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Media Kit link: bit.ly/ek-aseancares-2020-mediakit
6 December 2020, Pasir Gudang, Johor – A group of young volunteers and dedicated members from the environmental NGO, EcoKnights continue their COVID-19 relief mission to benefit another 300 indigenous people from the Seletar community as part of the ASEAN CARES program. This noble humanitarian work is made possible by 3M as the main funder of the program, with the support of the United Way Worldwide and the ASEAN Foundation.
As humanitarian needs soar high during the COVID-19 pandemic, ASEAN CARES aims to provide access to food and basic hygiene for vulnerable individuals and groups within Malaysia such as families with children, people with disabilities, women-headed households, elderlies, refugees, migrants as well as pregnant and lactating women.
“It’s important that 3M holds true to its core values during this pandemic by supporting our communities and improving lives. The projects with United Way form part of a $20 million commitment made by 3M at a corporate level to support COVID-19 relief projects globally, and we’re grateful that some of this funding is helping the most vulnerable people in society impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in Malaysia during these exceptional times,” said Mr. GT. Lim, Country Leader of 3M Malaysia.
As Malaysia is hit by the second wave of the pandemic, EcoKnights, as one of the appointed civil society organisations from Malaysia, has now distributed a total of 600 supply kits to indigenous people in Selangor (Temuan) and Johor (Seletar) regions. They are further targeting to widen the scope next to the Sabah, Pahang and Kuala Lumpur regions.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has hurt a lot of people, especially the underprivileged communities like the Seletars. Assisting them in fulfilling their basic needs can ensure that they’ll be able to at least continue a decent life just like the rest of us. This is what sustainability is all about,” expressed Amlir Ayat, Vice President of EcoKnights.
The event distribution saw the presence of Amlir Ayat, joined by Mohd Yazid Bin Beram from the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA) Malaysia, head of representatives of the Seletar community as the beneficiary, as well as EcoKnights’ volunteers and organizing committee.
The Seletar community’s main source of livelihood depends on marine and coastal biodiversity as 80% of the villagers work as fishermen, and they are also commonly known as Orang Laut (Sea People).
“Even before the COVID-19 transpired, the community has faced environmental ramifications from urban development and polluted waters – further risking their source of livelihood. Now that the state is under the mandate of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), the situation may be detrimental at an even greater extent,” added Amlir who has been actively engaged with the Seletar community in the past.
From today’s distribution at Balairaya Kg. Orang Asli Kuala Masai, five villages among the Seletar community benefited from the program which is Kg. Telok Jawa, Kg Kuala Masai, Kg Pasir Puteh, Kg Telok Kabong, and Kampung Orang Asli Pasir Salam.
“ASEAN CARES embodies the commitment voiced by ASEAN Leaders during the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19 and the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19, which calls for a coherent, multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder and whole-of-ASEAN Community approach in combating the pandemic. We seek to engage all parties, from multinational society to local communities, to work together in delivering a large-scale COVID-19 relief aid to those with desperate needs and to marginalised groups through this programme. Through this initiative, we hope that private and public sectors will join hands to do our part in reducing the suffering of the people due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation, Dr. Yang Mee Eng said.
In addition to the provision of fundamental care of food and hygiene kits, the community underwent training sessions (known as Training of Trainers) with EcoKnights on the safety and health measures of COVID-19 prevention. This included an interactive demonstration of the 20-second rule of hand-washing as well as the mandatory decree of properly wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the disease.
Notes to Editor:
EcoKnights® is a not-for-profit environmental organisation that provides and delivers development and environmental interventions to communities, government agencies, learning institutions, and companies to mobilise and catalyse the stakeholders towards sustainable development across trans- and interdisciplinary fields to build bridges towards achieving sustainable communities and companies across five main pillars. Each pillar helps to strengthen the legacy of EcoKnights as it empowers the Knights to ideate, create, run and organise meaningful projects to impart long-lasting sustainable and economic impact to the country.
More information about EcoKnights is available on its official website at ecoknights.org.my
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 96,000 employees connect with customers all around the world.
About United Way
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 8.1 million donors worldwide and $4.8 billion raised, United Way is the world’s largest privately funded non-profit. We’re engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, non-profits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labour leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more.
About the ASEAN Foundation
Three decades after ASEAN was established, ASEAN leaders recognised that: there remained inadequate shared prosperity, ASEAN awareness and contact among the people of ASEAN. It was of this concern that ASEAN leaders established ASEAN Foundation in Jakarta, Indonesia, at ASEAN’s 30th Anniversary Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 15 December 1997. The ASEAN Foundation is an organisation from and for the people of ASEAN. The Foundation exists because of one vision: to build a cohesive and prosperous ASEAN Community. As an ASEAN body, the Foundation is tasked to support ASEAN mainly in promoting awareness, identity, interaction and development of the people of ASEAN.
About Project BUMI: Meet the Needs
Project BUMI is EcoKnights’ sustainability-driven project that aims to uplift underprivileged communities from poverty and empower them towards sustainable living. The goal is to ensure basic necessities are made available to all communities throughout the country. This includes a continuous supply of electricity, clean water and internet connection, alongside access to basic healthcare and education for the communities.
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