Yayasan Sime Darby launches Huluran Kasih volunteer programme

The programme is tailored as a volunteerism platform aims at nurturing the spirit of volunteerism, while promoting awareness on the causes supported by the foundation

By TMR

IN THE spirit of volunteerism, Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) on Sept 20 launched an employee volunteer programme dubbed ‘YSD Huluran Kasih’.

More than 200 employees of Sime Darby Plantation Bhd, Sime Darby Property Bhd and Sime Darby Bhd were present at the launch event which took place at the Sime Darby Convention Centre.

The flagship programme is specifically tailored as a volunteerism platform for the employees of the three Sime Darby companies, aimed at nurturing the spirit of volunteerism, while promoting awareness on the causes supported by the foundation.

The programme comprises three categories — team-based volunteering, skills-based volunteering and individual volunteering — which integrate various volunteering projects that support causes across all five YSD pillars — education, environment, community and health, sports, and arts and culture.

YSD chairman Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar in his speech said the growing interest among Sime Darby employees to find a platform to volunteer is the catalyst for the creation of YSD Huluran Kasih.

“I have been told that there is much interest among employees of the Sime Darby companies to volunteer and give back to the society, but many are unaware of where to start or how to go about it.

“To meet this need, YSD has developed a structured and scheduled volunteering programme, named the ‘YSD Huluran Kasih’, a new flagship programme with an annual budget allocation of RM300,000,” he said.

Tunku Imran added that volunteers are free to choose any project.

“Sime Darby employees may opt to volunteer for any project which YSD calls for volunteers. Or you can even come up with your own projects with your teammates and contact YSD to ask if the volunteering project may be funded by us.

“Either way, we shall be able to do good for society together,” he noted.

Sime Darby Property has also introduced a Volunteer Time Off policy to reward its employees who volunteer.

Chief people officer Nurashikin Md Sharif said a staff who volunteers in a programme will receive a half-day leave for every eight volunteer hours.

“This can be accumulated, and each staff can get as many as two days leave per year. This is in addition to their annual leave and the special birthday leave announced earlier this year,” she said.

Nurashikin added that more people are willing to work for a socially responsible company as they believe in contributing to the society.

“But more importantly, speaking as a human resource practitioner, I believe volunteering has an important role to play in talent development,” she added.

Mercy Malaysia president Datuk Dr Ahmad Faizal Perdaus in his keynote speech lauded YSD Huluran Kasih and acknowledged its potential to become a sustainable initiative, which is crucial for any volunteerism programmes in corporate organisations.

He noted that a top-down approach from corporations and the engagement with various non-profit partners are the two ingredients that would contribute to success.

The event also honoured three projects that YSD is funding namely ‘Run with Autism’, ‘Innovate with Schools’ and ‘Riverbank Rehabilitation in Carey Island: Mangrove Planting’.

At the event, employees had the opportunity to sign up for numerous volunteering programmes with 18 YSD partners where they could pick any causes they wish to support.

They also participated in five mini workshops led by various YSD’s beneficiaries who are volunteering experts.

Some of YSD’s beneficiaries involved in the programme include Mercy Malaysia, OrphanCare Foundation, Women’s Aid Organisation, Sisters in Islam, Hospis Malaysia, Mental Health Illness Awareness and Support Association, Yayasan Chow Kit, Reef Check Malaysia, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, Global Environment Centre (GEC), Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephant, Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, Five Arts Centre, Chumbaka and ASK Dance Co Sdn Bhd.

Since October last year, YSD has carried out 18 volunteering activities which involved 231 Sime Darby employees who contributed 2,126 hours of service in total to positively impact society.