Launched a year ago with the signing held at the Asean Secretariat in Jakarta, the eMpowering Youths Across Asean gathered 100 youths aged between 19 and 35 years, from the region to develop and implement community projects that deliver tangible long-term impact, socially and economically. (Pic by Maybank)

KUALA LUMPUR: Maybank Foundation and the Asean Foundation have signed a three-year extension agreement for the eMpowering Youths Across Asean programme.

The signing was held at the new Asean Secretariat building launched on August 8 by Indonesian president Joko Widodo in conjunction with the 52nd Asean Day celebration.

A signing ceremony for the extension of this partnership which was witnessed by the foreign ministers from 10 Asean member states, Asean secretary-general Datuk Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Maybank group president and chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, Asean Foundation’s board of trustees chair Kok Li Peng, Asean permanent representatives chair Phasporn Sangasubana, and Maybank Indonesia president director Taswin Zakaria.

Signing on behalf of Maybank was Maybank Foundation CEO Shahril Azuar Jimin while the Asean Foundation was represented by its executive director Elaine Tan.

Launched a year ago with the signing held at the Asean Secretariat in Jakarta, the eMpowering Youths Across Asean gathered 100 youths aged between 19 and 35 years, from the region to develop and implement community projects that deliver tangible long-term impact, socially and economically.

The programme provides micro grants totalling US$200,000 to commence community initiatives that can alleviate poverty and empower Asean communities.

Among others, the initiative will play a significant role in helping to achieve the objectives as laid out in the Asean Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The programme which ran from August 2018 to August 2019, had kicked off with a regional capacity building and orientation workshop in January in the Asean Studies Centre of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.

Following the workshops, all youths were deployed to selected community areas in Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia to embark on community projects with a focus on four specific areas, namely community empowerment, arts and culture, environmental diversity and education.

“The community projects through this programme represents Maybank’s commitment to being at the heart of the community, which is closely aligned with our mission to humanise financial services.

“This is an example of an intra Asean programme and a proof point of what we hope to be, a continued success of a public-private partnership for years to come.

“We are confident that this platform will continue to channel the energy and creativity of Asean youths into challenging and meaningful activities that will strengthen community bonds, encourage volunteerism and generate innovative solutions to socio-economic challenges while positively impacting the communities,” said Shahril.