Mission to drive positive change, foster impactful initiatives in community

NST Tue, Jan 09, 2024 08:15am - 4 months View Original

KUALA LUMPUR: The second cycle of the Merdeka 118 Community Grants Programme is extending its support to eight projects in an effort to drive positive change within the Merdeka 118 precinct.

The second cycle of the programme which kicked off in December 2022 received a total of 43 applications, out of which 11 were shortlisted for in-depth evaluation by the technical advisory panel.

Ultimately, eight exceptional projects were selected, reflecting the programme's mission to foster impactful initiatives within the community.

​"As the Merdeka 118 development continues to reach new heights, we remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting our neighbours. Through the selected projects under this initiative, we have not only awarded grants to new projects but also sustained our support to existing projects from the first cycle to ensure their ongoing progress and success.

"From empowering individuals with employment opportunities to improving quality of life and celebrating our culture and heritage, we look forward to continuing these efforts for the development of the precinct and the wider communities. Together, we are creating a vibrant, inclusive community where everyone can flourish," said PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Tengku Datuk Ab Aziz Tengku Mahmud.

The Merdeka 118 Community Grants programme was launched in June 2021 by PNB Merdeka, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Behd (PNB), in partnership with Think City Sdn Bhd.

One of the grant recipients since the initial cycle is the smart stingless beekeeping project by the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM).

IIUM recently expanded their portfolio with a ​​range of new stingless bee honey products such as moisturising body lotion, juice, and honey chili sauce, in addition to kicking off training sessions on the production and packaging of these products.

Meanwhile, returning grant recipient YWCA KL remains committed to empowering young women through its skill development courses.

​Another initiative aimed at empowering the communities, particularly from the public housing developments in the Merdeka 118 precinct is an embroidery training programme by Swee Impact Consulting Sdn Bhd or known as "manekNya".

The grants also supported the publication of two books that highlight the rich history and unique culture of the Merdeka 118 precinct.

This includes the translation of Petaling Street Walking Guidebook from English and Mandarin to Bahasa Malaysia by Kaki Jelajah Warisan under the project "Eat, Pray, Love" in Petaling Street, and a book entitled 'Somewhere in the Kuala, a Children's Architecture Book' by Suburbia Office Enterprise.

​A new grant recipient in the second cycle was Project Otai by Project Future Malaysia, which produces videos spotlighting traditional trades.

In line with Merdeka 118's efforts to support the arts with the local community, the Kampung Attap Collective continues its commitment to promoting local arts and solidifying Kampung Attap's status as a creative hub.

Through the grant, the collective actively participated in PESZTA, a Malaysia-themed festival organised by PMVSB, DBKL, Think City and the Kampung Attap community.

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