Reaching Out to Indigenous & Underprivileged Communities - UN SDG Initiatives by APU
“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in our hands to make a difference.” — Nelson Mandela.
A welcoming traditional dance was performed by the school children from the national primary school of Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Mok, during APU’s crew visit.
The quote resonates deeply with the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) and its commitment to sustainability and creativity. APU, anchored by its School of Business (SoB), Integrated Sustainability & Urban Creativity Centre (ISUC) Student Chapter, and APU Community Engagement (ACE), recently made a meaningful difference in the lives of underprivileged communities across the country.
Recognizing the current situation faced by the indigenous community in Sungai Mok, Kuala Rompin, Pahang, the academic staff and students from APU's SoB and ISUC embarked on a CSR Project. They visited the national primary school, Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Mok, and donated a SMART TV set. This technology will be used to facilitate online English classes for children who are eager to learn but lack advanced access to educational resources.
The ceremony of handing over the Smart TV set to Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Mok, participated by (L-R): Ms. Sueraya Alwie (APU), Ms. Abbhirami Sivarajan (APU), Mr. Ikhwan Al-Rashid Abdul Rahman (Aspirasi Lestari), Ms. Nadiah Suki (APU), Ms. Azura (Rompin District Education Officer), Mr. Muhammad Haji Kalib (Headmaster, SK Sg Mok), Mr. Ranap Man (Village Elder), Mr. Rosdi Mahadi (Chairman, Village Development & Security), Mr. Muhammad Saiful (Teacher Representative, SK Sg Mok), Mr. Fadri Yusri (Chairman, Parent-Teachers' Association, SK Sg Mok).
On 7 June, the APU team, including academics from SoB, Ms. Sueraya Alwie, Ms. Nadiah Suki, and Ms. Abbhirami Sivarajan, along with Ms. Chung Wei Qi, a member of the ISUC Student Chapter, arrived at the school. The warm welcome they received was expressed through a traditional dance performed by the children. According to Ms. Abbhirami who supervised the Chapter, the SMART TV, valued at around RM3000, will empower standard six students with e-learning tools and prepare them for their secondary school studies.
Associate Professor Dr. Jason James Turner, APU School of Business Senior Head, expressed his delight in making a positive impact on the community. He stated that the project's objectives align closely with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). APU's commitment to sustainability, creativity, and community engagement contributes to various SDGs, including SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).
The act of charity does not end with this one project. APU's SoB and the ISUC Student Chapter engage externally each year, selecting organisations to support and collaborate with. The decision to work with Sungai Mok primary school arose when APU was approached by Aspirasi Lestari, a local nongovernmental organization (NGO), to support e-learning for standard six students in this school with approximately 100 students and five teachers. Dr. Jason emphasized the importance of ongoing efforts to fully realise the potential impact of such initiatives, using SMART TV to provide continued teaching and learning opportunities to this eager community.
Let by Ms. Abbhirami Sivarajan (right), the representatives of APU Community Engagement (ACE) visited Rumah Kasih and donated charity funds to this old folks’ home.
Additionally, the APU Community Engagement (ACE) successfully raised RM15,000 in charity funds through the APU Neon Run held on 6 May. Over the following two months, ACE distributed the funds and goods to four organizations: Rumah Kasih (an old folks' home), Agathians Shelter (an orphanage), FurryKids and SPCA (animal shelters).
Agathians Shelter, an orphanage in Petaling Jaya, was another point to donate charity goods and funds by APU Community Engagement (ACE).
The humanitarian acts of the APU community exemplify the transformative power of kindness in making the world a better place. While the SDGs are universal and inherently global goals, initiatives like these instil a compassionate mindset in the younger generation. By engaging in such efforts, undergraduates gain valuable insights into global issues and develop into mature citizens of the future.
Always on the move - the humanitarian acts of the APU community exemplify the transformative power of kindness in making the world a better place.