YAYASAN PETRONAS and its partners have rolled out “Sentuhan Harapan - Planting Tomorrow”, an entrepreneurship programme aimed at harnessing the skills of those in the B40 community bracket.
The programme additionally intends to improve the financial strength and livelihood of the latter.
In Sabah and Terengganu, more than 460 low income families have participated in the programme since its inception in 2017, that has seen promising results; with some families gaining a three-fold increase in their household income.
“The Planting Tomorrow programme is in support of the government’s efforts to alleviate poverty in the country. It has delivered positive impact - increasing the household income of the poor and improving the local economy in several states,” said Yayasan PETRONAS Acting CEO Lita Osman.
The programme includes six months training on financial management, product marketing, motivation and personal grooming. Additionally, participants received monthly food aid worth RM80 for a year through a partnership with non-profit organisation, Yayasan MyKasih, via its cashless payment system.
Other amenities were also provided by Yayasan PETRONAS, such as a water gravity-feed supply, homestay development, agriculture equipment and seeds to help these communities cultivate a sustainable income.
For instance, in Sabah, villagers who used to spend four hours on foot to fetch water are now able to translate this time to growing their crops and other productive enterprise activities, thanks to the water gravity-feed supply.
“Social progress is inclusive and we’re encouraged that more Malaysians will have a better quality of life through these programmes. Yayasan PETRONAS intends to scale out the programme across a few states in Malaysia targeting 600 B40 communities this year, based on the success and impact of the Planting Tomorrow programme,” explained Lita.