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These 9 Resilient Changemakers Are Going Strong In Helping The Poor

It’s been a long, hard year of lockdowns, social distancing, restrictions, financial uncertainty and getting used to the new norm. Many have been faced with unemployment, financial hardship and even poverty. But amidst the grim stories, we have seen Malaysia come together to care for each other, lift others up and help those who are most vulnerable.

They are government and non-government organisations, associations and groups that saw the need, heard the cries and pulled resources together to help others survive. A year plus into the pandemic and these changemakers are going strong in their pursuit to do good. Kudos to them!

#1: Accelerate Global, Sabah

Packaging the pineapple jam

Accelerate is a team that scouted 43 stateless youths from communities in Sabah (residents of Kampung Saga 1, Sepanggar) and through a four-month training programme, equipped them with basic entrepreneurship, finance, and marketing skills necessary to change their lifestyles[1]. It was through this hard work that the stateless community were able to transform their unused stock of pineapples into a successful business.

Accelerate Global provided these communities with the capital to start the business and all profits are distributed evenly amongst everyone in the “Nanaslab Team”. One jar of freshly made pineapple jam is sold for RM25, for 180ml, excluding postage and the team, has successfully sold close to 100 jars already. 

After six months training programme

They have also empowered underprivileged youths with these entrepreneurial skills. The business known as Chocolah channelled its funs towards building a community centre for homeless youths in Malaysia, in order to keep them from the dangers of the city streets [2].

#2: Uncle Tony, Kuala Lumpur

Through his charity group, Food4U, Uncle Tony is well known amongst the underprivileged B40 community of Kuala Lumpur. Food4U is a soup kitchen that feeds the hungry and homeless in Kuala Lumpur[3]. Throughout the pandemic, this soup kitchen has visited underprivileged households,  primarily single parents, and provided them with groceries and food packs[3]

Uncle Tony giving food to the poor

After deciding to pool their resources together, Uncle Tony and his friends and family have worked hard during the past year and even been able to expand its scope of work to provide stable employment opportunities to the less fortunate[2]

Contact Uncle Tony at 0178812666 or Donate to Public Bank 4826007307[2]

#3: Connect Rakyat, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur

Connect Rakyat giving laptops to B40 students

In November 2020, Arus Anak Muda collaborated with Hunger Hurts Malaysia and Consurv Technic in order to raise funds for laptops and tablet devices for students living in pockets of urban poverty around Selangor and Kuala Lumpur [4]

After doing their research and surveying the issues students of SMK Sultan Abdul Samad were facing, they were able to identify that the three main issues children were having with e-learning were not having a device, needing to share with other family members, and needing to rely on parents devices (which would be gone if the parents went to work). There were also worries of slow or no internet connectivity in the city [4]. Fully understanding the situation, raising RM53, 500 (so far) and realizing that different students needed different electronic devices, Connect Rakyat aims to provide at least 100 B40 students with laptops[4].

Contact / Donate at: Connect Rakyat

#4: Food Not Bombs, Ipoh

Food Not Bomb Ipoh

Noticing the homeless in their area were left hungry during the lockdown, a group of friends from Ipoh, took on the global Food Not Bomb name, pooled their money together and bought ingredients for food for the homeless[5]

Jumping on every time the Movement orders were loosened, to scout the streets of Ipoh and find the homeless. Even though they had originally received backlash because of their punk attire, their good intentions and hearts to help the needy shone through[5]. This group of volunteers have kept Food Not Bombs Ipoh up and running throughout the pandemic and show no sign of stopping[5].  

Contact / Donate at: Facebook / Whatsapp

#5: Generasi Gemilang, Sarawak and Klang Valley

This local NGO worked with underprivileged children in Marudi Sarawak, and aim to equip them with the skills to break the poverty cycle through quality education[6]. With the help of external sponsors, and valuable insight from local teachers they have gone above and beyond in combatting pressing problems with education[6]

Generasi Gemilang

Generasi Gemilang has provided free breakfasts for children throughout the school year through an initiative called ‘Super Sarapan’; provided free Maths and English classes via ‘Pusat Bimbingan Pelajar’; fund dreams to further children’s tertiary education; and teaching financial literacy at a young age via ‘Cha-Ching’ initiative[6]

Even during the pandemic, Generasi Gemilang has been providing weekly food and cash to families in poor communities between March and June. They also assisted candidates in gaining employment after the Movement Control Order was lifted[7]. Whilst these initiatives are finished; other programmes like “Projek E Pembelajaran” which provides devices to children in PPR flats, and #MakanSihat that targets proper nutrition for children between 0-6 years old and pregnant mothers are still ongoing[7]

Contact/ Donate at Generasi Gemilang 

#6: Somali Refugee Community Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

This business has been known for its baked goods. Prepared by a Somalian chef from their refugee community here in Malaysia, the funds raised are channelled straight back into the food supplies and needs of Somalian refugees[8]. The community has pushed through the struggles of the pandemic and partnered with UNHCR, mobile clinics and even local universities to cater to the needs of children, single mothers, people with disabilities, and the elderly[8]. Even now they are calling for donations of food, hygiene kits, household goods, monetary funds[8]

Contact/ Donate at Facebook / Whatsapp

#7: Women Centre for Change, Penang

This established NGO helps women and children who have fallen victim to abuse, rape, or sexual assault. Normally, this NGO provides face-to-face, telephone and email counselling, temporary shelter and legal advice free of charge. In light of the pandemic, they have stopped face to face counselling sessions but prepared several hotline numbers to assist women and children in crisis and extended their working hours.  

Contact at: WCC

#8: Pitstop Community Cafe, Kuala Lumpur

Pit Stop Community Cafe is a social enterprise that tackles urban poverty through different approaches. Its main form of aid is distributed among the homeless during the length of the MCO, funded through their daily dinner services call FTN (Feed the Needy)[9]. Here they target homeless hotspots in KL and give out 100 pages of cooked food and 80 packs of porridge a month[9]. Currently, they offer culinary training for underprivileged communities between the age of 15 – 39 years old[9]. By equipping them with these skills, and offering internships and job placements at established cafes throughout KL, they have helped many break the cycle of poverty this past year. During this time, the student’s food and accommodation are completely covered[9]

Pit Stop also has other programmes, like their Food Rescue Programme which rechannel food that would be otherwise thrown away[9].  

Contact / Donate at: Pit Stop Community Cafe or Pit Stop Community Cafe

#9: Pusat Jagaan Warga Istimewa Kempas

This local NGO caters to the welfare of mentally challenged, handicapped and physically ill people[10]. Their organizers are extremely dedicated to taking care of its community, that the Coordinator and Secretary, Saraswathy Letchumanan had used her entire EPF savings to keep it afloat. Pusat Jagaan takes care of everything from food, home maintenance, medication, adult diapers, and staff salaries[10].

Contact at Facebook or Donate at Bank: HONG LEONG BANK: 22800028383

Explore Our Sources:

  1. F. Lee. (2021). Pineapples Were This Sabahan Group’s Last Resort For Food, Now They’re Its Main Income. Vulcan Post. Link. 
  2. T. Jayatilaka. (2021). Change Through Chocolate: How Social Enterprise ChocoLah Is Helping Underprivileged Youth. Link. 
  3. N. Wong. (2020). Uncle Tony: pensioner who feeds KL’s hungry and homeless. Free Malaysia Today. Link. 
  4. A. Aiman. (2021). Young adults helping poor children get online, too. Free Malaysia Today. Link.
  5. Wiki Impact. (2020). Meet the Punks  Caring for Ipoh’s Homeless. Link. 
  6. J. Hope. (2018). These M’sians Use 4 Simple Methods To Keep Kids In Schools & Impact Thousands Of Students. Vulcan Post. Link. 
  7. Generasi Gemilang. (n.d). Covid – 19 Responses. Link.
  8.  F. Lee. (2021). 10 Fundraisers You Can Donate To During Ramadhan 2021 To Help Feed Malaysia’s Needy. Vulcan Post. Link.
  9.  K. W. Yeng & E. Yep. (2020). 10 initiatives to help those affected by Covid-19 and M’sia’s movement control order. Optionstheedge. Link
  10. J. Ibrahim. (2021). Helping NGOs help the needy. The Star. Link

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