2021: How We Left Lasting Positive Impact on Communities

January 7, 2022

With a new year on the horizon, it’s time to reflect on the challenges, opportunities, and progress in the communities we supported in 2021.

As always, Forest Interactive’s priorities include the efforts to build resilience and support the recovery of affected communities and business in the second year of the global health crisis.

Guiding the road-map for this year were our sustainability pillars and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), a set of goals outlined by the UN Global Compact that help businesses to solve social issues and achieving a sustainable society, and are important milestones in advancing the future of society and economy.

Let's hop right in to see what SDGs Forest Interactive managed to hit, through its major campaigns, in 2021!

To commemorate the International Day of Education in January 2021, Forest Interactive collaborated with Closing The Gap (CTG) Malaysia and Yayasan Tunku Abdul Rahman (YTAR) to support their high-need, high-potential scholars amid the global pandemic.

Not only did we donate laptops to bright, under-represented Malaysians from CTG’s pre-university mentorship program in August, who were in need of these devices for their home-based learning (PdPR), Forest Interactive’s own talents also participated in a panel session and led a series of virtual workshops covering hands-on learning and introduction to tech fields such as web development and user interface and experience (UI/UX) design, providing knowledge and skills for the CTG scholars to achieve their fullest potential in STEM fields.

In fact, 90% of the laptop recipients were females, whereas more than 65% of the workshop attendees were females, signaling our commitment to also provide equal access to education for all genders.

This initiative focuses on five key areas that contribute to the SDGs: No Poverty (1), Quality Education (4), Reduced Inequalities (10), Sustainable Cities and Communities (11), as well as Partnership for the Goals (17).

For Lunar New Year, Forest Interactive initiated an internal fundraising drive to raise funds from talents to help bring a smile to the faces impacted by Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO).

Our Malaysia-based talents also showed their support by selling their pre-loved items. The month-long campaign was carried out during February, and proceeds were donated to Liga Rakyat Demokratik (LRD), to distribute food and essentials to affected families in the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur areas. Through this initiative, we hit SDGs 1 and 2: No Poverty and Zero Hunger.

In Indonesia, we donated daily necessities such as sanitary kits, supplements, snacks, food, detergents, clothes, and toys to the children at Karena Kasih Orphanage in Sunter, North Jakarta. The donation items were collected from our talents and were supported by the Assosiasi Video Games Indonesia (AVGI), Program Asik, and Wallet Codes.

The negative impact on mom-and-pop businesses, small business owners, and underserved communities due to government-imposed restrictions this year pushed us to spearhead a buy-local, give-back campaign in the countries where our headquarters and second largest global office are located, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Titled #SapotLokal in Malaysia, Forest Interactive sought out kedai-kedai runcit around the Kampung Datuk Keramat area in Kuala Lumpur right before the city saw restrictions from the Movement Control Order on May 7, 2021. RM20,000 was allocated to purchase daily necessities from these shops, for five orphanages in the Gombak, Setapak, and Ampang areas, as well as to provide furnishings and facilitate household repairs for the orphanages throughout the Islamic month of Syawal.

Similar to #SapotLokal, the #DukungBisnisKecil campaign saw Forest Interactive Indonesia seeking out warung-warung to purchase daily necessities worth approximately RM7,500, for more than 90 families in the fishing village of Cilincing in North Jakarta, distributed on May 6, 2021. Through these Ramadan CSR initiatives, we met SDGs 1, 2, 3, and 10: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-Being, as well as Reduced Inequalities.

In June, we officially established the Forest Interactive Foundation, to advance our corporate responsibility, sustainable development, and charitable giving goals. The Foundation aims to nurture and develop talents through sustainable initiatives and programs, establishing empowered communities and upholding sustainable environments for our own people and the world’s future innovators in tech.

Photo courtesy of Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Malaysia

In conjunction with Global Handwashing Day in October 2020, we kick-started a CSR project in collaboration with Global Peace Foundation Malaysia to provide clean drinking water to the indigenous Jakun community at Kampung Patah Pisau in Pahang.

In July 2021, Forest Interactive’s sponsorship of RM23,500 was able to uplift the welfare of the Jakun villagers, by installing a solar water pump to help the villagers gain access to clean water.

Access to safe, affordable, and reliable drinking and sanitation services are basic human rights. Human rights to water and sanitation are essential for eradicating poverty, building peaceful, and prosperous societies, and ensuring that ‘no one is left behind’ on the road towards sustainable development.

With this sponsorship, we achieved SDGs 6, 7, and 11: Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, as well as Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Commemorating World Mental Health Day this year with a month-long campaign in October 2021, weekly activities were designed to engage with talents in an interactive and inclusive manner, while being informative of the event’s theme, which is mental health awareness within the self and others. This campaign is in line with SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being.

Besides that, in celebration of Diwali, Forest Interactive banded talents together to organize a hearty meal for the residents of Persatuan Kebajikan Warga Tua and Kanak-Kanak Wilayah Persekutuan. The internal CSR campaign called on talent volunteers to assist with meal packing and delivery, as well as fundraise for the home’s daily necessities.

With the aim of creating greater impact, all meals were sourced from social enterprise Masala Wheels, which works to empower marginalized communities through sustainable entrepreneurial F&B initiatives. Forest Interactive managed to hit two key areas that contribute to the SDGs: No Poverty (1) and Zero Hunger (2).

Forest Interactive reached out for the second year in a row, following the first #ForestCares initiative last year, to empower the indigenous community at Desa Temuan in Damansara Perdana, Selangor, by extending a helping hand once again to provide support and relief amidst the ongoing pandemic. A total of 147 families in the area received hand sanitizers and face masks, to help them in remaining equipped and protected against the COVID-19 virus.

But Forest Interactive didn’t stop there. School closures due to the pandemic have brought significant disruptions to education across Malaysia. As schools in the Klang Valley started reopening in October 2021, Forest Interactive donated essential healthcare items, everyday school supplies, and gardening equipment to help reopen and facilitate the operations at Tabika Kemas Desa Temuan, a community kindergarten.

This initiative hit three key SDGs: No Poverty (1), Good Health and Well-Being (3), as well as Quality Education (4).

With the goal of shaping future innovators, we hosted this year’s Malaysia Future Leaders School (MFLS) Tier 3 in collaboration with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS). For four days at Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur, various youth development activities were carried out for more than 100 students from all over the country.

Talents from Forest Interactive spoke on a wide range of topics to better prepare the students towards a career that is critical to the nation’s digital economy blueprint. This program contributed to SDGs 4, 8, 11, and 17: Quality Education, Decent Work & Economic Growth, Sustainable Cities and Communities, as well as Partnership for the Goals.

Christmas this year is little different than last year’s because torrential rains in Malaysia caused massive floods, driving people away from their homes, causing rivers to overflow, submerging many urban areas, and cutting off main roads.

On Christmas Eve, we helped alleviate the burden of flood communities by distributing 500 packs of full meal to Surau Batu 23, Masjid Ar-Rahman Sungai Lui, and Masjid Al-Mutaqqin.

The SDGs related to this CSR initiative are 1, 2, and 6: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, and Clean Water & Sanitation.2021 has been a tremendously challenging year for all of us, but as a community and global citizens, we are ready for what’s to come. With the new year, there will be many new and exciting opportunities. We wish everyone a happy, safe, and healthy 2022! #BetterTogether ♡

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