Initiatives to uplift individuals, families and businesses affected by COVID-19.
As of today, 2nd July 2021, Malaysia has been battling the pandemic through rounds of lockdown for 470 days since 18th March 2020. Times are tough, with the daily cases not soaring above 6,000 for the past few days and no sight of the tunnel end to the lockdown. Many are drained physically, mentally and emotionally.
The increase of unemployment, deterioration of mental health, inability to provide for their family and loss of close ones to COVID-19 are the list of struggles that many who are affected by the pandemic and prolonged lockdown. Hence, WORQ has compiled a list of aids in the hope to benefit both individuals and the business community.
We have included links to their website and or social media account for you to learn more about their program. Do reach out to them directly if you are in need of assistance, or donate if you can to support their efforts.
Food Aid Assistance
1. Hunger Hurts: One Meal Programme This programme by HungerHurts aims to support small businesses and provides free meals to the underprivileged communities with RM10 per meal.
2. Donation Drive For those that need food and essential item assistance, you may reach out to the team at 012-7126094.
3. #maribantu This is a non-profit public crowdsourcing site created to provide the community with a platform to raise funds. The public may also check out the site from time to time to help the cause listed. At the moment there are two fundraising campaigns, both aim to raise money to provide food and necessity boxes to families or students in need.
4. CHEKA Movement In conjunction with the FMCO, this non-profit organization is currently running a Food Bank program in designated areas within their coverage. Those that need a basic food supply may reach out to them to ask for help. Do check their Instagram for updates.
5. Autrui Global This is a social enterprise that is founded in 2019 to connect healthcare professionals to serve the under-served communities. Currently, they are providing nutritious food boxes to families that are in need. Do check their Instagram for updates.
5. Kuching Food Aid This is a community lead initiative that provides food aid through supermarkets. It covers the under-served communities in Sarawak. Do check their Instagram for updates.
6. Bantu Jiran Kita This initiative is started by Priyaa Simmi (Mrs Malaysia World 2019/2020) on a crowdsourcing platform named KitaFund.The objective is to help parents that lose their income during the pandemic by providing food aid. To donate, check out the campaign website here.
For more, you can also check out the #kitajagakita website – a “one-stop-shop” movement started back in the 1st MCO with listings of Malaysian civil society COVID19 efforts.
Other than the efforts by the NGOs and social entrepreneurs, many individuals and local businesses are also taking their own initiatives to help the local community. One fine example is the food bank set up by a fish seller name Syarikat Tuah Bersaudara. They have set up a food corner in their shop so that struggling families can get their food here.
There are many more which we are not able to cover all in the list, but we are glad that everyone is doing what they can to help each other.
Mental aid helpline
A long period of lockdown and social isolation has resulted in the rise in mental health issues. The stress due to losing employment and source of income faced are reasons contributing to the rise of the suicide rate in Malaysia.
89.4% out of 122,328 calls received by the Psychosocial Support Helpline in the past 6 months (1st January – 18th June 2021) are facing psychological issues. Among the causes are due to loss of employment and income, loss of a place to depend on, family and marital problems, emotional and physical abuse. – Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah
If you need to talk to someone or if you notice that your family and friends are suffering from emotional distress, reach out to any of the helplines below. Who knows, you may help save a life.
6. PlusVibes (mobile application) This is a mobile application that connects you to local NGOs, associations and volunteer listeners for free mental health assistance and support. You can remain completely anonymous while seeking advice or motivation. It is now available on Android and iOS.
For more helpline and counselling services, you may also check out this list by Malaysia’s The Smart Local team.
On the 28th June 2021, the Malaysia Prime Minister has announced the National People’s Well-Being and Economic Recovery Package (PEMULIH) stimulus package. The stimulus package worth RM150 billion.
Highlighted below are the assistance packages that are related to the business community:
1. Micro SMEs to receive additional assistance of RM500 in September and RM500 in November.
2. Government to remove the RM4,000 limit for the salary subsidy programme, to provide a salary subsidy of RM600 per employee for four months.
3. Additional RM100 million under SME Digitalisation Grant for SMEs and micro SMEs to get matching grants of up to RM5,000 for purchase or subscription of digital systems.
4. A six-month moratorium for all individual borrowers and micro-entrepreneurs with no documentation needed as all applications will be automatically approved.
5. Postpone of monthly income tax instalment payments for companies, the government has also agreed to waive tourism, services taxes for hotel operators until year-end.
6. RM3,000 one-off’ assistance for more than 5,300 registered travel agencies to help them revive their businesses when the country moves to the Third Phase of the National Recovery Plan.
To read more about the PEMULIH stimulus package, clickhere or you can also read up the article summarised by The Vulcan Post.
Get your business back on track
WORQ has also launched a series of Uplift Initiatives since last year. We’ve got your back with the WORQ-Aid 3.0 campaign.
Together with our partners, WORQ shares the list of business resources in the hope to benefit and ride the wave with the business community:
1. Workshops, training and mentorships through the Selangor Accelerator Programme 2021 by SIDEC
2. Webinars and forums co-hosted with various partners
3. Free access to Open Academy’s learning app for self-learning and upskilling under their #StayAhead program
4. (COMING SOON) Digital aid in the form of a free consultation with fellow industry experts to turn around your business through the SPARQ app, an app that accelerates business collaboration by connecting you with the industry experts and community.
You are not alone!
It’s time that we go beyond helping each other, with simple gestures such as calling our family and friends, looking out for each other in the neighbourhood. If you notice that household with the white flag, call out to them to ask how you can help them. Social distancing is needed to keep our loved ones safe but never let that be an excuse to turn a cold shoulder to the people around us. We can keep our social distance yet stay connected to each other.
To those that are currently struggling, do not give up, instead reach out for help. You will be surprised that there are many kind souls who are willing to help out.
“Kalau susah, jangan pendam seorang diri. Kongsi dengan orang terdekat. Semoga beban dapat dipikul bersama (If it’s difficult, don’t bear it alone. Share with people nearby. Hopefully, the burden can be borne together).” – Anonymous Kickstarter behind the #BenderaPutih movement