Yellow House is a not for profit grassroots community organisation dedicated to improve lives to be more sustainable for homeless people, urban poor and refugee communities in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. The idea of a non-profit for benefit community came about when our views on giving back to the society seemed to be shared with many out there allowing us an opportunity to give real, substantial and continuous help to the marginalised. Supported by a strong board of trustees and supportive partners, Yellow House has uplifted more than 100 lives. The non-profit organisation aims to promote volunteerism and social impact amongst some of the social issues faced in Malaysia namely homelessness and refugees.
7 years after its creation, Yellow House is now a social enterprise with a thriving international community of 700 volunteers in over 40 countries.
Founder and President
Shyam is a psychologist and a former corporate responsibility strategist who has been working on social causes for more than a decade.
Shyam has always been passionate about connecting with people and helping marginalised communities grow. She started Yellow House in 2011 and from her own backyard, and has watched the organisation grow to what it is today.
Through her work, she has worked, served and partnered with clients such as Agensi Anti Dadah Kebangsaan, UNHCR, RexKL, Air Asia Foundation, Thinkcity, Citi Foundation, &Samhoud, Tourism Malaysia, Travel360, DBKL and many more on projects ranging from developing new initiatives to help individuals exit homelessness, to designing strategies to assist refugees with sustainable alternative livelihoods.
She is passionate about building relationships and nurtures a global community of volunteers. She actively engages university communities in motivational talks, listed as 10 Women NGO Leaders & Social Entrepreneurs To Watch in 2019 in Malaysia, 5 brave Southeast Asian women making a change for a better future and is a spokesperson for 6 SPCAs under the Canine Advocacy Team.
Chew Han Hoong
Chew has extensive experience in volunteering and developing leadership skills in youth. A competent project manager, Chew brings values to projects with meaningful and impactful stakeholder engagement. Chew has worked with several non-governmental bodies and social enterprises including AIESEC and Bihani Social Venture in Nepal. He works closely with youths and NGOs in projects that primarily focus on community development, and currently serves as the vice president of Yellow House.
Mahendran is a digital innovation and a social activist who believes that global problems require local solutions.
Mahendran had been working on community projects and social causes with Yellow House founder Shyam for over a decade, including public clean-up campaigns for Thaipusam and Wesak Day celebrations, and also providing free hair wash and haircuts to the homeless in Kuala Lumpur.
He currently heads the innovation lab for a social entrepreneurship development programme at a Malaysian corporation, where he helps nurture and build capacities for social entrepreneurs.
He currently serves as the treasurer of Yellow House.
PR and Communications
Ram is a creative communications specialist who has been in the Malaysian media and communications sector for close to a decade.
A filmmaker by training, Ram spent over eight years reporting on Malaysian current affairs and politics for various prominent Malaysian news organisations. After quitting journalism in 2018, Ram has produced and directed a short film in India, and also worked as an innovation consultant.
He is currently writing his debut novel for a regional publisher, apart from writing a Malaysian current-affairs television show which is also set to debut this year.
Ram joined Yellow House in 2017 to lend his storytelling and media expertise to the growing social enterprise landscape in Malaysia. He currently writes for policies for them.
Low Chai Yun
Low Chai Yun graduated from University Science of Malaysia with Bachelor of Social Science with Honours (Anthropology and Sociology) in 2016. She has over 10 years experience as a tutor teaching Malaysian Sign Language (known as Bahasa Isyarat Malaysia) and conducts home tuition for Deaf children.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak hit the world in 2020, she decided to get out of her comfort zone by switching to a new career where she still is able. Chai Yun joined Yellow House as the assistant secretary with previously having been the Secretary for the Malaysian Deaf Sports Association. Her portfolio includes advisory on matters of differently abled community and individuals
Committee - Advisory
Nazreen Nizam is an artist and activist passionate on issues pertaining to human rights, gender and grassroot community development. Graduated from University of Malaya with LLB (Honours) in 2003, she has over 16 years of experience in activism with civil society organisations such as Sisters in Islam, Tenaganita, Coalition to Abolish Modern Slavery in Asia (CAMSA), Engage Media, Empower, Dapur Jalanan Kuala Lumpur, Family Frontiers and Yellow House.
Currently, she is the Capacity Building Coordinator with Women’s Aid Organisation. A feminist socialist at heart, she has immense zeal for working with people to improve the wellbeing of the community and is committed to contribute in the creation of better realities for humankind.
Committee - Advisory
Dhinakaran Govindasamy is passionate about creating sustainable solutions and driving climate actions. He has experience in student leadership development programmes and corporate social responsibility projects including tree planting and sustainable products development. He was an oil and gas engineer overlooking the production of oil and gas from offshore facilities. During his service, he had driven numerous cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reduction projects, which resulted in a significant reduction of carbon emissions.
He found tremendous satisfaction from the projects and decided to shift his career to the area of sustainability, which led to him furthering his study to obtain a Master’s degree (MPhil) in Engineering for Sustainable Development at the University of Cambridge. He currently heads the Climate Change Planning for a multinational corporation in Malaysia.
Committee - Advisory
Laura is an Economic Development professional from Scotland. As an expert in a subject matter such as Economic Development has allowed Laura to come into contact with a lot of vulnerable communities and she has developed some excellent programmes over her 25 years career in the Government of Scotland to help empower and upskill people of all ages. Laura has years of sustainable business and entrepreneurship skills and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) as well as a Bachelor of Arts(Ba) in Hotel Management.
Laura volunteered with Yellow House in 2018 and joined us as an advisor a year later. She has provided support for activities helping street friends with Unseen Tours and being a government servant, was instrument in our engagement with Malaysian local government agencies such as DBKL, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
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