QI Group's foundation launches community-driven empowerment project

KUALA LUMPUR: The RYTHM Foundation (RF), Malaysia-owned QI Group's social impact arm, has launched a community-driven empowerment project aimed at improving the lives of girls and women in rural Thailand.

According to Santhi Periasamy, the RF's head, the beneficiaries would receive capacity-building training to enable them to develop long-term solutions to issues affecting their physical, social, economic, and cultural environments.

The project, titled "Community Capacity Building, Women Empowerment, and Livelihood Education Development for Vulnerable Female Youth and Young Adults," promotes a community-driven livelihoods intervention to ensure ownership while training the women in entrepreneurship, financial literacy, decision-making, leadership and other skills.

Santhi said it would impart crucial 21st-century life skills development that encompasses effective communication, interpersonal relationships, character building, empathy, critical thinking, and creative thinking skills, for future workforce development.  

The three-year initiative combines the power of education and sports to drive social change. 

It will kick off by training 60 women (including single mothers and women from low-income families, between the ages of 21 to 35) as programme facilitators.

According to Santhi, the project aimed to enable a social intervention that will potentially benefit over 10,000 disadvantaged women and young girls in the nation.

"We do not only want to ensure improved access to resources and opportunities but also to allow the community to take ownership and be the architects of design so that they can continue this capacity building and empowerment efforts long after the three-year timeline for this project is over," she said.

The carefully curated framework, according to Santhi, will be implemented in the Chonburi Province of eastern Thailand through RF's new chapter in collaboration with its existing partner, ASA Foundation, an NGO focused on youth education and empowerment through sustainable social interventions.

She said the establishment of the RF chapter in Thailand was the first step in the foundation's plans to establish deeper roots in Southeast Asia and broaden its social impact on the Indo-China region.

RF, which is headquartered in Hong Kong and has a regional operations office in Malaysia, had implemented social impact projects in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

  The foundation now plans to expand its reach to help underserved communities in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar.

Santhi said the opening of a Thailand chapter is a strategic move on RF's part to enable the foundation to do more within its backyard in the Asean region.

"Our goal at RF is to implement programmes that have the potential to effect long-lasting social change and help vulnerable populations especially women, young girls, and children in disadvantaged communities rise above their circumstances," she said.

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