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RM100M FUND: Najib launches im4u to promote volunteerism
PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak declared next year as the Year of the Volunteer, announcing a host of measures, including a RM100 million fund, to support youth volunteers.
He said “a great wave” of youthful vigour was about to sweep the nation, as he introduced the 1Malaysia For Youth (im4u) concept to celebrate young people and the spirit of volunteerism.
“I am for you (im4u), we are for you, the youth of today and the youth of tomorrow,” he said at the launch of the programme at Esplanade KLCC Park yesterday.
im4u, with the theme “From Youth, To Youth, For Youth”, is a platform to help young people contribute their time and skills to make the country a better place.
Under the concept, an im4u Board of Trustees, to be chaired by Najib, will be set up to oversee programmes and initiatives.
The initiatives, Najib said, included Dana Sukarelawan 1Malaysia (DRe1M), a RM100 million fund that would provide seed money to give young volunteers a head start in their volunteerism efforts.
“You can do it your way, for your causes, according to your likes and interests, whichever way you think is best.
“Whether it’s setting up tuition classes for Orang Asli children, cleaning up the beach or repainting your neighbourhood flats, we will assist you,” he told the 50,000-strong crowd of young people.
He said a task force would be appointed to decide the amount to be given to volunteer youth groups or individuals, as long as they were not part of any association or uniformed group.
He encouraged groups to apply for the grant online through im4u to speed up their applications.
Najib announced plans to set up an im4u radio station to highlight ideas and talents of young Malaysians.
“The voice of youth is the voice of the country’s future.”
Najib, who visited booths set up by volunteer and youth groups, said he was honoured and humbled by the causes championed by those involved in the im4u programme.
“I have met those who care for the environment, those who have set up education programmes and those who are joining the fight against cancer.
“This afternoon, we have seen a great wave rise up, made up of the young and the young at heart who have gathered here to determine a better future for our country.
“It’s a wave that’s not about disrupting society or joining street demonstrations, but about helping to build a nation.
“And the government is here to help. We will do our best to guarantee a future for the young that is filled with the light of hope, as we lay down the foundation for our country’s success together.”
At the function, Najib introduced Mohd Zhariff Afandi, 31, who was born without hands.
The Youth and Sports Ministry’s icon has been involved in volunteer and community work for 10 years despite his handicap.
“Zhariff is willing to work for the community and im2u should be able to churn out thousands, if not millions, of volunteers like him,” said Najib.
Zhariff is the grandson of former Pahang menteri besar, the late Tan Sri Yahya Mohd Seh.
More than 30 organisations, including 15 government ministries, took part in the programme.
Present were Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek and Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.