Indonesia, 8 August 2019 – Maybank Foundation and the ASEAN Foundation today have signed a three-year extension agreement for the eMpowering Youths Across ASEAN programme. The signing was held at the new ASEAN Secretariat building launched earlier today by the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo in conjunction with the 52nd ASEAN Day celebration.
A signing ceremony for the extension of this partnership was held at the Nusantara Hall, which was witnessed by the foreign ministers from 10 ASEAN Member States, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dato’ Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Group President and Chief Executive Officer of Maybank and President Commissioner of Maybank Indonesia, Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, the Chair of the ASEAN Foundation’s Board of Trustees, H.E. Amb. Kok Li Peng, the Chair of Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR), H.E. Amb. Phasporn Sangasubana, and President Director of Maybank Indonesia, Taswin Zakaria. Signing on behalf of Maybank was the Chief Executive Officer of Maybank Foundation, Shahril Azuar Jimin while the ASEAN Foundation was represented by its Executive Director, Elaine Tan.
Launched a year ago with the signing held at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, the eMpowering Youths Across ASEAN gathered 100 youths aged between 19 to 35 years, from across the ASEAN region to develop and implement community projects that deliver tangible long-term impact, socially and economically. The programme provides micro grants totalling USD200,000 to commence community initiatives that can alleviate poverty and empower ASEAN communities. Among others, this initiative will play a significant role in helping to achieve the objectives as laid out in the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The programme which ran from August 2018 to August 2019, had kicked off with a Regional Capacity Building and Orientation Workshop in January in the ASEAN Studies Centre of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Following the workshops, all youths were deployed to selected community areas in Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia to embark on community projects with a focus on four specific areas, namely Community Empowerment, Arts and Culture, Environmental Diversity and Education.
“The community projects through this programme represents Maybank’s commitment to being at the heart of the community, which is closely aligned with our mission to humanise financial services.
We are glad to sign this extension agreement as this partnership with ASEAN Foundation has given us the opportunity to pursue the objectives of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025 and the UN SDG Goals as what we have seen in the programme’s first pilot year. This is an example of an intra ASEAN programme and a proof point of what we hope to be, a continued success of a public-private partnership for years to come. We are confident that this platform will continue to channel the energy and creativity of ASEAN youths into challenging and meaningful activities that will strengthen community bonds, encourage volunteerism and generate innovative solutions to socio-economic challenges while positively impacting the communities.” said Shahril Azuar Jimin.
“The eMpowering Youths Across ASEAN programme is an excellent platform for youth to learn about challenges facing ASEAN communities, and provides them with the skills and tools to contribute positively to these communities. The three-year extension of the programme is welcome testament to the viable public-private partnership between the ASEAN Foundation and Maybank to engage youth in ASEAN and build awareness for a resilient, innovative and sustainable ASEAN Community,” said H.E. Amb. Kok Li Peng, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Singapore to ASEAN.
Throughout the entirety of the community projects, 100 dye trees for environmental friendly silk weaving were planted in Takeo, Cambodia, 1,016 mangroves seeds were also planted in Kampot, Cambodia as part of an eco-tourism project, 9,245 kg of food waste were collected, a new training centre for youths was built and 47 teachers were equipped with new teaching tools in Battambang, Cambodia, and five permanent water filters with 200 litres per barrel capacity were built near a river in Sumedang, Indonesia. Ultimately, 17,827 individuals were positively impacted while more than 19 NGOs, partners and other related stakeholders were engaged.
Maybank Foundation’s partnership with the ASEAN Foundation is part of its commitment to transform the eMpowering Youths Across ASEAN programme into an impactful regional-level initiative. The programme has also been designed to showcase how meaningful engagement and collaboration among different stakeholders can bring sustainable development and tangible impact to the ASEAN community.