Community service is about rendering selfless services to the people, especially the less fortunate.
Embarking on a path to improve and change people’s lives is a noble calling and requires deep conviction.
For many, community service makes life more meaningful for those involved.
NGOs in Malaysia serve society in various ways.
The Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) is the oldest and among the largest NGOs in Malaysia. Its history spans over 80 years with notable environmental achievements.
Another environmental NGO is the Free Tree Society, which offers free trees to green the earth.
Another NGO, Mercy Malaysia, has a track record of outstanding delivery of medical and humanitarian aid and assistance to target groups.
- Sign up for Aliran's free daily email updates or weekly newsletters or both
- Make a one-off donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB a/c 8004240948
- Make a regular pledge or periodic auto-donation to Aliran
- Become an Aliran member
Besides these NGOs, Rotary Clubs around the country provide community services to people from all walks of life, including the refugees in Malaysia.
Community safety and health are at the heart of social concerns. A resident’s feeling of safety in a community is deeply personal and has a major bearing on the livelihood and health of a community.
When we feel safe in our neighbourhoods, we are more likely to walk and bike to work, enjoy our parks, interact with neighbours and attend community events. The safer residents feel, the more vibrant their community becomes.
One new kid on the block in Malaysia which has emerged with a commitment to delivering safety programmes and welfare assistance to communities is Pertubuhan Ikatan Komuniti Selamat (Alliance for a Safe Community), popularly known by its acronym Ikatan.
Registered in 2018, Ikatan started work in 2019. This NGO wants to make people aware of our responsibility to promote safety and health for a better living environment.
Ikatan’s community service
Ikatan has three major objectives:
- Serving as a conduit to link individuals and professionals involved in safety and health
- Enlightening the public about safety and health matters
- Aspiring to become a centre of excellence to impart experience and knowledge and to develop a culture of safety among the people
Almost five years since its inception, Ikatan has been involved in work to improve safety in society while assisting the less fortunate.
Ikatan contributes to society in a couple of ways.
The group has a training centre at its premises in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, which has full range of training aids. The centre has employed skilled professionals to educate people about safety in a way that inspires and empowers them.
The group’s mental wellbeing programmes play a key role in raising mental health awareness and exploring how communities can work together to boost society’s mental wellbeing.
Ikatan is currently involved in work to improve road safety, safety at home, crime prevention, mental wellbeing and the financial situation of marginalised communities.
Climate change and its consequences are also on Ikatan’s agenda. Communities are now experiencing the impacts of climate change, with increased floods caused by human-made ecological disasters.
Ikatan aims to raise public consciousness about disaster risk reductions. The group also provides the training required to confront the unexpected.
To work effectively in these areas, Ikatan has forged strategic partnerships with other NGOs and government agencies.
Here are some of Ikatan’s notable activities since its inception:
- Supplying foods to areas where white flags were raised during the Covid movement restrictions in August 2021
- Distributing aid to three deserving Tamil schools – Puchong, Kinrara and Castlefield – in October 2022: 30 students from poor backgrounds from each school were identified and given RM300
- Visiting the Kuala Kubu Baru heritage town in November 2021 to learn about environmental matters affecting the township
- Organising a safety programme at Kelab Darul Ehsan in Ampang, Selangor to enlighten participants about safety measures during floods to prevent drownings, especially among children
Collaboration with UNDP
Despite being a relatively new NGO, Ikatan secured a small grant from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in December 2020.
Ikatan also collaborates with Universiti Putra Malaysia in capacity-building and empowering indigenous people, especially the Semai community in Batang Padang.
This initiative involves developing a conservation and education manual in the Semai language. This helps to empower the Semai youth in efforts to preserve their culture and protect the pangolin.
The project also aims to strengthen the competency of the Semai people and broaden their socioeconomic development. The Batang Padang Orang Asli Welfare Association (PEROABP) is the project implementation partner, and RM200,000 has been allocated for this meaningful project.
Competent volunteers help Ikatan in critical areas of their work in safety, health, environment and community service.
Concerned folk and the corporate sector also support Ikatan’s work. Financial support is, of course, essential to sustain the activities of NGOs.
NGOs like Ikatan play a pivotal role in implementing programmes at the grassroots level, as they are close to the communities. Often, they serve as a major conduit between the government and the underprivileged in the country.