Following the success of initiatives including K2K Idol and K2K Aktif Bersama, Think City, in collaboration with Citi Foundation and Persatuan Wanita PPR Hicom (PERWACOM), celebrated Hari K2K, a showcase of the Kita untuk Kita (K2K) programme’s community achievements, at PPR Hicom Kampung Baru in Shah Alam, Selangor on April 17 2021.
Hamdan Abdul Majeed, Managing Director of Think City, said that the goal of the K2K Selangor programme is to revitalise public housing and to ensure that the communities living there can build on their own capacities to improve their livelihoods and quality of life. “Research tells us that 80% of Malaysians now reside in urban areas and over 20% of Klang Valley residents are living in various forms of public housing. Our mission at Think City of making cities more liveable has a direct impact on the urban poor, and this includes the PPR communities.”
K2K Selangor is a pilot programme conceived by Think City, with support from the Selangor State government, to improve standards of living and quality of life within public housing. It was conceived as a vehicle to connect government programmes, corporate donations, public housing communities and their management systems through a digital platform that provides efficient, effective and transparent delivery and impact measures.
Despite the successful reduction of poverty in Malaysia by over 90% over the past two decades, there are still almost three million people living in around 4,500 housing schemes across the country. These are communities that face attacks on multiple fronts: increasing costs of living and economic uncertainty, deleterious climate impacts, deteriorating amenities and weak management systems, on top of the effects of a global epidemic.
K2K works with the local community to create and develop tailored solutions to help address their social, economic and infrastructural needs. This holistic approach to public housing renewal includes linking communities to cheaper food and goods, providing easy access to skills and training, facilitating community-building, networking, physical and mental health initiatives amongst its activities. Which are underpinned by the community mobilisation and impact measurement analytics facilitated by the digital platform component.
Throughout Hari K2K, community members showcased activities to mobilise their community, support entrepreneurship, and shared their ideas for physical infrastructure improvement. Those included past initiatives under the K2K umbrella, including K2K Idol, a singing competition with mentoring and judging from top Malaysian performers as well as K2K Aktif Bersama. Citi Foundation has been instrumental in supporting the K2K Aktif Bersama programme, and is the latest initiative in the seven year partnership between Think City and Citi Foundation.
Designed to improve physical and mental health and social connections, the programme is built around daily walking groups led by locally trained Walk Leaders on routes assessed and mapped for safety. To date, over 145 people have signed up to give community walking a go. En Faizan, Rukun Tetangga President and participant of the walking group said, “As we go through the COVID-19 situation, it’s hard to do recreational activities with family, but with the walking group activity, we can improve our relationship with the family.”
The walking group was complemented with workshops and talks, most online as required during the pandemic. Over 640 registrations were recorded for all project components. Pn Rubayah, participant of the Pizza Pot Garden workshop said, “I have always been very interested in gardening, and this workshop taught me more on the different types of plants and ways of gardening. It was through this workshop that I also got to meet other neighbours and share knowledge.”
Added Hamdan: “We have had a longstanding relationship with Citi Foundation and with each year, the projects have grown and evolved mirroring Think City’s portfolio of heritage conservation, placemaking, and building social and environmental resilience. All, in their own way, contribute to making cities better places for all. Citi Foundation’s support for K2K Aktif Bersama and the earlier K2K Idol have mobilised stressed communities, engaged them in shaping the programme and empowered them to identify strategies to improve life in their PPR community. It’s my hope that we will continue to work together to improve our cities for our people.”
K2K also facilitated a link between community entrepreneurs and MARA that resulted in an innovative online marketing course.
Present to witness these achievements was Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari, the Chief Minister of Selangor, who took an active role in the day’s proceedings, talking to the local community, discussing issues and solution, even indulging in a badminton sparring session with a young member of the Badminton Club set up under the K2K Aktif Bersama initiative.
“In coordinating the various activities, it has been very heart-warming to see the community feeling more empowered, to think bigger and to have a sense of control over their own future. I hope that this will continue to grow, and that by giving our community the tools to create better livelihoods, we will be able to sustain ourselves and forge a better quality of life in the longer term,” said PERWACOM President, Norizan Bt Mohd Nor. “Coming together to achieve our goals collectively has also created a greater sense of belonging, pride and camaraderie, with lifelong friendships made. It is our hope that we will learn to provide such support ourselves.”
Hamdan added: “With K2K Selangor, we have piloted the first phase of a comprehensive programme involving community and various sectors that empowers the community to help themselves. While many issues have yet to be resolved, this has the potential for further-reaching impacts compared to the temporary benefits of food aid programmes and other similar subsidies. However, with the positive outcomes we have seen with the pilot project, we aim to broaden the scope of the programme to include further engagement of on-site facilitators who drive the K2K programme at the PPRs, deepening the relationship with MARA to bring other educational initiatives to the community, expanding talks with the corporate sector to provide fresh, healthy and competitively priced food to the community, and linking other programmes to the community. It is also our aim to scale this initiative nationwide, so that more communities can benefit.”
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