[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]104 students in a rural school at Belaga, Sarawak finally got to take part in sports games after three long years of sports day dry spell in the school due to financial constraint. Their dream to participate in sports day was realised by their dedicated teacher, Sir Syamil Yahya, who used Give.my to crowdfund for the sports day from the public.
Sir Syamil’s initiative to organize a sports day for his students is simple, but speaks volume about the lack of attention given by many responsible parties towards rural schools and other marginalized education institutions.
“The sports day provided my students a learning opportunity they never had. And the fundraiser allowed the public to better understand the education gap between rural and urban schools. I am so thankful for all the contributions and supports offered by the public to this project. ”
Give.my is a community involvement platform that allows local communities to give back to the society by funding educators’ projects. The range of projects is very diverse, they can be public archaeology workshops, classroom improvements and even therapy for children with special needs — as long as the projects are benefiting the students.
Three youths, Kal Joffres, a social entrepreneur; Chan Oga, a former Teach for Malaysia staff member; and Felix Chong Wai Ming, an internet entrepreneur launched Give.my as they understood the struggles faced by many educators in Malaysia. Educators often have to fork out their own money to provide the students with learning materials and opportunities. More than one teachers who approached Give.my for their projects told the team the same thing.
Besides, the teachers also have to submit a vast amount of paperworks required by the school management in order to create an extracurricular programme. Over time, the passion to bring extraordinary learning experience to the students dies off.
Give.my started in July 2015, hosting a total of 12 education projects from Kedah to Sarawak. All 12 projects were successfully funded thanks to more than 340 generous donors. Amazingly, RM 50,000 was fundraised in less than 2 months, benefiting over 3,000 students. The achievements make Give.my the largest crowdfunding platform in Malaysia to date.
Education projects are submitted to the team through Give.my website (www.give.my) to undergo a series of feedback loops to make sure the projects are crafted to provide the students the most significant impacts. “We have project consultants who help teachers in improving their project ideas. We want the funds to go to helping the students directly without any wastage,” said Kal, the Co-Founder of Give.my.
When the projects are online, the team assists the educators in reaching out to the donors. For projects that are asking for around RM 5,000, the educators normally have 6 weeks to get the projects funded. The educators will need to send thank you note and impact report to the donors after the completion of their projects.
Give.my encourages the public to join force to give for education. Other than donating to the projects, the community members are encouraged to be the project ambassadors. Project ambassadors who adopt projects on Give.my help educators promote their projects to an extended network of people. They do this by pledging a challenge on social media, where once the adopted project hits its fundraising target, the ambassadors will carry out the challenge they promised.
If everyone could work together, the team believes that the community is strong enough to empower educators in Malaysia.