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ISSUE 12 | Jul 2023

Doing Our Part in Asia's 
Philanthropic Sector


“The time for Asia to lead is NOW,” said Naina Barta, CEO of the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) in her opening speech for the AVPN Global Conference 2023.

As one of the conference’s lead partners, we were excited to host Asia’s largest social investment conference in one of Malaysia’s most iconic event spaces; Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). With an overarching theme of ‘Global Challenges: Asian Solutions’ and an emphasis on collaborations to amplify existing efforts rather than replicating, here are some highlights from the week-long conference.

Vision Dinner at JW Marriott

We also hosted the AVPN Vision Dinner at Shook!, The Starhill Dining KL where speakers, partners and friends of AVPN came together to celebrate its 11th Global Conference and to explore potential collaborations to catalyse capital for greater impact in Asia.

Building A Thriving Philanthropic Ecosystem in Asia: A Conversation

As an Asia Philanthropy Circle member and Programme Director of YTL Foundation, Dato’ Kathleen joined an invite-only conversation with representatives from various philanthropies such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rockefeller Philanthropy, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and Co-Founder and CEO of the Asia Philanthropy Circle, Laurence Lien. 

As a group, they brainstormed what a healthy and thriving philanthropic ecosystem in Asia should look like, why collaboration between philanthropists and the impacted communities is critical to the sustainability of the ecosystem and how better communication is needed to spotlight the value of philanthropy as a sector in addressing Asia’s societal issues.

The Transformative Power of Investing in Marginalised Communites: A Keynote

On the final morning of the conference, Dato’ Kathleen delivered an impactful keynote speech about our newest programme; the Teachers for Educational Equity Initiative. In partnership with the University of Birmingham, the Initiative aims to uplift and empower teachers in rural and indigenous national schools and informal schools across Malaysia, through world-class teacher education. 

In its inaugural year, we received 42 nominations from 11 informal schools in the Klang Valley and 42 nominations from Teach for Malaysia whose Fellows are currently placed in rural and indigenous schools in Sarawak and Perak. Beyond equipping teachers to make a positive impact on students and communities, we aim to discover a teacher education model that resonates deeply within Malaysia and the wider region of Asia as we are driven by a genuine desire to create localised solutions for a global challenge – educational inequity.

Shaping Philanthropy Leaders of the Future: A Panel Discussion

Moderated by Robert Rosen of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dato’ Kathleen was joined by Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Acumen and James Chen, Chairman of the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation for a panel discussion about shaping philanthropy leaders of the future. 

The panel shared their thoughts and experiences on how character, purpose and sense of self factor into impact-driven leadership. Dato’ Kathleen and Jacqueline also shared why shared values are vital to the establishment of long-lasting partnerships and how their shared values led to the creation of Malaysia Acumen Academy.

Lunch with AVPN Delegates from China

To conclude an insightful and inspiring week, we had lunch with several AVPN delegates from China. We shared our ideas, passion and motivation for wanting to make the world a better place through philanthropy. 

We look forward to potential collaborations with Karina Wu, NextGen of Dadu Group of Companies; Fiona Li, Midsummer Consulting; Ruby Zhang, Global Assembly China; Jeremy Tang, Tong Leadership Academy; Amy Zhang, Singapore Global Trust; Moon, Lili publisher and Jing and Angela, SEEDInVenture.
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YTL Foundation Updates

Over 2000 Applications Received for 2023’s Malaysia Teacher Prize

The Malaysia Teacher Prize is back this year, with the aim to celebrate exceptional educators in Malaysia.

In collaboration with PEMIMPIN GSL, this prestigious award seeks to inspire teachers in making a positive impact on their students and communities by promoting a more equitable education space and empowering the next generation, within and beyond the classroom.

There was overwhelming participation as we received over 2135 nominations to acknowledge outstanding and deserving educators from all across Malaysia. Applications are now closed, but stay tuned to find out the shortlisted candidates and the eventual winners of this year’s Malaysia Teacher Prize!

The winners of this esteemed prize will be awarded a one-of-a-kind prize where the most outstanding teacher will receive a cash prize of RM50,000, and the top five finalists will be taking home RM5,000 each. In addition, the top 10 finalists will receive professional development training which will potentially scale their intervention in the classroom and assist them to better understand their impact on the community.

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Unleashing Learning Adventures with KelasKita

Unlock the world of learning with KelasKita, an online learning programme that empowers dedicated education implementers to provide tuition to children in local communities. With our Learn From Home materials and a team of dedicated volunteers, including professionals like Leong Kwok Yan from the YTL Legal department and Wong Xiao Cheng from Malaysia Acumen Academy, Year 5 students are embarking on an incredible journey to master English.

For Kwok Yan and Xiao Cheng, volunteering at KelasKita has been a rewarding experience, as they were amazed by the students’ eagerness to learn as well as their undivided attention in class. Over the course of five months, they observed visible improvements in students’ proficiency and confidence. According to our two volunteers, what sets KelasKita apart is its engaging and fun syllabus. The syllabus is tailored to the students’ academic needs specially designed to be interactive, making learning a blast.

Xiao Cheng initially hesitated to volunteer as she felt intimidated by the idea of teaching children, but consistency made it easier over time. She also had an interesting experience as she has a special student fighting leukemia. At first, this student was shy and quiet, but as time passed, she began to be more engaged and expressive. Today, she is one of the most dedicated and active students in the class, reminding us of the incredible strength that resides in the human spirit.
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Computer Skills Programme: Creating & Delivering Effective Presentations

In March, Leaps Academy hosted a Computer Skills Programme for 10 children from two community schools, conducted by three YTL Scholars - Shamugam, Sharon and Fanthagiro.

Over the course of four lessons, the children learned to create presentation slides, using Canva. They created a simple deck with relevant pictures and key points of a topic of interest to them. 

During the last session, each of them took turns presenting their deck and were encouraged to ask thoughtful questions about the topics presented.
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YTL Sustainability Programme: The 5R’s of Waste Management

To instil responsible waste management practices among the young, a team from YTL Sustainability conducted a physical session on the importance of the 5R: “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, Refuse and Repurpose” to a group of 15 children, ages 10-12 from two community schools.

The children learned to plant an onion using materials such as used plastic bottles and cloths. We hope their spring onions are growing well!

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Scholar Update: David Foo’s Journey in Marketing

David Foo, a Baylor University graduate with a degree in Business Administration in Marketing is currently thriving in his role as a Marketing and Research Executive at YTL Communications. His days are filled with segmenting internal data, sourcing and compiling external research for the marketing team.

As a YTL Foundation Scholar Alumni, David feels especially grateful for the opportunities he has had. Throughout his scholarship journey, the YTL Foundation team ensured that his needs were met and supported his journey into the working world. He attributes his present success to the Foundation team.

What truly fuels David’s enthusiasm for his work is the passion displayed by the team he works with. Witnessing their unwavering commitment to providing the best possible services to users inspires him. Each day, he arrives at work with a clear goal and sense of purpose – an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.
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Partnership updates

Pemimpin gsl

Back in February, PEMIMPIN GSL successfully organised the ASLI Workshop Series Cycle 4. The participants, guided by the School Development Improvement Plan, focused on Indigenous Students' Schools (SMOA) and reflected on their intervention progress. During this workshop, they explored collaborative sessions on well-being and community involvement, enriching their intervention plans and aiming to enhance the success of SMOA students. The team also held a meeting with the Ministry of Education’s Educational Resources and Technology Division (BSTP), which was chaired by its Director Mr. Zainal Abas, where they presented the idea of a mobile app for teacher professionalism, demonstrating their commitment to comprehensive professional development programmes.

In the most recent event, PEMIMPIN GSL hosted a roundtable discussion for LADAP+ (Leadership and Development Application by PEMIMPIN GSL), a forthcoming mobile app focusing on the professional development of teachers in Malaysia. The session brought together 181 participants, of which 70% are teachers while 30% represent stakeholders and officers from various education sectors, including the State Education Department and District Education Office.

The discussion gathered valuable insights on teachers' professional development, emphasising the need for bite-sized content and a platform for sharing experiences and challenges among educators. In its continuous mission to expand professional development programmes for educators, PEMIMPIN GSL looks forward to fulfilling this goal with the upcoming application.
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YTL Foundation was founded in 1997 on the belief that education is the basis on which every society progresses. By improving education, empowering future generations and building tomorrow’s leaders, YTL Foundation aims to empower individuals and communities to be catalysts of change.

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