The government has spent billions on cultivating a nation of community movers by creating and executing strategies for social change, as a catalyst for development.
Today, we have tons of changemakers, making visible work in urban and rural communities, a society with a growing culture of volunteerism, a recent spark of social entrepreneurship initiatives, and many partnership models practiced.
We see a lot of work done, but has there been enough change? No matter what your answer is, I believe that change can only be achieved with solid partnerships, and partnerships can only exist when impact is communicated objectively.
On top of that, youth have been doing social projects, but many struggle to prove that their work matters in the eyes of other stakeholders – the government and corporations for instance. Youth make up almost 47% of Malaysian population (2018). Equipped with high energy and enthusiasm for social change which is proven by public association of volunteerism as a youthful trait.
But, according to a research done by the Asia Foundation in 2012, only 39% of Malaysian youth say that they can make a difference in solving problems within their communities, and only 41% of Malaysian youth believe that they can influence how the government works.
These are issues concerning empowerment, accountability and inclusion. This is a gap that exists in the ecosystem, especially considering that the youth is a colossal power to deliver social change, which can be harnessed by opening doors, and paving the way.
Recognising this, Impact Malaysia aspires to do three things. Firstly, to enable impact by implementing three sub programs namely Impact Through Technology (ITT), Impact Through Community (ITC), and Impact Through Business (ITB). Social change needs enablers to make changemaking an easier feat to achieve and Impact Malaysia aims to do exactly that.
Through our flagship model Impact Through Technology (ITT), we envision connecting like minded youths to non-profit technological solution providers, in order to create scalable, impactful, and cost-effective social change. Not only that, ITT is also designed to formulate a process where youth will learn from the experts and subsequently becoming the agents of change themselves, by transferring the skills to communities.
Through ITB, we aim to ease the process of businesses participating in the realm of social change by allocating their resources not limited to funding; but also by means such as manpower to do volunteering work for the communities and so on.
Through ITC, we seek to facilitate social change by enabling more community-based and community-driven social projects, especially by the youth, supported by other partners in the ecosystem.
In all of our programs, we act as a platform of resource sharing, not just limited to funds but encompasses people, assets, data, technology, experience, connections and more. We will try our absolute best to work with all of our stakeholders to identify and bridge gaps in projects that address problems faced by the community.
Secondly, we want to advocate for impact. Advocacy is not simply acts of propagation and promotion. We believe it should also include the act of easing the process of whatever we are advocating for. Impact Malaysia advocates for change assessment and reporting, as well as accountability of doing good, which means – we delve deep into best practices of creating social impact from a central position.
In doing this, we intend to be at the forefront of providing assistance and resources on impact assessment, towards making social impact a culture. We want to help businesses achieve corporate responsibility goals and we want to simplify your efforts in doing good.
Thirdly , we want to amplify impact. Even though we hear stories of changemakers and youth in all sorts of media, in reality – they are still struggling to gain publicity. Stories on social change and social impact are always put as features, or a ‘side dish’ of mainstream news. When changemaking is seen as merely doing good, it will always be treated as a feel-good factor, which is not sufficient.
Impact Malaysia is looking at changemaking stories as a crucial part of nation building. The action of social change should not just be inspirational, it should also be influencing policies, impacting development and solving real problems. By looking at changemaking this way, we develop strategic platforms to highlight stories of best practices in social impact.
Ladies and gentlemen, we envision a world where changemakers can work together effectively because social change is never done by one hero – but many. We want to exist in a world where the energy and fresh perspectives of youth will be harnessed, and youth to be on the frontline of accelerating impact.
Imagine youth working together with nonprofit tech companies, NGOs, CSOs, government and businesses to create change in their communities. Imagine impact assessment and reporting no longer becoming a thing, but a norm instead. Imagine changemakers and people in our ecosystem being recognised and showcased as if they are award-winning celebrities.
Impact Malaysia is in the right place to piece together the puzzle of social change as a government agency under the purview of KBS – Malaysia’s Ministry of Youth and Sports. We believe we are the ideal mediator; to connect youth, the government, changemakers, innovators and businesses towards a working relationship for social change.
Impact Malaysia is not designed to deliver change by itself. Our job is to open doors, break glass ceilings and pave the way, so you get to scale your work with one another. If there is one thing we can say for sure, this organisation has existed within the changemaking ecosystem under a different name. We were here, we are still here, and we will be staying on.
Work with us, scale with us and let’s create social impact, together.
Impact — an agency that envisions a sustainable and measureable social impact ecosystem driven by youth to bring meaningful and lasting change in their communities.