A former beauty queen and mum of two, Danutcha is the Managing Director for Science of Life Studies 24/7 (SOLS 24/7).
Danutcha graduated from Murdoch University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and was a journalist working with New Straits Times prior to joining SOLS 24/7. SOLS is an award winning, humanitarian organization, committed to serve, educate and empower poor and undeserved communities. SOLS 24/7 currently operates education and social empowerment programmes throughout Malaysia and has offices in Jakarta and the Netherlands. In 2016, SOLS 24/7 won the UNESCO Wenhui Award for Educational Innovation.
They say charity begins at home, and Danutcha has been involved in charitable activities from a very young age, through the encouragement of her family. After being crowned Miss Malaysia Indian 2003, she worked on various charitable and awareness campaigns in Malaysia before joining SOLS 24/7 full-time.
What inspires you?
The saying, ‘If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room’ rings true here, only for me through a series of fortunate choices that I have found myself in a room full of young change makers, social activists and crazy hardworking people who are willing to invest their time and skills to build a better future for those in need. My SOLS 24/7 colleagues and other NGO-workers inspire me to keep working in the fourth sector while the communities we work with inspire me to be grateful for what I’ve been given in life. But my inspiration at the most difficult of times is my husband, who is one of the most selfless, dynamic and giving people I’ve ever met. He keeps me grounded and pushes me to achieve my potential (even when I don’t believe I can!).
What would you tell your 18 year old self?
My 18 year old self was insecure, a people-pleaser and had such limited understanding of what she could offer life. If I could, the first thing I would do would hug her tight and tell her that the she was stronger than she knew. I would tell her not to be afraid to let go of things that were safety blankets and to intern, volunteer and serve for causes she was passionate about. I would tell her to keep her family close and that her ability to find beauty and joy in the smallest things would be one of her greatest assets.