Project Malaysia Batang Kali 2014
July 2 – 15, 2014
PM14 is aimed at empowering the community and youth through rural service engagement. This is primarily achieved through the building of a home for an indigenous family in need of safe housing. The building will be completed in 3 days. Besides the goal of providing a family with a safe home, we will use this activity as a means of forming bonds.
After living in the community and becoming better acquainted with the needs and issues of the community, we aim to work with indigenous individuals to build on new and existing ideas of a sustainable business model.
Additionally, it is important to continuously provide support to these families. Therefore, we will work on equipping local students with leadership and mentorship skills, and they will be responsible for ensuring the project’s sustainability.
Approximately 12,000 indigenous families, known as the Orang Asli (OA) families, live in unsafe housing conditions. We believe that a human’s basic needs such as shelter should be met above and beyond the rest.
In terms of the maintenance of the house, we have allocated funds in our budget for the wear and tear of the house. We will be using the “Pay It Forward” in which, instead of paying for the homes with money, we encourage the recipients of the homes to ‘pay’ for their houses by committing to building not just their home but two additional homes for their neighbors. We will ensure that this concept is carried forward for the next house builds. Through this system, we hope to encourage greater community development.
We will be looking to tackle the problem using the two components of the SEALNet Model:
- To develop a sense of appreciation and to avoid instilling a “handout mentality” within the OA community. Instead of paying for the home with money, we request for the recipient of the home to actively join the whole building process with us.
- To discover, nurture and train champions in each village to inspire his/her community and ultimately, to empower the OA to overcome their own challenges by giving them insights into their problem solutions.
- To provide job opportunities. There are some OA who are looking to start their own business (i.e tourism, day trips and to teach survival skills) to the public but have not done so yet. After interacting with the community through the build, SEALNet members will brainstorm on how to push their businesses to the next level with feedback and idea generation, The outcome of this process is a sustainable new business model that the OA can use.
- Project participants will get to experience themselves in new environments. We rarely have the opportunity to build a home with our bare hands. By engaging in something that the project participants have never done before, they are presented with the opportunity to examine their strengths and weakness, learn about themselves as leaders while helping another for a greater cause.
- To build a positive support system. Teamwork will be crucial in the building process. Participants will be working very closely with each other throughout the build.
- To engage in constant active reflection: due to the intense nature of the build, project participants will be forced to adapt quickly to different situations, thus becoming dynamic team leaders.
- To uncover project participants’ potential and discover the potential of others – everyone has the power to make a difference but few recognize their ability to do so. The build will give the participants the opportunity to explore their capabilities and potential while instilling a sense of belief in themselves and their team. There is nothing more satisfying for the participants and the community as a whole than finishing the project with our bare hands.
EPIC (also known as Extraordinary People Impacting Communities) Homes is a social enterprise based in Malaysia. EPIC Homes will equip SEALNet members with the skills, knowledge, and technology needed to build a home. Prior to the build, the EPIC team will give us a one-day builder training workshop. The EPIC team in addition to helping us establish relationships with the indigenous family shall also aid us in the sustainability of the project (i.e., maintenance of the house, post-build.)
Members who have mental and physical endurance, are passionate, responsible, punctual, willing to actively contribute to the project planning process, and adaptable to the local culture and environment.
Alira Vania Putri Dwipayana