Bank Rakyat Honors Autistic Individuals

The Anugerah Dari Hati Ke Hati was organized by Bank Rakyat for the first time in remembrance and honour of individuals, media, organisations and other parties who have wholly supported autistic individuals. The award was held during the World Autism Awareness Month and among the winners were Ahmad Zahiruddin Zailani (Icon of Autism), Mohd Syahmi Asyraff and Muhammad Farid Fakhruddin – Best Autistic Individual for age 13 to 18 years and 18 years and above categories respectively. Among the distinguished guests present at the event was Nizam Sani, Senior Vice-President (Marketing and Communications) of Bank Rakyat and Tan Sri Shukry Mohd Salleh, Chairman of Bank Rakyat.

EXIM Bank Celebrates Kids with Autism

Recently, EXIM Bank celebrated World Autism Awareness Day with a group of autistic children under the ‘Program Pendidikan Khas Integrasi’ at Sekolah Kebangsaan Jalan Batu. As part of their CSR initiative, a new reflexology garden was constructed to assist these special children in their daily therapeutic activities. President/CEO of EXIM Bank Norzilah Mohammed was present to officiate the event. The ceremony also consisted of a mock cheque presentation amounting to RM10,000 for the maintenance of the school and a donation of books worth RM5,000 for the school library. “With the installation of this reflexology garden within the school compound, the school will carry out daily therapy exercises for these special children for 20 minutes to stimulate the headling and improve the wellbeing and vitality of these children,” said Norzilah. The day ended with the 240 children being treated to a scrumptious lunch by EXIM Bank’s management committee and teachers.

BANK RAKYAT – A BIG HEART & PASSION FOR PEOPLE

Since 1954, Bank Rakyat, the biggest Islamic cooperative bank in Malaysia has played a significant part in fortifying the growth of cooperatives in the country. Aptly named the “bank for people”, its core values have always revolved around people, including their commitment to CSR initiatives. CSR Malaysia talks to Nizam Sani, Head of Marketing and Communications of Bank Rakyat about its recent CSR initiatives geared towards supporting the autistic community of Malaysia.

In 2016, Bank Rakyat won the Best Annual Report in Bahasa Malaysia in the National Annual Corporate Report Awards. Besides the logo and tagline, nothing else on the cover represents the traditional look of an annual report. Instead, it looked more like a children storybook, graced with an illustration of five children interacting under a lush green tree.

“Our CSR work with the autistic community in Malaysia was the main inspiration behind our 2016 Annual Report,” says Nizam as he explains the rationale behind the unconventional design. In fact, the illustrations in the report were designed by a group of autistic students who took part in a drawing competition organized by Bank Rakyat itself.

Since November 2016, Bank Rakyat’s CSR initiative has been heavily focused on the advocation and support of the autistic community in Malaysia. The direction stemmed from the basis of Bank Rakyat’s support for children as a whole, narrowing down to supporting autistic children through therapy and education.

“We aim to increase awareness on autism, as well as helping underprivileged schools raise funds for their operations by implementing the four pillars which are Education, Social, Therapy and Fund Raising as we hope to make a world of difference to the children and their families.” says  Nizam.

To date, Bank Rakyat has organized up to a hundred events nationwide, collaborating with various societies, organizations, and schools for autistic needs to organize fundraising events and encourage autism students in their curricular and extra-curricular activities.

In late 2017, one of the major events organized by the bank was the Autismlympics, a unique sporting event to encourage sports in autism students. Held in Dewan Panasonic Shah Alam, the event witnessed a huge turnout of over a thousand people who came to support their families and friends from a total of eight schools.

“The success of the first Autismlympics brought us to continue the franchise to other regions in the country, namely Melaka, Perlis and then the East Coast,” says Nizam.

The highlight of Bank Rakyat’s CSR initiative this year would be the Anugerah Dari Hati Ke Hati awards, an award ceremony that will be held on 9th April 2018 in conjunction with World Autism Awareness Day. The exclusive award is meant to celebrate individuals, media and organizations active in the work and advocation for autism.

Anugerah Dari Hati Ke Hati is yet another way for us to expand autism awareness into the society, by making people realize that they too can play a part in helping to support the cause,” says Nizam.

A total of 11 awards will be presented during the ceremony, including an Autism Icon award and Best Journalism in Autism award dedicated to recognizing the role of media in the awareness work for autism.

Besides fundraising and community events, Bank Rakyat also organizes a variety of therapy sessions for the autistic children such as occupational therapy, play-based therapy and horseback riding therapy for their internal staff and public at large.

“The responses were overwhelming. Once we had a 100-pax event that turned out to become an event for 600, but we are glad to anticipate this next time,” says Nizam as he shared the positive feedback received from their CSR activities.

Although a large corporation, Bank Rakyat’s CSR initiatives are close to the heart of its people. The team is never short of volunteers to help with the planning and execution of each event, as everyone takes ownership of the CSR values promoted by the organization.

With full and unwavering support from top management, Bank Rakyat’s CSR initiatives effortlessly align with the company goals and culture.

“As the bank for people, it is our duty to give back to society, and by doing this we hope we are helping to make a positive change in the autism landscape in this country,” he adds.

“Every child deserves a champion and Bank Rakyat wants to be the voice of children with autism in Malaysia, who need help because they are often misunderstood. It is a blessing to be in a position to help because everyone deserves help from one another. As a human being, it teaches you humility and gratitude. On a larger scale, it is more meaningful when a large corporation such as Bank Rakyat is promoting this value to the society at large,” says Nizam with a smile.

One Up For Women Empowerment

The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM), in collaboration with a local women-led social impact start-up KiddoCare, is urging women to build a solid career as professional caregivers. KiddoCare is a platform that includes mobile application a developmental programme aimed at connecting families with professional and certified caregivers. The holistic programme was initiated to empower women by offering a supportive environment for reliable and flexible caregiving for children. Minister of Women, Family and Community Development YB Dato’ Sri Rohani Abdul Karim said, “I am happy to be part of the launch of this innovative application that will surely help to support the lives of the modern Malaysian women and their families. This is the kind of application that is needed in the world today – the ones where women’s quality of lives is continuously improved by providing more job opportunities that suit the needs of women from all walks of life.”

Great Eastern Cares for the Community

Great Eastern Cares for the Community - Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM) - Rumah Amal Permata Rohani and Pertubuhan Pendidikan Anak-Anak Yatim Selangor

Not too long ago, Great Eastern Life Assurance Malaysia Berhad, also known as Great Eastern Life, made a donation totalling up to RM25,000 to 11 underprivileged children homes under the purview of Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM) located in KlangKajang, Klang, Rawang, Subang Jaya, Ampang and Cheras. It was part of the company’s long term corporate social responsibility project, ChildrenCare which was established since 1995.

ChildrenCare was initiated over 2 decades ago to instil the spirit of caring and sharing amongst Great Eastern Life’s staff and members of the agency force. The organization have worked hand-in-hand with Government Ministries and various Non-Governmental Organisations on children welfare programmes to address and resolve the ongoing struggles children face every day. Annually, staff and members of the field force also embark on annual public fundraising campaigns and community-wide events to raise funds for Great Eastern Life ChildrenCare.

Great Eastern Cares for the Community -  Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM) - Rumah Amal Permata Rohani and Pertubuhan Pendidikan Anak-Anak Yatim Selangor

Rumah Amal Permata Rohani and Pertubuhan Pendidikan Anak-Anak Yatim Selangor received a much-needed refrigerator and washing machine while 7 homes received RM2,000 worth of gift vouchers for their shopping needs. Another 2 homes received a total of 50 Sunny Fitri Delight gift boxes worth RM5,000 consisting of a brand new watch, chocolates, cash vouchers and snacks. The recipients were ecstatic to receive the gift boxes. Overall, the donations have benefitted over 200 underprivileged children.

Timberland Malaysia Realizing the Importance of Saving Mother Nature

In 1992, Timberland promised to serve its communities around the world and give back to Mother Earth. Led by Timberland Global Stewards, this year’s Path of Service Program aims to encourage both employees and consumers to connect and serve their communities.

“At Timberland, service is a way of life. We’ve done a lot in 25 years, and we’re just getting started,” said Jim Pisani, global brand president for Timberland. “Through the service events and activities this season, we will not only add value to communities around the world but also provide meaningful leadership and development opportunities for our employees, while building stronger relationships with our business and community partners.”

 Timberland Malaysia Realizing the Importance of Saving Mother Nature

Timberland encourages its employees to do more for the community by ensuring they are able to take the necessary time out of their busy work schedule to do so. In line with the Path of Service Program, Timberland employees are given up to 40 hours of paid time to engage in volunteer activities throughout the year. This includes both company-sponsored events, and individual platforms that they are passionate about. This year, Serv-a-palooza Malaysia was kicked off with a Tree Planting Project hosted at Tugu Negara.

Urban Greening is an activity held close to the brand’s heart as it is in line with the brand’s effort to reduce its carbon footprint globally.  Known as the “Annual Serv-a-palooza Tree Relocation Day”, this year’s activity centered on the rescuing and relocation of marked trees so that they may continue to be nurtured under the care of the Malaysian Nature Society’s Nursery.