Written by: Dr Yasmin Rasyid Partnerships are important for EcoKnights, especially when we strike the right kind of collaboration where our vision and values are aligned, and that is, to drive sustainability and positive change in communities. Recently, EcoKnights had the honour and privileged to collaborate with Nomads Surfing, a French company that produces eco-friendly products from the surf industry, such as surfboards or fins. I first met Thomas, one of the three co-founders, a couple of years ago when he approached us to discuss potential awareness programs and fundraising opportunities. The campaign is called Sea Blue Sunday. Together with Nico from Pisco Bar, and a range of amazing supporters like W Hotel and Decathlon, EcoKnights has been a part of this effort for the last two years. Recently in 2020, Sea Blue Sunday was held again and to help EcoKnights raise funds for its sustainability programs, raffle tickets were sold. Apart from buying raffle tickets to support the fundraiser, guests shopped at the eco bazaar organized at the venue. The eco bazaar offered a wide array of products from eco-conscious brands. In addition, workshops featuring sustainable living guru, Claire Sancelot, among others, were also held. I was invited to take the stage too and share my views on why building city and community resilience is important and how that can be done. A total of RM16,500 was collected, and the funds raised will be used to support three of EcoKnights’ sustainability-driven initiatives which are:
Trees ForUs, a tree-planting initiative, focused on rehabilitating and rejuvenating degraded spaces. This year, EcoKnights strive to contribute to the 100 Million Tree-Planting Campaign 2020-2025.
Fund for Filter, a community-centric initiative that aims to provide clean water to the Orang Asal communities through the installation of water filters.
Project VOCAL (Voice of Climate Action Leaders), a youth empowerment program – led by the youth for the youth. This program aims to provide opportunities for 1,000 individuals within the age of 18-35 to gain fundamental knowledge and skills set within the climate policy sphere through forums, interactive talks and dialogues, volunteering opportunities, as well as a mentor-mentee program with sustainability experts. Through the day, close to 200 members of the public and supporters showed up at the 2nd fundraiser and crowded the bazaar which featured nature-inspired artworks for sale, a zero-carbon juice cycle (where you can cycle and blend your own delicious drinks), and my favourite, the Precious Plastics demonstration on the shredding of disposable plastics which were upcycled into creative products.
One of the key strategies for EcoKnights in driving sustainability is to work with partners that believe in our cause, see the bigger picture for humanity, and are keen to take an active role. Nomads Surfing has been very vocal about keeping our oceans free from plastic, while we are incessantly dialling up the urgency to tackle plastic pollution. In the last two years of being a beneficiary of Sea Blue Sunday, we have managed to create the following impacts: (a) 300 members of the public attended and supported the fundraiser in 2019 and 200 people joined in 2020 making a total of 500 people who had supported this initiative for the past two years. (b) In 2019, a total of RM10,000 had been fund-raised and used to support the River Explorer environmental education programs in which over 80 youths had been benefitted. More details are as seen below: • EcoKnights managed to run the River Explorer program with Taylor International School benefitting a total of 60 students. • EcoKnights managed to run the River Explorer program with PPR Sri Penara benefitting a total of 25 children from the B40 group.