The Gift of Life programme aims to continue impacting the lives of those most in need.
From schools and welfare organisations to underprivileged individuals from rural and underserved communities, RYTHM Foundation’s Gift of Life (GOL) programme has aided hundreds of people, including indigenous groups, children’s homes, special needs learners, and many others.
GOL began as an endeavour by QI Group Founder and Executive Chairman Dato’ Sri Vijay Eswaran and RYTHM Foundation Chairperson Datin Sri Umayal Eswaran with personal contributions to worthy causes and deserving individuals to mark the couple’s birthdays, anniversaries, and other important milestones.
Today, the programme is a heartwarming aspect of QI’s culture. Family, friends, colleagues, and employees have embraced contributing through GOL in place of flowers, cakes, and other presents to mark special occasions meaningfully.
The Head of RYTHM, Santhi Periasamy, shared how the project aims to continue impacting the lives of those most in need.
“Each Gift of Life adoption verges to RYTHM’s primary focus areas: education for all, gender equality and sustainable community development, focusing on critical and urgent community and individual needs.
“As these projects mirror the Foundation’s focus areas, they should maximise their impact on improving, uplifting and empowering communities,” Santhi added.
GOL has benefitted numerous schools, including learning initiatives for indigenous children.
Identifying Worthy Causes
As the social impact initiative of QI, RYTHM strives to identify one or two worthwhile causes under GOL each month. Aid in kind or funding could include minor infrastructure changes or repairs, or donations of equipment, furniture, stationery, and teaching and learning materials.
Since being structured into a formal programme, GOL has benefitted numerous underfunded schools and students in remote and low-income communities in Malaysia, where many national schools in these areas direly need aid and funding.
“From fixing broken toilets to setting up libraries and even patching exposed electrical wiring, it is heartening to note that GOL has and continues to support many underfunded schools,” Santhi said.
A triumphant GOL initiative Santhi is particularly proud of is the contribution of teaching resources to SUKA Society, a local NGO working to protect and preserve children’s best interests.
“A significant focus area for SUKA is attending to the needs of indigenous children in remote areas. They are doing a fantastic job setting up preschools for these children across Malaysia and training individuals from these communities to become teachers.”
GOL also reaches out to deserving students from low-income families, particularly bright scholars losing out on tertiary education because their families can’t afford registration payments, tuition fees or a laptop for studies.
“GOL has stepped in to help these extremely deserving young people by providing them financial aid and, in some instances, sponsoring their higher education,” Santhi added.
GOL makes contributions in place of conventional gifts to mark special occasions.
While the programme has primarily lent a hand to educational endeavours, Santhi stressed that the Foundation aspires for GOL to support and uplift more of those in need.
“We would be happy to consider requests from civic society organisations or NGOs seeking funding for skills training programmes for women in need, preschools, or academic advancement classes for children, to name a few efforts.”
Although Malaysians have responded with fortitude and flexibility to COVID-19 in the endemic stage, Santhi noted that the improvements have been unequal. “Moreover, for many, the crisis is far from over. The people in the communities we are committed to serving are still reeling from the loss of jobs and incomes.
“Many women who started small businesses, for instance, have lost their regular customers or can’t attract new business. In this context, we are receptive to funding refresher courses or additional training like financial literacy for small businesses for these individuals.”
RYTHM is also keen to support efforts addressing mental health issues, domestic abuse, and other projects that help alleviate the isolation and other hardships affecting underserved communities.
“Many different concerns and needs have emerged from the pandemic. While we would be willing to consider bite-size initiatives under GOL in these areas, they could grow into pivotal RYTHM ventures if they show promise,” she revealed.
To ensure the success of each GOL collaboration with an organisation, a requirement by RYTHM includes the requesting organisation initially bearing 30% of the project’s cost.
“Ensuring the sustainability of a project GOL undertakes is imperative, and this condition demonstrates that the collaborator has the means to sustain and see the initiative through. However, we will reimburse the organisation upon the successful project completion,” Santhi explained.