The Puan Sri Kai Yong Yeoh Book Prize, founded in 2011 and open to all children of YTL employees, has inspired many young minds over the years to challenge seemingly fortified boundaries. One such example is the story of Nadia Farah Saddiq from the UK, who conceptualised a social enterprise targeted at addressing period poverty amongst young girls in countries such as India and Pakistan, amongst others.
As part of her entry for the Book Prize, Nadia made a video to explain her plan in greater depth. In some countries where period poverty pervades, girls are considered shameful, rejected by the community. Some girls are sent miles away in exile during the duration of their period. Lasting up to seven days, this often means most of these girls are left with limited access to food and without shelter, family and safety.
Aspiring to work with big lingerie brands such as Victoria Secret, Nadia’s social enterprise would match orders bought in stores, providing reusable undergarments to girls in countries like Pakistan, India and Kenya. Over time, she wishes to build factories in areas where girls are discriminated against. She strongly feels that if girls were offered access to proper undergarments and sanitary napkins, they would not be considered dirty by the community. In turn, better hygiene levels and more opportunities will arise. When the video was played at the annual YTL Group leadership conference (LEAD), it received widespread attention and sparked many conversations.
Having entered the competition at the tender age of 15, Nadia’s effort embodies the spirit of the Book Prize, which is about honing potential and inspiring the younger generation to go the extra mile. The Book Prize welcomes and shapes creativity, providing a platform where emerging minds delve into and unfurl issues that do not necessarily make it to the classroom.
Named eponymously after the wife of the late Tan Sri (Dr) Yeoh Tiong Lay, the Book Prize is inspired by Puan Sri’s love of teaching and shaping young minds. In her formative years, Puan Sri Kai Yong Yeoh was an outstanding student both academically and in the performing arts. She would go on to make remarkable contributions in her teaching career, educating students in Mathematics and Chinese. More importantly, her career was about helping students realise their full potential.
In spite of full-time teaching engagements, she personally saw to the needs of her own children, tutoring and nurturing them to be well-rounded individuals rooted in strong family values. Although she has since retired from the teaching profession, she continues her passion by tutoring her grandchildren in Mathematics.
The structure of the Book Prize – combining both creative mediums and research essays – fosters a more holistic approach to pressing contemporary issues. In cultivating curiosity in participants, the Book Prize encourages the future generation of thinkers and leaders to start young, beckoning anyone with an eye for a rigorous challenge.
For more information on the Book Prize, click here.
This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.Programme Director of YTL Foundation, Dato Kathleen Chew was invited for a conversation on The Business of Philanthropy with Badr Jafar, an initiative by the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Over the course of the conversation, Dato Kathleen spoke on the Foundation’s core initiatives, branching out to a broader discussion concerning corporate philanthropy and its importance.
To watch, click here.