Community Development


Focus Area Aspiration

To enable and support community-led actions that strengthen social cohesion, inclusivity and equity through sustainable social and economic development

In addition to our priorities in this focus area, there is an ongoing initiative to design and create public spaces that improve liveability for communities in Malaysia. Whether a natural space such as a park, a place for sports and recreation, or a site of historical and cultural relevance, a public space plays a vital role in the social and economic life of communities. A public space promotes a sense of community, being a place that is accessible to people and a point for social gathering and interaction. Our Public Spaces Initiative will contain elements and involve partners from all our focus areas, depending on the needs of each community. This is illustrated by our on-going partnership with the Cruyff Foundation to provide free, open spaces for youth and children to be active while encouraging an active lifestyle; as well as our support for Think City, an organisation that works closely with government, local and international agencies, and the community to deliver long-term holistic urban regeneration solutions.

Our Priorities In Community Development

Capacity Building of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)

Malaysia has a growing presence of civil society working in many important areas such as education, youth and women empowerment, and environmental protection. However, around the world, and Malaysia is no exception, civil society organisations face a multitude of challenges that impede their effectiveness in creating and implementing solutions for society. These challenges include fundraising, talent development, organisational management, and more. To help our partner CSOs overcome these challenges in pursuit of their goals, we place a large emphasis on partner capacity building in our work.

“I equate the work done by Voice of the Children to drops of water that make the mighty ocean waves. Though small, we make a significant impact on the life of each child that we advocate for and, ultimately, the future of the nation.”

Sharmila Sekaran,
Voice of the Children

Vulnerable Communities

Communities of low socio-economic status lacking access to basic needs and social services are vulnerable to sudden shocks such as financial crises or natural disasters. Malaysia’s inclusive development agenda prioritises addressing the needs of vulnerable communities who have been identified as the bottom 40% of the household income bracket.

“We approach poverty eradication in a holistic manner by looking at various components through a needs assessment of villages. We build sustainable communities by providing them the necessary [tools] for self-sufficiency.”

Tan Sri Faizah Mohd Tahir,
Yayasan Sejahtera

  • Rural Poor – Reliable provision of basic needs and social services can lead to a better living environment and higher education attainment among rural communities. We believe in the need to allocate better resources for rural communities across the country. Our partnership with Yayasan Sejahtera is a good example of our work in this space. Yayasan Sejahtera engages vulnerable communities and assists them in creating sustainable living environments which will improve their quality of life.
  • Urban Poor – More than half of Malaysia’s Bottom 40% households reside in urban areas. Urban neighbourhoods become distressed when the communities within face multiple challenges such as unemployment, lack of housing, and low educational attainment. We support initiatives that strengthen the capacity and resilience of these communities in overcoming these challenges. An example of such a partnership is the one we have with TECH Outreach Malaysia, an organisation that runs a micro-credit financing scheme with business coaching and entrepreneurial training for selected women entrepreneurs from low-income urban neighbourhoods.
“When children come to our centre, they are in a safe environment. But we cannot protect children beyond our four walls, so the community needs to be involved. We need to be as concerned about other people’s children as we are with ours. We need to keep every child safe regardless of where they are from. ”

Ananti Rajasingam,
Yayasan Chow Kit

Learn more about our Community Development Partners