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Media Kit link: bit.ly/ek-aseancares-2020-mediakit
17 December, Kuala Lumpur – The passionate group of young people from the environmental NGO, EcoKnights, have travelled back to Kuala Lumpur from their recent trip to Pasir Gudang, Johor after meeting with 300 indigenous Seletar community, aiding them with food supplies and hygiene kits.
Through the implementation of ASEAN CARES, which is made possible by 3M as the main funder of the program, with the support of the United Way Worldwide and the ASEAN Foundation, EcoKnights has since helped over 1,000 at-risk individuals and communities in Malaysia who were deeply affected by the pandemic.
“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.
The event in Kuala Lumpur (KL) marked the fourth checkpoint of item distribution after visits to Selangor, Johor, and Sabah by the appointed civil society organization, EcoKnights. The KL event was graced by the presence of Dr. Yang Mee Eng, Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation, Fadly Bakhtiar, Programme Director of EcoKnights, representatives from the Women for Refugees, as well as the EcoKnights team and fellow volunteers.
In retrospect of the hardship that Malaysians went through during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EcoKnights team was driven to provide fundamental essentials geared towards the specific needs of the KL beneficiaries, including infant care for mothers who are in need of diapers and wet wipes.
“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 large-scale COVID-19 relief aid to those that are marginalised and in desperate need. Through this initiative, we hope that private and public sectors will join hands together to do our part to reduce the suffering of the people due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.” Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation, Dr. Yang Mee Eng said.
Women for Refugee is the outreach partner of EcoKnights for the ASEAN CARES programme – KL edition, and is an NGO that aids refugee women and communities in Malaysia. Their mission is to equip these groups with literacy and technical skills to build refugee communities that are resilient and have access to education as their basic human rights.
“We are adamant about creating a new narrative around community service: it’s important to honour the people and communities we serve. At WFR, our women are not our charity cases, they’re our stakeholders. They have bought into us just as much as we buy into them – dignity remains at the center of what we do,” expressed Davina Devarajan, co-founder of Women for Refugees.
Close to 160 daily supplies and hygiene kits were distributed to approximately 200 beneficiaries from the Kuala Lumpur region which comprised of refugees, migrants, and the urban poor. Held at an open garage space in Selayang Baru, the beneficiaries also underwent an educational workshop that highlighted health and safety measures on how to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus, through a 30-45 minute demonstration by the EcoKnights team, specifically on the proper hand-washing method and the importance of wearing face masks.
“We give emphasis on the health and safety measures for ASEAN CARES. This is evident from the educational Training for Trainers workshop, in which EcoKnights conduct a live demonstration on hand-washing steps and the importance of wearing a face mask as hygienic care needs to be given the utmost priority among Malaysians, especially during a global pandemic. We hope that today’s group of beneficiaries are empowered and able to persevere through this difficult time… We also hope that through our digital campaign, the public will become more conscious about the plight of the underrepresented communities and be encouraged to take action that can lessen the burden shouldered by these groups”, expressed Fadly Bakhtiar, Programme Director of EcoKnights.
Recently, on the 12th of December, EcoKnights also managed to fulfil the aid distribution in Sabah, through its outreach partner, Future Alam Borneo. Over 1,000 individuals benefited from this distribution including 170 families that comprised of communities from Kg. Mangkalinau and Kg. Forest in Sandakan, and Kg. Bahagian and Kampung Bogaya Baru in Batu Sapi.
Future Alam Borneo is a not-for-profit society that focuses on environmental awareness and sustainability among communities. Through ASEAN CARES, the communities from Sandakan and Batu Sapi, Sabah not only received proper food supply and hygiene kits, but they were also given educational materials and safety tips on how to prevent COVID-19 from spreading further through the EcoKnights’ Training of Trainers program.
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. The final distribution location by EcoKnights for the ASEAN CARES programme will be in Banting, Selangor.
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 a long-lasting sustainable and economic impact on 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 an internet connection, alongside access to basic healthcare and education for the communities.
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