It was a morning to remember on June 20, when a skeletal crew from Great Eastern Takaful visited our ‘family’ in Kg Orang Asli Sg Gabong to deliver sundry and essential food items that were intended for them during the fasting month.
The MCO delayed our plans somewhat, but we still made it there two months later, with 1,500kg of items made up of rice, flour, cooking oil, sardines and personal hygiene items, packed into individual care packages for the 96 families there.
Having embarked on a chilli planting activity for the community last October to diversify their income source, we also got an expert from Jabatan Pertanian Bentong to share farming best practices with the community.
Encik Anwar Abdul Karim, an officer from the department, engaged the crowd with his interesting anecdotes on farming tips and even distributed free long beans, sawi and jagung seeds for the families to plant in their home compound,
In dispensing advice, Encik Anwar said: “If you don’t succeed in the initial attempt, try and try again. Look after the plants as if you are looking after yourselves,” he said.
Great Eastern Takaful Berhad chief executive officer Encik Shahrul Azlan Shahriman was at hand to deliver the care packages made up of essential goods to representatives of the families there.
“You have become family to us. We started our CSR here close to three years ago, providing solar panels, water filters, and setting up a children’s library. We are sincere in our efforts to help empower you towards better livelihood.
“What is important to us is sustainability, we want to continue supporting you,” he added.
Representatives from mySalam were also present to help four eligible recipients of the Government’s takaful protection scheme submit claims, after being recently hospitalised.
As we worked on coordinating the collection of items to be donated before heading to this kampung in the months prior, one thing stood out - the support and love from the Great Eastern family, who gave and kept on giving, until we had more than enough!
Their actions are meaningful for many reasons – but most of all, it ensures sustainability of our CSR efforts for this community.
Urban folks are likely winding down for the year, but the communities at Kg Orang Asli Sg Gabong will be keeping busy tending to their chilli plants over the next few months.
This entrepreneurship activity marked the close of our CSR activity in this village for 2019, where 40 volunteers from our company, joined by undergraduates from University Malaya, helped 20 Orang Asli families plant 2,288 chilli seedlings in their home compounds on October 26.
The project is part of our vision for shared progress for all as we seek to uplift lives of those with whom we share Mother Earth.
The volunteers spent the morning tilling the land and planting the seedlings together with the families, some were old hands at it, some were new to getting their hands in dirt, but overall, it was an enriching and fulfilling experience for everyone. There were also children volunteers who did not mind the heat and the worms as they used their spades tirelessly to dig through the right depth to plant the seedlings.
When the plants mature, we will assist these families by taking their produce to market, and follow through with a financial awareness talk to inculcate in these new entrepreneurs the need to reinvest their profits for even better profits in the future. Mengkuang plants have also been provided to the villagers, to plant at a more suitable time in the near future.
We also delivered grocery items and pre-loved clothes to the Orang Asli community following a collection drive among our workforce.
Watch this space!
The children of Kg Orang Asli Sg Gabong got a royal treat when Duli Yang Maha Mulia Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim graced a story-telling competition held at Pusat Kreatif Kanak-Kanak Tuanku Bainun on 7 September ,2019.
Some 100 guests made up of the kids’ family members and Great Eastern Takaful staff were also present at the Story Telling Competition, in which 11 children aged between 8 and 16 from the Orang Asli community participated.
Some were shy, some were bold and expressive, some wore face paint, others adorned themselves with feathers and wings to get into character. In all, the young participants warmed the hearts of the guests who broke into laughter at several instances during the kids’ performances.
Also present was our esteemed panel of judges – Yayasan Hasanah head of education and scholarships Dr Nur Anuar Abdul Muthalib, New Straits Times news editor Faridul Anwar Farinordin and GETB head of brand and marketing communications Tengku Sheila Tengku Azib.
The winner of the story telling for the primary category was little Nur Syazwanis Safia binti Abdul Rahman, 8 from SK Sulaiman who narrated with full confidence and expression, the story titled “Bangau menipu Ikan”.
Meanwhile, 14 year old Haslinna a/p Zaili from SMK Khai Mun was declared the winner in the secondary school category for her rendition of “Semut dan Merpati”.
At the end of the story-telling competition, the women folk attended an empowerment workshop, where they were taught to sew embroidery onto jute bags. The long term plan of this programme is to help women of Kg Orang Asli Sg Gabong make some extra pocket money through this potential business opportunity.
Truly, we remain committed to empowering those in need towards sustainable economic growth for the nation’s shared progress. This ties in with our purpose, which is 'We Help People Help Each Other In Times Of Need. Because We Can.'
On April 13, close to 50 volunteers from Great Eastern Takaful Berhad carried out a CSR activity in Kampung Orang Asli Sg Gabong in Bentong, Pahang, home to a community of almost 400 people.
This is a follow through from the previous activity, where GETB volunteers teamed up with social enterprise Saora Industries to provide solar panels in 15 homes and installed two solar-powered water purification systems.
This time around, the volunteers installed another 5 solar panels, set up a reading corner with books for children and young adults and conducted an oral hygiene and clean hands programme for the little kids.
Some 80 children also each got a reading light kit to help them study and do their schoolwork after dark.
In addition, GETB distributed essential supplies to 20 families there and provided useful information on the Government’s mySalam insurance scheme specially tailored for those in the lower income group.
To ensure that the Orang Asli community truly benefits from the aid and attention being focused on them, GETB plans to continue caring and catering to the needs of the people in Sg Gabong over the medium-term, having started this project last year.
There are more activities planned for 2019, including a programme on women empowerment.
As part of Great Eastern Takaful Berhad’s (GETB) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy to demonstrate long-term impact in the communities it operates in, the company recently embarked on an initiative that provided an Orang Asli community in Pahang with energy and clean water.
In collaboration with Saora Industries, the company rallied volunteers consisting of staff and their family members into Kampung Sungai Gabong and Kampung Kepong in Bentong, Pahang to install solar powered lights and water purification systems in the villages.
Approximately 60 Orang Asli have been living in these villages without adequate electricity and access to clean, filtered water. The collaboration between the two organisations provided the villagers with basic necessities for a safer and healthier life. To top it off, the company additionally held a donation drive of household items prior to the on-site activity, which included clothing as well as school supplies and other basic amenities.
The CSR initiative is just a starting point for GETB as it shifted its long-term strategic focus to align with global sustainability efforts and ensure that greater emphasis is placed on the environmental, social and economical aspect. The collaborative CSR campaign will run throughout the year with Saora Industries providing reports to GETB for impact-measuring.
As an added objective, GETB isn’t limiting themselves to providing energy and water to these villages. Plans to look into other Orang Asli villages in other parts of the country will also be considered in the future.
For photos of the CSR activity, please visit GETB’s Facebook page.