Helping the Underprivileged Community
Project IGNITE, previously known as ASEAN Project is one of Project Based on Exchange (PBox) that was initiated by AIESEC Local Committee in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Through Project IGNITE 2016, AIESEC wish to enhance the socioeconomics of the indigenous communities in Kampung Kachau Luar, Semenyih. In the field of entrepreneurship, by collaborating with Fakulti Ekonomi & Pengurusan (FEP), various efforts to help indigenous communities to enhance their socioeconomics will be introduced. Among the initiatives introduced are helping them in promoting their eco-tourism (jungle trekking), selling of their handicraft products, provide short-term courses such as basic accounting and bookkeeping to the aboriginal communities and many others.Besides helping them to enhance their socioeconomics, education is also very important at the moment. It is the biggest challenge for these indigenous community in order for them to compete in the modern world. Considering dropout percentage among orang asli children is very high, efforts to channel the importance of education to the indigenous communities will also be carried out with the help of the international facilitator. By doing this, we sincerely hope to reduce the education gap between the urban and orang asli children in Malaysia.Workshops that focus on secondary schools , private higher learning institutions , and matriculation colleges around the Kajang, Bangi, Semenyih and Cheras areas will also be held and facilitated by exchange participants .The workshop is conducted to educate high school students on the knowledge of social entrepreneurship as well as the relevant soft-skills needed for career development. We wish to reach out to youths in order to prepare them for future regional economic challenges.
Overview of Issue / Background
Project IGNITE, previously known as ASEAN Project is one of Project Based on Exchange (PBox) that was initiated by AIESEC Local Committee in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Through Project IGNITE 2016, AIESEC wish to enhance the socioeconomics of the indigenous communities in Kampung Kachau Luar, Semenyih. In the field of entrepreneurship, by collaborating with Fakulti Ekonomi & Pengurusan (FEP), various efforts to help indigenous communities to enhance their socioeconomics will be introduced. Among the initiatives introduced are helping them in promoting their eco-tourism (jungle trekking), selling of their handicraft products, provide short-term courses such as basic accounting and bookkeeping to the aboriginal communities and many others.
Besides helping them to enhance their socioeconomics, education is also very important at the moment. It is the biggest challenge for these indigenous community in order for them to compete in the modern world. Considering dropout percentage among orang asli children is very high, efforts to channel the importance of education to the indigenous communities will also be carried out with the help of the international facilitator. By doing this, we sincerely hope to reduce the education gap between the urban and orang asli children in Malaysia.
Workshops that focus on secondary schools , private higher learning institutions , and matriculation colleges around the Kajang, Bangi, Semenyih and Cheras areas will also be held and facilitated by exchange participants .The workshop is conducted to educate high school students on the knowledge of social entrepreneurship as well as the relevant soft-skills needed for career development. We wish to reach out to youths in order to prepare them for future regional economic challenges.
Project Objectives (Vision & Mission)
The project framework is designed based on AIESEC Global Compentency Modal to ensure positive and sustainable impact are being delivered to the community. Through our project , we wish to :
1. Assist the indigenous community to support their socio-economic growth
Due to the wide disparity in educational status between the local indigenous community and urban communities, most of the indigenous community in Kampung Kachau Luar are unable to compete with the urban community. This cause the job range available for them are very limited. Most of them earn a living by exploiting the forest resources or work in the construction field. Most of the time, their low income are only suffice to cover up their living cost. Whereas some of the family are dependent on government’s allocation for a living. AIESEC hopes to lend a helping hand to underprivileged communities so that they can support their living costs by own efforts .
2. Ensuring improved outcomes for Indigenous families and communities to reduce Indigenous disadvantage
For Orang Asli, the most obvious and reliable way to earn an income is through sustainable exploitation of the resources on their forest. Every effort should therefore be given to assist the Orang Asli in obtaining full benefits from their resources. We wish to assist the villagers by promoting their eco-tourism (jungle trekking) to more students so that they can generate income from there. Besides, we together with the international students would want to assist the villagers in selling their handicraft products. The full income generated will be given back to the villagers.
3. To reduce the education gap between the urban and orang asli children of Malaysia
The dropout percentage in this village is comparably high. A lot of children are not attending school even some have reach the age of six. It is without a doubt that the grasp of the English language is an essential skill to survive in this globalized world . However, the usage of English in this village is still at a very unsatisfactory level. Most of the kids cannot understand basic English. Through our project, we wish to channel the importance of education to these children.
4. To empower rural and urban youths with relevant soft-skills for career development as a preparation to face the regional economic challenges
Project IGNITE want to expose to students the opportunity available for their career in future. It’s undoubted that the hard and fast technical knowledge that we learn in classroom is only a part of what’s necessary to land our dream job. In this globalized century, companies are also looking for employees who are equipped with people oriented soft-skills.
5. To expose youths with knowledge and understanding of social entrepreneurship and social development in Malaysia
Students will be exposed to a new entrepreneurship concept, that’s social entrepreneurship. It is a type of business idea that attempts to draw upon business approaches to find solutions to social, cultural or environmental problems. Through this, we hope to let students understand the social problem existed in the country and wanting to encourage the student to find creative and innovative solution idea to those issues. Interesting prizes will be given out to best idea.
Project Details (Activities and Tasks)
This is a 6 weeks project starting from 8th July – 22nd August. Some project highlights throughout the whole 6 weeks are :
1) Community development project at indigenous community village
Different activities will be carried out by the volunteers on each visit to the orang asli village. The activities proposed are as follow :
a) Entrepreneurship courses and training
- Seminars and entrepreneurship courses to Orang Asli communities, in the efforts to give wisdom and increased knowledge towards improving the skills of the Orang Asli community in enhancing their socio-economics are given.
- These seminars and courses include explanation sessions and exposure regarding business opportunities that can be pursued by the Orang Asli people.
b) Promotion / Marketing of Ecotourim(Jungle Trekking) and their handicraft products
- All means of promotion via online platform or physical promotion to students will be carried out by volunteers to introduce Orang Asli jungle trekking program to the public. This will help to generate some extra income for the villager.
- Besides jungle trekking, we wish to have a mini Global Village on that day as well for the volunteers to showcase their culture to students as well as the local indigenous people.
- Exhibition and roadshow will be organised by volunteers to showcase and sell the Orang Asli handicraft. All income generated will be fully given back to the villagers.
c) Improve the condition of their dewan sebarguna and paint some of these villagers’ houses
- Dewan sebarguna is the place where most activities will be carried out. It’s the place where children will gather around . Some condition like the carpet used is already old and torn. We wish to help them to get new mat so that a safe, fun and comfortable condition is prepared for the children.
- Community project like painting houses of some villager will be done by our exchange participant
2) Education project for the local indigenous children
a) IGNITE Mentor-mentee Program
- The volunteer as the mentor while the children as the mentee will have fun interactive session for the latter to learn about the importance of education.
- Volunteers will have to come up with interesting way of delivering English modules like story telling and sing song.
- We hope to have a collaboration with Dyslexia Sarawak in designing the module and ensure the sustainability of this education project.
3) Secondary Schools and Campus Workshop
- The workshop is conducted to educate high school students on the knowledge of social entrepreneurship as well as the relevant soft-skills for career development and social development.
- A “BUSINESS CHALLENGE” Competition will be held during workshop for students to come up with their own business ideas solution to social problem and they need to pitch them. Prizes will be distributed to groups.
4) Small and medium sized enterprise visiting
- The program is carried out to provide an opportunity for volunteers to understand the local market status and operations of the organization in Malaysia . In addition , we also hope project IGNITE volunteers can benefit from their exchange and bring that knowledge back to their country .
Expected Project Result & Outcomes
We do agree that this is a pretty ambitious project, especially since there are many who say that any project is doomed to failure if it requires active participation from the Orang Asli communities. It is worthwhile to note that this kind of thinking is existed because there are already various activities, infrastructure and facilities in place for providing quality opportunity, quality income, and quality living for the Orang Asli. Many organisations had periodically enter the Kampung in the hopes of changing the lives of the Orang Asli. Nevertheless, the outcome remains poor and the Orang Asli still remain at the fringe of society
We want to do things differently. We still have a strong, unwavering belief in the Orang Asli community. We believe that empowerment is the answer. How do we do it? It’s not an easy task. It will take a long time but we will make sure the project is sustainable and impactful. While our dreams are ambitious, we always start small.
We really hope that we can get the fund and help those villagers in Kampung Kachau Luar.
We also wish to reach out to the youths out there as they are the future decider of Malaysia. Workshops which aim to deliver the relevant soft-skills for career development to secondary school students will be carried out too. Through our outreach, we believe in impacting our youths for Malaysia’s future economy.
0% of RM1.00 Goal
|University name||:||Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)|
|Project leader name||:||Teh Wan Lin|
Project IGNITE was initiated by AIESEC in UKM with a mission to enhance the socioeconomics and uplift the living standard of particularly the few remaining underserved communities, Orang Asli (Aboriginal People) in Kampung Kachau Luar, Semenyih. Efforts to enhance their socioeconomics by promoting their eco-tourism (jungle trekking) and selling of their handicraft products had been introduced. Project IGNITE also strive to reduce the education gap between the urban and orang asli children in Malaysia.
Throughout the project, Project IGNITE had received funding in term of monetary support from corporation and foundation. Support in term of professional training and corporate visit are received from small and medium enterprises.
Within this 6 weeks (8th July – 22th August 2016), our project were categorized into 3 main volunteering programs : community development project at indigenous community village, education project for local indigenous children, as well as conducting workshops in secondary schools.
A total of 11 international volunteers were brought in to Malaysia under AIESEC’s Global Volunteer Program to brainstorm for solutions to enhance the socioeconomics of the indigenous community. 5 local AIESEC members were involved in the program as well to assist the international volunteers to execute the projects. In total, we volunteered for 16 hours per week for three weeks consecutively in the village.
By collaborating with Fakulti Ekonomi dan Pengurusan(FEP) and Cesmed UKM, entrepreneurship training were given to 5 indigenous families by our international facilitators who had been trained in the efforts to give knowledge towards improving the skills of the Orang Asli community in enhancing their socio-economics. The training aims to give the Orang Asli villagers exposure regarding business opportunities that can be pursued by them. Through this training, we have managed to foster collaboration between FEP and Kampung Kachau Luar whereby one of FEP lecturer, Dr Doris agreed to extend her assistance to the villagers in near future.
Throughout our stay in the village, our international volunteers also identified the main social problem of the village which is the lack of hygiene awareness among the Orang Asli villagers. A discussion space is opened to spread awareness to the villagers in order to facilitate a change in their behavior towards a higher level of environmental and personal hygiene.
Project IGNITE also introduced new business opportunity that can be pursued by the Orang Asli villagers, which is promotion of eco-tourism(jungle trekking) and their handicraft products. All means of promotion via online platform(Facebook, video promotion) and physical promotion(banner, flyers and posters) to students were carried out by our volunteers to introduce jungle trekking program to the public. We started small by setting up booths in different faculties to promote the jungle trekking program and handicraft product to university students. A total of RM 1,000 were generated from our first initiative and selling of handicraft products. A total of 40 students from UKM joined our first jungle trekking program. We plan to continue collaborate with the orang asli community to help them to promote their jungle trekking program for the upcoming term.
Additionally, Project IGNITE team also helps to improve the condition of their ‘dewan sebarguna’ and painted the hall. Dewan sebarguna is the place where most activities will be carried out. It’s the place where children will gather around . Some condition like the carpet used is already old and torn. In term of hygiene, it’s unsafe to the children as it might contain bacteria and dirt. We help them to get new carpet so that a safe, fun and comfortable condition is prepared for the children. We also paint the dewan sebarguna to brighten up the hall for visitors in near future. We plan to paint more villagers’ houses in near future.
Throughout the project, we allocate 3pm- 5pm everytime we visit the village for education project for the indigenous children. The volunteers as the mentor conduct simple English modules to teach the children simple English conversation through songs and fun activities. Stationeries were also distributed to the children to encourage the children to go to the nearby school. We hope to have a collaboration with Dyslexia Sarawak in designing the module and ensure the sustainability of this education project in near future.
Project IGNITE team also went to 3 high schools to conduct workshop to educate them about social enterprise as well as encourage them to think of solution for the orang asli villagers in Kampung Kachau Luar.
One of the biggest challenge we faced is language barrier. As most of our volunteers are international students, English medium was used to conduct the training and education session. This is a big challenge for us, considering the known English words among the villagers are null and that’s one of the challenge for the international students to deliver the contents. At least one local volunteer are needed every time to translate the contents to the villagers. The efficiency in delivering the session might not work out well. Therefore, we plan to include more local volunteers and the children that are fluent in both English and Malay languages to join us.
Besides, our team also face problem of the villagers’ perception and mindset that don’t wish to accept changes. It’s hard for them to absorb and accept the fact that a behavior changes are needed in their community. The biggest challenge we have is to change their mindset towards development. They still prefer to live within their own community and in the primitive environment.
The third challenges we faced is it’s hard for us to re-fuel the desire to attend school among the older children. There is a high number of absenteeism among the indigenous children as their parent’s constant apathy towards education has hindered the children from continue schooling. From our education awareness program, we hope to rekindle their desire to attend school and create a second chance for those who dropped out from school to continue where they left.
Sustainability of the project
In term of sustainability, AIESEC in UKM plan to continue the project for more terms to come. We hope to popularize their jungle trekking program and attract more students to visit the village in coming 2 years. Additionally, Project IGNITE IS also expected to grow into long term social entrepreneurship project with a partnership secured between FEP UKM with the chief of the village where FEP will support the village to enhance their socioeconomics.
In the long term, we are expecting to see the program to inspire the indigenous chilren, the parents, the village community and the volunteers themselves about the necessity of education. We wish to see improvement in language proficiency with the students where they could master simple English communication. We also aim to collaborate with Dyslexia Sarawak in designing English modules which are suitable for the children as well as increase the frequency of the education program to twice a month instead of once a month. In 2017, Project IGNTE wish to see more and more indigenous families to be impacted from the project.
Contribution to Happiness
Through Project IGNITE, the volunteers are encouraged to give back to the society. Youth can grow from an understanding of how they fit into society to how they can help to solve societal problems. This developmental process grows empathy and fosters youths’ identities as world citizen, which is one of AIESEC value we wish to cultivate. To the orang asli community, we aim to challenge their mindset and encourage them to be awared of the need to change to achieve improvement and greater things in their life, be it uplift their living standards as well as for the children to receive better education.
Project IGNITE had really proved us that age is not a limit for us to give back to the society. We had gained a lot as well from the planning and feel contented for being able to give back to the society. Though tiring, the learning process and return are worthy from the smile we got back from the beneficiaries.
Over the last 3 weeks, we did try our best to come out with new ideas to help the villagers. Some may critise it’s too short to make an impact.But I genuinely believe that impact shouldn’t be measured in terms of time. Some could make a real impact in 1 day. And some could make no contribution in a whole week. No matter what, I do believe even if we couldn’t make a far-reaching impact on them, at least we made the path smoother for them or for the next group of people that help them.
-Tak Hei, Hong Kong
As the project director for the project, this project taught me nothing is impossible if we never gave up and continue to strive for it. My team and I broke through a lot of difficulties and challenges to work out this project. After my journey in the project, it really opened my mind to a community I never would know before. I learnt to be more appreciative and cherish what I have in life.
To make a change in a short period is not possible, however we didn’t make the first step, nothing would ever be changed.