Are you searching for the ideal Christmas gift that not only delights your friends, parents, spouse, or child but also makes a positive impact on communities in need? Your quest ends here! Look no further than these social enterprises and NGOs offering truly special gifts that leave a lasting impression on your loved ones while supporting communities in need.
Here are 10 ideal gifts to celebrate the spirit of giving this month.
#1: Dignity for Children
Spice up your kitchen with a batik apron, elevate your friend’s organisation game with a handy box pouch or give your loved one a handmade wooden laptop stand courtesy of Dignity for Children.
The non-governmental organisation provides holistic care and education for urban poor children in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Through their Transformational Enterprises, they provide training to B40 and migrant communities in Sentul, empowering them to refine their crafting skills. As a result, every purchase you make contributes to supporting their livelihoods and ensuring their continued employment.
Prices for the stitched creations or wooden handicrafts range from RM20 to RM50, and proceeds will go towards providing quality education for youths under the Dignity for Children Foundation.
You can also order a mouthwatering roasted chicken with grilled veggies from Dignity’s social enterprise, eat X dignity, for just RM59.90 by calling 017 256 3978 or contacting them on Facebook.
So what are you waiting for? Go visit the shop x Dignity website now!
#2: Komuniti Tukang Jahit
Want to give a loved one a meaningful gift with a greater purpose? Then the Impact Hamper Guys have you covered!
Impact Hamper Guys is a social enterprise under Komuniti Tukang Jahit, an NGO that seeks to empower B40 women by teaching them to sew. In doing so, the women will be able to support themselves financially by crafting exquisite corporate gifts and handmade items that meet commercial standards.
Impact Hamper Guys not only offers you and your loved ones high-quality products, but you can also personalise them to match your loved one’s tastes!
Visit the website to learn more and create a customised gift hamper now!
Another initiative by Komuniti Tukang Jahit, Royale Culture, provides a variety of exquisite products, lovingly handcrafted and hand sewn by women of the B40 community. Like the Impact Hamper Guys, Royale Culture provides support to not just the B40 community but also to local tailors and artisans.
Their new Kopitam series celebrates our favourite dining tradition with handcrafted pouches themed around favourites like Teh Tarik and Kopi-O.
For a truly special Christmas gift for your loved ones, explore their Caring Christmas gift sets. Contribute to supporting Autistic & Down Syndrome Youths by purchasing delectable gingerbread man cookies baked by the youths of G.O.L.D. Alternatively, treat your friends or family to a bottle of irresistible pita chips made by Picha Eats, all while empowering refugees.
There’s a present for everyone! And they all will help you give back to society.
#3: Bake with Dignity
If you would like to give your loved ones a delicious treat for Christmas while also helping people with disabilities? Then, consider purchasing baked goodies from Bake with Dignity.
Bake With Dignity is an employment initiative by Dignity & Services (D&S), a non-profit organisation working for and with adults with learning disabilities (AwLD). By teaching AwLDs to be comfortable in a kitchen setting and showing them the ropes on how to cook and bake, Bake with Dignity not only helps teach them valuable life skills for employment but also boosts their self-esteem and confidence.
Their extensive menu covers a whole range of cakes, buns, and biscuits – perfect as a gift for that foodie in your life.
Visit their online shop to find the perfect edible gift to treat your loved one with.
#4: Batik Boutique
Batik, an ancient art form with a history spanning over 2000 years across Asia and parts of Africa, involves an intricate dyeing process. This technique utilises wax-resist dyeing applied to entire fibrous fabrics. It has undeniably left its imprint in Malaysia, where it stands as a significant aspect of our traditional culture.
Batik Boutique not only preserves this time-honoured tradition but also champions sustainability through the use of eco-friendly practices and materials. Additionally, the enterprise is dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty by offering employment and training to B40 women in the intricate art of batik. After mastering their seamstress skills, these women are provided with work opportunities, paving the way for them to achieve financial independence.
From long-sleeved men’s shirts to kimonos, Batik Boutique provides a variety of clothing made from exquisitely crafted batik textiles. But clothes aren’t the only thing they have on offer. There’s also embroidered Christmas ornaments and batik baubles for you and your family to create a truly unique Christmas tree.
#5: Helping Hands Penan
Traditionally, the Penan have been hunter-gatherers, leading a nomadic lifestyle in the dense jungles of Borneo until recent times. Unfortunately, urbanisation and commercial activities like oil palm agriculture have brought about substantial alterations to the Penan’s natural habitat and traditional way of life. As a consequence, many have been compelled to migrate to towns, seeking employment, access to medical care, and educational opportunities.
Helping Hands Penan is an accredited, non-profit social enterprise that aims to help provide for this endangered community. The initiative is guided by twin objectives: addressing immediate basic needs in the short term and fostering self-sufficiency among the Penan community for the long term. Through Helping Hands, the Penan can use their traditional weaving skills to create wonderfully handcrafted handbags and sell their artworks to provide financial support.
#6: Chocolate Concierge
Do you know a chocolate lover? Then get them a sweet treat from Chocolate Concierge for Christmas.
This small batch tree-to-bar chocolate maker deals in single-origin chocolates that are grown in the peninsula and by the indigenous Semai and Temuan tribes. Founder and chocolate lover, Ong Ning Geng (Ning to his friends) told First Classe that he created the social enterprise to serve as a support platform for the Orang Asli communities.
By cutting out the middle-men, Ning can provide farmers with three times more income than they typically earn from cacao beans, enabling them to sustain themselves, support their families, and contribute to their communities. The enterprise also names its various bars after the farmers that grew them, simultaneously paying homage and preserving the identities of its native origins.
Surprise your sweet-toothed loved ones with a special gift box brimming with delightful chocolate treats for Christmas. The best part? Your purchase will also contribute to supporting Malaysia’s indigenous communities!
#7: Seven Tea One
If you know someone who loves brewing infused tea, then consider getting them a set of herbs, spices and tea leaves from Seven Tea One.
Seven Tea One stands as an accredited social enterprise, offering a secure, inclusive, and non-discriminatory platform for differently-abled and marginalised communities. Here, individuals can acquire employment skills and earn dignified income for sustainable living. The mission of Seven Tea One is dedicated to producing unique, healthy, and top-quality products in a socially responsible manner. This commitment extends to safeguarding the environment, prioritising the well-being of employees, and actively promoting inclusivity within communities.
Tea isn’t the only product you can buy from them, check out their online shop for organically sourced curry powder, dried fruits, baked goods and even handbags handwoven by our Orang Asli communities.
#8: Earth Heir
“We advocate conscious consumption, environmental stewardship and seek to help create sustainable livelihoods for craftspeople and disadvantaged groups.”
That is the basis of Earth Heir’s mission. The Fair-Trade Fashion brand was founded with the mission of uplifting traditional artisans in underserved communities. – supporting their craftsmanship with ethical business operations, including education, collaborative design partnerships, production & supply chain training, market access, financial support, and fair-trade commercial practices.
Earth Heir collaborates with local artisans on the designs of products and to procure raw materials, as well as purchasing from local artisans and cooperatives or designers at fair prices and working closely together with marginalised groups in the supply chain.
“Our hope is for artisans to grow to be independent, be upskilled and develop sustainable livelihoods. This way the artisan sector as a whole becomes a means for economic development for communities.”
Earth Heir has forged a partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency through the MADE51 initiative. This collaboration aims to support displaced refugee artisans in Malaysia, offering them opportunities for dignity and income through the expression of their unique talents.
Browse through their online shop for unique jewellery pieces, face masks and silk scarfs, all skillfully crafted by local and refugee artisans.
#9: The Lametna Project
The Chin refugee community, numbering around 49,000, is among the largest refugee groups in Malaysia, primarily in the Klang Valley region. Escaping persecution in Myanmar, they face challenges due to Malaysia’s lack of legislative support for asylum seekers and refugees under the UN 1951 Refugee Convention. Consequently, the Chin refugees in Malaysia lack access to legal employment, and their children are excluded from public schools and formal education.
Helping this unseen community is the goal of the Lametna Project. A community initiative founded by Gordian Consultancy and St Mary’s Agape Mission School, the Lametna Project seeks to break the cycle of poverty through empowering women of the Chin community, providing them with essential entrepreneurial skills as well as a sustainable and stable income.
Their shop selection is filled with a variety of products, from handbags to adorable crochet pieces, all lovingly handmade by Chin women artisans. Best of all, at least 70% of the profits from the sales of these products will go back into the hands of these amazing artisans, and the remaining profits will then help fund the education and welfare of the Chin children.
#10: Soapan Santun
Want to give your friends or family a unique designer soap bar that’s also environmentally friendly? Then Soapan Santun has you covered!
It all started when co-founders Anna Lee and Louis Koh went on a working holiday trip to New Zealand. During their last job as recycling sorters in Christchurch, the two of them were shocked by the amount of plastic waste they had to sort out.
This made them decide to create a more environmentally friendly brand. But it was not until the Covid-19 pandemic did they hit upon an idea. During the MCO, Anna started hand making soaps to help Louis with his eczema. And when her mother was struggling with excess cooking oil, she decided to try using the oil in making multipurpose soaps. Thus, Soapan Santun was born.
Anna crafts soaps from recycled cooking oil, ensuring cleanliness and compatibility with all skin types, all while being 100% plastic-free. Reach out to the Soapan Santun team on WhatsApp to customise an ESG-driven soap gift pack for that special someone. Or visit their online store to browse their eclectic selection.