Giv­ing back through ed­u­ca­tional ef­forts

Prop­erty de­vel­oper aims to in­spire stu­dents to live bet­ter lives

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Sme Biz - By JOY LEE [email protected]­tar.com.my

COM­PA­NIES that have at­tain a cer­tain level of suc­cess of­ten try to give back to the com­mu­nity through var­i­ous CSR ini­tia­tives. This may in­clude a jum­ble of ran­dom ef­forts like mak­ing vis­its to or­phan­ages and mak­ing do­na­tions to char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tions.

For prop­erty de­vel­oper Orando Hold­ings Sdn Bhd, ed­u­ca­tion make up the base of its CSR pro­grammes.

Man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Datuk Eng Wei Chun counts it a mean­ing­ful ef­fort to be able to help ed­u­cate the younger gen­er­a­tion to be more pro­duc­tive and lead a bet­ter life.

Af­ter all, it is said: give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a life­time.

“This will give them the abil­ity to sur­vive in­de­pen­dently and im­prove their lives mov­ing for­ward. So, ed­u­ca­tion is not just a one-off help,” he says.

Orando won the Plat­inum prize for Best in CSR in the above RM25mil rev­enue cat­e­gory at The Star Out­stand­ing Busi­ness Awards (SOBA) 2017.

The prop­erty de­vel­oper also took home the Plat­inum prize in Best in Mar­ket­ing.

Some of Orando’s ear­lier ef­forts in­cluded work­ing with a me­dia group to spon­sor news­pa­pers to schools to help stu­dents have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of English.

Eng says he re­ceived a lot of notes of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the spon­sor­ship which en­cour­aged him to not only keep it up, but to also do more. The com­pany con­tin­ued to spon­sor more of other pro­grammes for school chil­dren.

Among these were con­tests that re­quired stu­dents to craft pub­lic ser­vice an­nounce­ments posters and short videos that por­trayed pa­tri­o­tism.

It’s dif­fer­ent from con­tribut­ing re­sources to the less for­tu­nate, says Eng. Such con­tests and projects will help stu­dents to be far-sighted and to think pro­gres­sively.

“These stu­dents are our fu­ture. If they are more mod­er­ate, the coun­try will move for­ward faster. When you cre­ate a more healthy and con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for them, I don’t see why we can’t pros­per,” he says.

Eng hopes these video projects would also fos­ter unity and teach the younger gen­er­a­tion to have a greater love for the coun­try.

“When a coun­try be­comes stronger, there will even­tu­ally be less and less needs to be met. So we need to give our teenagers a chance to be more knowl­edge­able and to have a more pro­gres­sive mind­set,” he adds.

Orando has been part­ner­ing other com­pa­nies to con­tinue push­ing for more projects with schools or for stu­dents.

In his per­sonal ca­pac­ity, Eng also hopes to even­tu­ally start up tu­ition cen­tres in ru­ral ar­eas to of­fer free English classes for sec­ondary school stu­dents.

“I see that a lot of Malaysians some­times find it hard to com­pete on the in­ter­na­tional plat­form. Al­though ur­ban peo­ple will have less of an is­sue, stu­dents from the ru­ral area find it dif­fi­cult. And not many peo­ple are avail­able to help them.

“So we want to pro­vide classes where re­tired teach­ers can teach them. When more of them be­come in­ter­ested in learn­ing English, they will read more books to widen their knowl­edge.

“Most of them don’t have that op­por­tu­nity. We don’t want them to just give up on their own fu­ture,” he says.

Ed­u­cat­ing the young: Orando or­gan­ises con­tests for stu­dents to help them be far-sighted and to en­cour­age them to think pro­gres­sively, says Eng.

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