FedEx Malaysia Supports Social Need for Urban Farming and Educational Empowerment for Urban Poor Communities
SELANGOR — As part of its commitment to help foster community empowerment, more than 200 FedEx Express team members participated in two separate FedEx Cares activities in Malaysia recently. The initiatives were held in collaboration with the Food Aid Foundation and INTI International University & Colleges to help address the issues of food security in the underprivileged community at Enggang Apartment in Puchong and education inequality, respectively.
Urban Farming with Food Aid Foundation
It is expected that 75% of Malaysia’s population will be living in urban areas by 2020, which is expected to have a significant impact on poverty and intensify food insecurity concerns in the cities, as most urbanites rely on cash income to have access to food.
To address this, FedEx collaborated with Food Aid Foundation to help cultivate urban farms for the underserved community at Enggang Apartment in Puchong. The program aims to equip residents with the necessary tools, resources and knowledge to initiate sustainable food production, therefore easing both their financial and food security problems. Similar urban farm initiatives were also started in two other locations – at the Kompleks Masyarakat Penyayang in Penang and Rumah Warga Emas Nur Ehsan in Johor Bahru, for a total of 1,800 sq. ft. of allocated land.
Recently, the FedEx urban farm in Penang was visited by Finance Minister Yang Berhormat Tuan Lim Guan Eng (who represented Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) to coincide with the launch of the National Food Bank programme in Penang. The produce from this farm was harvested and cooked in a central kitchen and then delivered to the underpivileged B40 groups living in rural localities.
“Through this FedEx Cares initiative, we hope to help address the problems faced by urban poor families in these communities regarding food scarcity. We have a long-term commitment to support disadvantaged urban areas in Malaysia, kicking off with three key locations in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru,” said S.C. Chong, managing director of FedEx Express Malaysia. “We look forward to rolling out more sustainable initiatives in these locations to bring much-needed attention to this social issue.”
Over 200 FedEx volunteers participated in the urban farming initiative by setting up farming plots. Together with Food Aid Foundation and the community, FedEx volunteers cleared the allocated areas, built raised garden beds and ponds, greenhouses as well as assembled vertical farming platforms. In addition, FedEx also provided financial support for the purchase of crop supplies, such as seeds, soil, nutri-pots, garden beds, equipment and groceries. FedEx and Food Aid Foundation will also be working with the State Agriculture Department to select suitable crops for the targeted communities.
“We are excited to be working with FedEx to empower these communities through urban farming. To ensure that the residents are well equipped on how to fully utilize their new farms, agriculture experts from Food Aid Foundation will be running workshops on how to cultivate their crops and generate compost,” said Puan Hayati Ismail, director of Operations at Food Aid Foundation.
In 2014 and 2015, FedEx also collaborated with Food Aid Foundation to prepare meals and distribute much-needed groceries to senior citizens, special needs children and underprivileged families.
Education Empowerment: FedEx Collaborates with INTI
As part of FedEx Cares, FedEx also collaborated with INTI to provide educational lessons for children at Enggang Apartment over a two-month period.
“In Malaysia, many children from low-income households suffer from poor academic performance due to financial issues. In 2017 alone, more than 40,000 out-of-school students were recorded. This is a social issue we aim to assist in addressing for the betterment of our future leaders,” said Chong. The collaboration with INTI saw engaging sessions with children, which included lessons in Bahasa Malaysia, English and mathematics as well as various outdoor activities and games to promote soft skills such as teamwork and verbal communication.
FedEx Cares is the company’s global giving platform through which FedEx will invest US$200 million in more than 200 global communities by 2020 to create opportunities and deliver positive change around the world. Local volunteers supplement and enrich these community investments. Their focus areas include Delivering for Good, Sustainable Transportation, Employment Pathways, Road Safety, Global Entrepreneurship and Diversity and Inclusion. This year’s initiative marks the 14th FedEx Cares globally, and the 6th FedEx Cares episode in Malaysia.