2021 in Review: Milestones from a Challenging Year
RYTHM worked with GHE to provide electricity to villagers in a remote Himalayan region.
In 2021, RYTHM Foundation worked amid more significant challenges than ever to support the underserved and vulnerable around the world.
Despite crises like extended COVID-19 restrictions and the devastating year-end floods in Malaysia, the Foundation recorded numerous accomplishments with its partner organisations.
RYTHM’s Annual Project Report 2021 details the progress with these organisations through its ongoing focus on four United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: to advance quality education for all, gender equality, sustainable cities and communities, and global partnerships.
“The challenges undeniably had an impeding effect on our projects,” RYTHM Foundation Head, Santhi Periasamy, said in the report’s foreword. “Fighting every battle in our way to impact communities was draining. Yet, we rose to our feet and did all (that was) necessary.”
The unfortunate events invariably carved out a learning curve for RYTHM. “The year was a reminder that life is never to be taken for granted. Problems have solutions; what matters is how much focus is given to finding the solutions,” Santhi added.
The notable milestones included:
SDG 4: EDUCATION FOR ALL
RYTHM is working with DHRRA to end statelessness and provide education for undocumented children.
Development of Human Resources for Rural Areas (DHRRA)
Working extensively to end statelessness in Malaysia, RYTHM and DHRRA registered and obtained minimum documentation for nearly 400 impacted children in 2021. The collaboration aims to get primary and secondary education for 600 undocumented children, involving 380 teachers, parent-teacher associations, and community leaders by May this year.
Nearly 9,800 youth and young adults have participated in a social intervention programme by RYTHM and Indonesia’s ASA Foundation. The effort promoting healthy behaviour and gender equality through sports-based activities also won a gold medal in the 2021 Indonesian SDGs Award (ISDA).
SDG 5: GENDER EQUALITY
Mann Deshi Foundation
In 2018, RYTHM and India’s Mann Deshi Foundation developed a three-year programme to train 800 young rural women in Maharashtra to earn a livelihood. As a result, some 500 women are now part of the civil service. In addition, the project seeks to create a cadre of mentors to train other rural girls and young women to participate in or explore sports-related professions.
RYTHM and Parinaama are helping women in marginalised communities improve their standard of living.
Parinaama Development Foundation
Over 10,000 women across three Indian states have benefitted from a micro-enterprises training programme by RYTHM and Parinaama. In addition, nearly 740 of a targeted 1,300 coaches have completed their training to assist the beneficiaries. Last month, the life-changing economic empowerment programme bagged a silver accolade at the CSR Times Award in India.
SDG 11: COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Manava Seva Dharma Samvardhani (MSDS)
More than a third of 2,700 beneficiaries have been engaged in a project to create an ecosystem for social entrepreneurship and accelerate social citizenry in India. The collaboration has, to date, nurtured two social entrepreneurs and supported them to achieve their goals. Sheeba Sen, of the Aalap People’s Foundation, has planted 5,300 trees in various Uttarakhand locations. In contrast, R. Jeeva, founder of Transgenders Rights Association Chennai, created 13 self-help groups for transgender entrepreneurs within six months.
Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE)
In March 2021, an ambitious alliance with India’s Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) set out to build a solar-powered primary healthcare centre for 23,000 rural patients in the Meghalaya region. RYTHM also worked with GHE to provide electricity to 470 villagers – 420 of which already have access through three solar grids managed by the targeted communities.
STAFF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (SSR)
Flood damage in Karak, Pahang, after two days of torrential rain.
QI Group’s staff kept busy throughout 2021 by participating in 15 activities across Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Russia, Turkey, the UAE, and Thailand.
They contributed time and resources to numerous activities – from environmental clean-ups to COVID-19 relief efforts – and raised nearly MYR 45,000 in contributions along the way.
The pandemic-related relief efforts included assisting temporary care centres and providing medical supplies, dry food and rations, and free vaccinations.
Standing in solidarity with Malaysia’s flood survivors, staff leapt into action by raising an additional MYR 40,000 last December to help several communities affected by the calamity.