KUCHING, April 24: Sarawak Energy’s (SEB) efforts in community development and women empowerment for communities affected by the Baleh and Murum hydropower projects received international recognition at the recent 10th Annual Global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards 2018 held in Lombok, Indonesia.
According to a press statement, SEB’s “Handicraft Programme for Sustainable Livelihood Development of Murum Artisans” was awarded Platinum under the Empowerment of Women category while the “CSR Eye Vision Programme for Better Living in the Rural Community” was awarded Gold under Best Community Programme category.
Its executive vice-president for corporate services, Aisah Eden said that the awards validated the company’s strategic and long-term commitment to improving lives through sustainable initiatives that meet real community needs. The programmes were developed with the communities through early and proactive engagement in line with the IHA Sustainability Protocols, as well as the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The Platinum Award was won for its CSR and community development work with Murum Penan artisans to enhance the commercial viability of their handicrafts, expanding their market and providing for a more sustainable form of economy for the Murum Penan community.
The handicraft programme was organised in partnership with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Malaysia Handicraft Development Corporation (MHDC) Sarawak Branch and Sarawak Craft Council.
“The handicraft programme in Murum has successfully increased the number of artisans in the Murum resettled community from about 30 in 2014 to about 170 today. We aim to help them to generate more income, which subsequently leads to an improved standard of living for the community,” she said.
The programme focuses on cultural heritage as the foundation for building and expanding sustainable livelihood opportunities for the community, especially the women.
“We are thankful for the continuing warm relationship that we have with the host community and are gratified by their reception of these initiatives. This success would not be possible without their cooperation,” she continued.
Sarawak Energy CSR Eye Vision Programme community outreach programme was carried out in collaboration with Klinik Katarak 1Malaysia (1Malaysia Cataract Clinic) – an initiative under the Malaysian Health Ministry to address cataract disease, one of the main causes of blindness and visual impairment in the country. The programme provides free eye screening and operations for cataract and pterygium patients.
The programme was supported by the Sarawak Health Department, working collaboratively with the Ophthalmology Department of Sarawak General Hospital and Kapit Hospital, and involved more than 50 volunteers from the medical teams as well as volunteers from the local community.
“In Baleh and Kapit, our CSR Eye Vision Programme has managed to improve the quality of life and productivity within the community as they are able to resume work with restored eyesight,” she elaborated. — DayakDaily