By Nurul Wan Faisal
The past two years have been a challenging one for many, and as the year 2021 gradually comes to an end, we keep our fingers crossed for a better tomorrow for all. As we welcome in a new year in four weeks, let us start with this resolution: to give back to society!
While Malaysians nationwide delight in festivities of the holiday season, let us not forget the many who are still trying to regain their footing, economically and socially. Vulnerable communities throughout the country who have been severely impacted, from families and businesses, the working community and students, to refugees and migrant communities, all who are navigating challenges, and recovering from the brunt of the pandemic.
While we transition into a digital era, we rely on technology. With digital divide prevalent in communities, it is a challenge to bridge the gap of social and digital divide. But it is not impossible. There are ways and means, and there are opportunities.
As we equip ourselves with skills, experiences and knowledge to become a better version of ourselves, let us not forget disadvantaged communities around us. From helping to eradicate food poverty and supporting small businesses stay afloat, to volunteering and understanding the mental health and wellbeing of people around us, it is time to cultivate a culture of doing social good.
If you want to start 2022 on the right note, here are 12 Sites Every Malaysian Should Know About;
Designed by highly experienced teachers, SPMflix aims to help school children sitting for the SPM examinations achieve the results they seek.
Students can utilise the platform’s free comprehensive videos and lessons covering all topics to better understand the syllabus. Tuition centers and private tutors will also be able to access resources as learning material for their students!
If you know of students who will be taking the SPM, and need that extra boost, let them know about SPMflix.
Despite our national efforts during the Bendera Putih campaign to feed affected families during lockdown, food insecurity still exist.
FreeMakan continues to address this issue by providing groceries and cooked food to tens of thousands of families struggling to put food on their table. What began as an initiative to feed 2000 families, has significantly amplified. As of 1st November, Freemakan has fed 27,000 families, 108,000 people, with 2.7 million meals.
What can you do or how can you help? FreeMakan is always looking for volunteers to help pack dry food to be distributed, and welcomes contributors and donors. Or, if you know of any families or communities in need of food aid, FreeMakan will be able to assist.
In response to the critical need for life-saving medical equipment and essential medical supplies, CovidFund.my was aptly launched on 1st August 2021. Together with partners Rotary District 3300, Yayasan Kelab-kelab Rotary Malaysia, The Malaysian Association of Hong Kong, and Make It Right Movement, the fund aims to raise RM1 million to procure and deliver urgently needed medical equipment to hospitals. To date, more than RM400,000 has been raised, and supplies have been sent to different hospitals in the Klang Valley and Sabah.
When was the last time you took time off for your mental health? This platform has all the necessary aid and information to help you recharge and put yourself first. On ReachOut, you can find counsellors, different helplines and webinars addressing topics on mental health, illnesses and mindfulness.
If you are seeking advice, or if you know of anyone who is struggling that may need help, ReachOut encourages you to get in touch with them through their website. Nobody has to struggle alone.
Have you ever wondered what to do with old devices that still work? Why not refurbish these devices and donate them to 1MillionDevices?
1MillionDevices is an initiative which aims to give repurposed or new devices to marginalised school-going children to keep up with the shift to online learning. Whether it be a tablet or laptop, 1MillionDevices receives it, and hands it out to deserving students. They are currently accepting monetary donations but is also in the process of setting up donation centers to drop off second-hand devices. Just over a month ago, an 18-year-old received a brand new Samsung tablet after having to rely on an overheated phone for her studies.
Digital poverty is not about tech, it’s about giving children from disadvantaged communities an equal opportunity to quality education and a fair chance in life.
6. MCO Mart
Malaysia is rich in entrepreneurial spirit. Whether it be selling home-made Nyonya kuih or hand-crafted accessories, these business-owners deserve to be supported by fellow Malaysians. To raise awareness on these businesses, MCO Mart was set up to help advertise and market their products for FREE, on an online and accessible platform. Now on a centralised website, anyone can search for a variety of products all locally made.
If you are a small-business owner and need help gaining traction and building brand awareness, fill up a form on the website to be promoted free of charge! This small act may be exactly what you need to access your potential customers.
7. Asia Heroes
Keen on volunteering? Not only will it be a life-enriching and emotionally fulfilling experience for you, it will be profoundly rewarding for the people you are set out to help. Asia Heroes may be what you are looking for as it links volunteers to organisations and events.
Similarly, if you are on the lookout for volunteers, Asia Heroes helps promote your events and connects you to the right team. This volunteering platform is a great place to start.
8. Project Deep
Employers are always looking for candidates with the right attitude, and skills relevant to the industry.
Project DEEP (Digital Enterprise & Employee Programme) is an initiative built for Malaysians to bridge local enterprises and employees into the digital era. Upgrade yourself or your workforce to the latest industry standards. It is an education platform for future-proof courses and professional certifications to up-skill or re-skill yourself or your workforce. Through our government partnerships, Project DEEP provides completely FREE courses that are subsidised by the latest educational schemes. Its aim is to also ensure that you are constantly employed by providing a job-seeking platform to connect you directly with potential employers.
Jobs4All in collaboration with PERKESO, MyFutureJobs and BAC Education Group provides an updated list of job opportunities both remote and physically near you.
This platform even includes exclusive access to workshops and career talks, skills-based training and career advice to help get you the job of your dreams. With over 10,000 vacancies available, there is no reason not to sign up.
Special Jobs is catered specifically for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to seek job opportunities. This platform has sought out employers who specifically provide equal opportunities and believe in inclusivity and fair treatment in the workforce.
Living with a disability or special need should not be a barrier from pursuing your dreams. Whether you’re an employer or job-seeker, numerous opportunities await at Special Jobs.
When you empower a woman, you empower a nation. In 2020, Malaysia was placed at 104 out of 153 in achieving gender equality and we need to do better.
Sheroes aims to support and empower women and girls to transcend the limits of society and build a better future for themselves.
Acting as a one-stop platform containing information, help-lines and stories, the Sheroes website is a safe space to learn more about prominent issues faced by women in Malaysia. We can start by educating ourselves first and then others to make our society a safer and more inclusive place.
Launched in November 2021, PawsRescue.my is a collaborative nationwide campaign to advocate for homeless cats and dogs. They work with rescue groups, shelters, and animal welfare volunteers across Malaysia to advocate for animal welfare and to create a more compassionate world for stray animals.
To know more about the sites about, you may also browse UPLIFT, the inclusive, collaborative unified platform that raises awareness, fosters and advocates action-oriented programmes to uplift our society. The 12 sites mentioned above can be seen on UPLIFT.