21 January 2017

Maybank Singapore Hosts eMpowering Youths Across ASEAN Showcase

On 21 January, Maybank Group hosted the ‘eMpowering Youths Across ASEAN Showcase’ at Suntec City Convention Centre, Singapore. The event was attended by Datuk Lim Hong Tat, Group Head of Community Financial Services (CFS) and CEO of Maybank Singapore; Pn Nora Abd Manaf, Group Chief Human Capital Officer; En Shahril Azuar Jimin, CEO of Maybank Foundation and the event’s Guest of Honour, Mr Richardo Chua, the Group Managing Director of Adrenalin Group Pte. Ltd.

The ‘Empowering Youths across ASEAN’ Programme is one of Maybank Foundation’s flagship programmes to positively impact communities in the markets that we operate. The platform empowers youths to be change-makers and drive social innovation to alleviate poverty and grow wealth in ASEAN communities. The showcase in Suntec City was held in accordance with the regionalisation of the Programme, following the success of seven Singapore-led pilot projects, which were a collaborative effort between the Maybank Foundation and Maybank Singapore team. 

In Singapore, the Programme involved partnerships with the country’s top 3 universities, namely the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore National University and Singapore Management University. The youths consisted of 234 students from various disciplines from the 3 universities. The ASEAN Foundation, an organisation that promotes shared prosperity and a sustainable future for the region of ASEAN was also among the partners of the Programme. Each group was given SGD30 000 for a yearlong project, to come up with ideas and solutions that were innovative and sustainable, solving real life issues faced by the ASEAN communities.

In his Opening Speech at the Showcase, Datuk Lim Hong Tat highlighted that part of the humanising mission comes from being at the heart of the community. “Our community is not just at home here, but within ASEAN itself, because Maybank is the only bank with a presence in all 10 ASEAN countries. By working with all of you and future teams from your universities, this Programme will help us to reach out and make a lasting impact on communities in the region.”

In her keynote speech, Pn Nora Abd Manaf who is also the Patron of the Programme emphasised the importance of collaboration among governments, businesses and schools to create responsible talent as progressive change makers. “Failure to do our part to prepare our youths and talent and uplift communities will impact society adversely, and this includes unemployability and greater social inequality,” said Pn Nora.

On the day of the Showcase, each team presented their projects during a panel discussion in front of the judges. The judges were Datuk Lim Hong Tat, Pn Nora Abd Manaf and En Shahril Azuar Jimin. The projects were judged based on their final report, Instagram campaign and the sustainability of the social businesses/projects that they’ve introduced to the communities. Each team shared their knowledge and experiences with others on improving the livehood of communities in different ASEAN countries. The winner of the Programme in Singapore went to students from the National University Singapore for their #ProjectCheway in Baseco, Philippines.

The students changed the lives of the communities in Baseco Compound, Manila, whose main source of livelihood is garlic peeling, earning only PHP 70 / SGD 2 per day. The community is a home to over 50,000 immigrants, who live in makeshift homes that is prone to disasters, especially flooding and tropical storms. The team from National University Singapore came together and designed a peeling device that is more efficient and productive, contributing to the increase of the community’s income.

The students’ hard work and passion to create a difference were truly admirable as they worked with the communities for 14 days and also helped to install amenities, such as beds, bathrooms and kitchens for residential use.

A participant of the Programme, Darren from Singapore Management University (SMU) commented that the Programme is beneficial and he has made new friends from diverse backgrounds from different universities in Singapore. It has inspired him and the rest to give back to the communities in need by providing them sustainable solutions to improve their livelihoods. He mentioned, “The Programme has helped us to leverage on other projects to improve what we have introduced for the communities we are working with.  The journey was definitely an unforgettable experience, bringing in smiles and cheer to the children and the locals. Thank you, Maybank for giving us the opportunity to make an impact for the ASEAN community.” 

After the panel discussion ended, the guests were entertained by musical performance from a group of energetic youngsters known as BEAT’ABOX.  The BEAT’ABOX is a social enterprise group from Singapore, founded with a mission for people from all walks of life, to be united musically through playing the musical instrument. To mark the end of the showcase event, the Programme’s regionalisation was officially launched by Datuk Lim Hong Tat, Pn Nora and En Shahril, marking the its expansion and implementation in other countries across ASEAN.