AIESEC in Malaysia has demonstrated its commitment to advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the constant innovation and growth of its two national projects, namely Speak Up and Clean Our Plate. Conducted in various local chapters across the nation, Speak Up revolves around education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), while Clean Our Plate aims to tackle food waste issues in Malaysia.
Speak Up Project for SDG 4: Quality Education
Speak Up is a national project which comprehends SDG 4: Quality Education. The project was initiated to increase the English proficiency of secondary school students in Malaysia, part of which comes from the underprivileged community. As the years went by, we implemented the education of STEM topics in the initiative and included personal development skills building, which boosts self-esteem. One hundred fifty-one volunteers from 12 universities united and successfully influenced 541 Secondary Students from 28 High Schools to participate in the Speak Up Malaysia Project.
Besides, to eliminate accessibility issues, underprivileged students are equipped with laptops either provided by sponsors or purchased through fundraising proceeds to participate in virtual educational sessions conducted throughout the project. In July-September 2021, 20 laptops have been channelled to the beneficiaries with the support of financial partners who have partnered up with AIESEC as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to contribute to communities in need.
In 2021, we have collaborated with Teach For Malaysia to give all children in Malaysia equal opportunity to quality education. They provided training sessions on facilitation styles and teaching methods to the volunteers. Besides that, Chumbaka Malaysia is also part of the collaboration to teach children across Malaysia science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through creative learning workshops. It has brought enlightenment with youth towards current technology exposure of simple coding that they may explore within their creativity. The Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (MELTA) has also supported the project by promoting the proper use of the English language at all levels in Speak Up, specifically on bringing out youth self-esteem in speaking English confidently.
Clean Our Plate Project for SDG 12
Our second national project, Clean Our Plate, focused on food waste reduction and was initiated back in 2016. The project targets SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, driven by the mission to ‘eliminate at least 50% of food waste among the Malaysian youth by 2030 through cultivating responsible consumption habits.’ Clean Our Plate aims to raise awareness on food waste management and address food security issues through channelling rescued food to the underprivileged.
As a youth-run organisation, AIESEC in Malaysia places confidence in the youth to initiate the movement, lead by example and subsequently influence their peers, households and the wider community to follow suit. This is done by incorporating easy and obvious actions in their daily lives to cut down preventable food waste and encouraging the full utilisation of any food waste produced.
The project consists of various educational and practical training sessions in collaboration with our six National Learning Partners. They have supported us by contributing valuable resources, skills and expertise to enhance the project. Some highlights include introductory sessions on industrial composting and DIY home composting workshops with Mentari Alam Eko (M) Sdn Bhd (MAEKO), apart from household meal planning and food repurposing workshops with the Professional Culinaire Association of Malaysia. Other than that, MYSaveFood, a food waste reduction organisation under the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), provides research data and documentation support to the project. Partnerships with renowned local food banks, including Yayasan Food Bank Malaysia, The Lost Food Project and Green Hero, enabled us to conduct food security programs through fundraising campaigns and utilise available food resources to help those in need while advocating food waste reduction simultaneously. Our volunteers have also helped raise funds for these organisations to stay relevant to the community’s needs in view of the pandemic.
With the full commitment of the project team and our learning partners, the project has seen fruitful results in tackling the growing amount of food waste in Malaysia, especially within households. In July-September 2021, the project successfully reduced 386kg of food waste nationwide, of which 79% were composted. The project has also helped instil a ‘green’ mindset within our nation’s future decision-makers and inspired them to take action for the sustainability of our environment.
About Speak Up Project
Impact Report: https://bit.ly/AMSU2020
About Clean Our Plate Project
Impact Report: https://bit.ly/AMCOP2020