Next of ‘Khind’

KHIND Starfish Foundation (KSF), a non-profit foundation established by Khind Holdings Berhad, celebrated the completion of “Projects for Happiness 2015” recently.

FUNDING FOR GOOD
KSF was established in 2013. It launched its “Projects for Happiness” initiative a year later. In the project’s first year, it witnessed KSF approve grants for 14 teams to carry out a variety of projects. Last year, a total of 16 teams received funding. “Projects for Happiness” is in its third year running, with a total of 20 teams already receiving grants. Still, KSF chairman Cheng Ping Keat has his eyes set on getting 25 teams approved for funding.

“I encourage students to undertake projects that give more support to arts. Next year, I hope that KSF can expand to other parts of the country as well so that we can spread more love to the country,” said Cheng.

EMPOWERING UNDERGRADUATES
“Projects for Happiness” is an initiative that invites Malaysian undergraduates to design grassroots projects that are innovative, creative and sustainable. The themes for 2015 were education, poverty eradication and cultural and performing arts. KSF provided funding of up to RM10,000 per team.

Following presentations from 14 of the teams who received financial grants from KSF, the Enactus Universiti Utara Malaysia team was awarded “The Best Project” for their organic farming initiative called 4Nature.

Enactus Universiti Utara Malaysia vice-president of project management department Leong Karh Shien shared that he was surprised at receiving “The Best Project” award. “We were actually not very well prepared for today’s presentation, as we were busy with groundwork for the Enactus Malaysia National Cup competition,” said Leong.

“4Nature is an initiative that promotes organic farming. Nowadays, many farmers use the conventional way of paddy planting which uses fertilisers that contain chemical substances.

“One of the reasons organic crops are expensive is because not everyone is doing it. Imagine if everyone did organic farming, the price of the organic crops would be lower. So one of the objectives of this project was to create awareness and make organic crops accessible as well.”

The 4Nature project is focused on using the System for Rice Intensification (SRI) to empower farmers in Kedah and Perlis. With SRI, farmers have been able to increase their harvest yield to 15 tonnes per hectare while reducing water usage by 50%. One of the farmers has also seen an increase in financial yield from RM1,500 to RM6,000 per harvest.

“SRI is labour-intensive, which is why a lot of paddy farmers are not willing to use this method,” explained Leong.

“We hope to look for more funds to develop a machine for the farmers that will make it easier for them to plant the paddy. We will be having a fundraising event at the end of October, which will be announced on our social media channels,” informed Leong.

FOR THE BETTERMENT OF ALL
Among the panel of judges was Boh Boon Chiang, who announced Enactus as the award winner. He said, “The reason we picked 4Nature as the best project is because of the implementation of environmentally friendly materials and the ability for the project to keep rolling on and benefiting more people in the future.”

Other notable projects included:
▶ “The Day I Met the Prince” by Universiti Sains Malaysia, an interactive theatre show for children with Down’s Syndrome;
▶ “Robotics Camp” by the International Islamic University Malaysia Roboteam, which aimed to promote the study of robotics and make it accessible to students;
▶ “LitMas” by Universiti Sains Malaysia, a teaching module for under-performing students of schools in rural areas; and
▶ “Classic Stories in Kajang” by New Era College, a book and documentary that preserves and tells of the stories about Kajang.

To find out how undergraduate students can be a part of “Projects for Happiness”, visit the official Khind Starfish Foundation website.