This article highlights the NGO@Makerthon, initiated in collaboration with Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia (YIM), SME Corp Malaysia, Biji-biji Initiative and Me.reka, to upskill and empower non-profit organizations (NGOs) with 21st-century skills for financial independence and amplified social impact.
NGOs or non-governmental organizations play an important role in developing societies, improving communities and practicing human rights. However, NGOs often lack manpower resources and the capacity to fully alleviate community challenges. Yet, their intimate access to the beneficiaries presents great potential to meaningfully impact and uplift the underprivileged communities.
In collaboration with Yayasan Inovasi Malaysia (YIM), SME Corp Malaysia, Biji-biji Initiative and Me.reka, the NGO@Makerthon was developed to address the existing gap.
Specifically, the NGO@Makerthon sets out with 4 goals.
- Empower NGOs with knowledge of STIE (Science, Technology, Innovation & Engineering)
- Identify various players within the ecosystem and bridge the changemakers to the impactors and communities in need
- Build a continuous support system for PPR communities to ensure efficient and effective ideation and implementation of STIE Solutions
- Identify NGO players at different PPR communities to identify the best solutions to replicate and connect to YIM’s InnoMap digital platform
- Build organisational resilience and financial sustainability
Empower NGOs with knowledge of STIE (Science, Technology, Innovation & Engineering)
The NGO@Makerthon aims to empower local NGOs with the knowledge of STIE (Science, Technology, Innovation and Engineering) - activating local entrepreneurship, empowering innovative solutions to address community challenges. Additionally, NGOs will gain an opportunity to acquire new skills of the 21st century.
By gaining access to resources and expertise, NGOs will be able to develop new strategies for financial independence. Subsequently, this helps them in increasing and sustaining their intended social impact..
Identify various players within the ecosystem and bridge the changemakers to the communities in need
NGO@Makerthon hopes to identify the various players within the ecosystem and aims to bridge the gap between both changemakers and communities and allow the ease of access to such needs. This fosters a culture of innovation and education, especially within the underprivileged communities.
The initiative also provides spaces for makers to create and innovate. The makerspaces allow the creators access to a connection to a network of regional tools, resources, opportunities, and expertise.
Build a continuous support system for PPR communities to ensure efficient and effective ideation and implementation of STIE Solutions
The third objective of NGO@Makerthon is to build a continuous support system for the Projek Perumahan Rakyat (PPR), or the People’s Housing Project communities. The PPR programme is a government social public housing initiative to resettle squatters and provide housing for low-income households.
Fellow friends from the NGO@Makerthon will be provided with social solutions from various aspects of community development during the 2-day physical makerthon. STIE solutions also will be implemented to the PPR communities in aims to empower the communities.
Identify NGO players at different PPR communities to identify the best solutions to replicate and connect to YIM’s InnoMap digital platform
The NGO@Makerthon aims to build a digital platform to identify all the NGO players at different PPR communities and to identify the best solutions that work and consequently replicate them, connecting them to YIM’s InnoMap digital platform, RumahRakyat.
The RumahRakyat platform is a directory for the PPR communities across Malaysia to connect and highlight the PPR communities and build an ecosystem where people can understand and empathise with these communities.
By uniting the PPR communities on this platform, we raise awareness and encourage better access to these underprivileged communities for NGOs and changemakers who want to craft solutions to solve community-centric issues. The platform hosts a directory of all NGOs and innovators tackling challenges within Malaysia, while also highlighting the various PPR communities.
Build organisational resilience and financial sustainability
Through the programme, NGOs will be introduced to a social enterprise business model to instill an entrepreneurial mindset in their journey towards becoming more financially sustainable, which also involves becoming less dependent on donations and grant-based income.
Moreover, the NGOs will be connected to experts, innovators and maker spaces to help them craft more meaningful solutions and build a network along the way to support each other.