Bill Hamilton and Cecilia (Thembi) Silundika, members of Initiatives of Change International Council, visited the teams in Malaysia and Indonesia in late February, to meet with IofC colleagues and get a better understanding of their work and the challenges they face.
While in Malaysia, Bill and Thembi met with Haridas Nair, Chair of MRA IofC Malaysia and the local IofC team. They were hosted for dinner by Bharat Avalani, former Unilever Regional Integrated Brand Communications Director, Asia Africa Middle East & Turkey. Bharat, whose link to IofC goes back to his college days in India, spoke about the inner transformation he witnessed in the IofC for Business conference at Asia Plateau, in January 2020.
Mr NS Loh, a Board member of MRA IofC Malaysia and the Founding Chairman and Board Member of AKASHA Malaysia hosted the IC team over three days. AKASHA Malaysia is a ‘learning community’ that promotes healthy personal and inter-personal family relationships, starting with oneself. Based on the principles of IofC, AKASHA has been successfully working with the Chinese community in Malaysia.
AKASHA organised a few events, including a visit to their training centre, followed by a farewell dinner on the final evening to meet Nandor Lim, CEO of AKASHA. Through his own experience and training with IofC, Nandor has grown AKASHA and helped many young professionals to understand the need for, and value of compassion, honesty and service to others. This included a meeting with President of the women's section of Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) Mdm. NG Geok Chee, who deeply appreciated the training given to their volunteer help-line call centre team.
Thembi, who works for the Canadian government and is passionate about women’s empowerment, visited the programme Achieving Brain Competency (ABC) Program which runs in 10 preschools in rural Malaysia. The programme which was designed by Daya Bhagwandas, board member IofC Australia and Director of Neuro Network, enhances the intellectual, social and physical development for pre-schoolers before they start formal education.
Following this, a visit to My Skills Foundation to meet Founder Mr. S Pasupathy whose work has focused on uplifting the lives of over 1000 at-risk youth over the last 10 years. The ABC Program has been integrated into My Skills, helping enhance social skills, responsibility and leadership. Thembi spoke with 18 young women at the My Skills Foundation and encouraged them to be the next generation of changemakers.
The Malaysian visit enabled the IC team to understand the challenges and opportunities of modern Malaysia composed of Malay, Indian and Chinese communities. This visit was part of IC’s ongoing strategy to collaborate and work more closely with all the IofC Regional Groups, in this case the Asia Pacific Coordinating Group (APCG). Siddharth Singh, Managing Director of IofC India, who serves on the APCG coordinating group accompanied Bill and Thembi on their visit to Malaysia and Indonesia.