.

HELP University Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Paul Chan, was also honoured for his unwavering and constant support of REF at the 10th Anniversary Dinner where he was awarded the Paul Harris Fellow Award, a recognition given to individuals who have contributed substantially to Rotary and in addition Dr Chan was made an honorary member of RCBKS.

“Rotarians are recognised worldwide for their selfless service in helping communities regardless of their backgrounds. RCKBS is exemplary in this way. They have contributed significantly and substantively to help the disadvantaged and the talented,” said Chan.