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Making good of garbage
KUALA LUMPUR, 4 April 2012: The desire for a cleaner environment is driving a group of youths from Lahad Datu, Sabah, to run a waste management campaign to improve the cleanliness of the local wet market and the Lahad Datu seafront.
Calling themselves Iloveld.com, the youths are educating and engaging the Lahad Datu public through innovative environmental initiatives which include composting market waste into fertilisers and making balls of mud and compost, called mudballs, to throw into the river. The compost in the mudballs releases microorganisms that will help remove slime and sludge from the river water.
The group is one of the latest recipients of Dana Belia 1Malaysia (Dana Belia), the RM20 million fund by Yayasan 1MDB (“1Malaysia Development Berhad”) to empower youths to give back to society.
Iloveld.com founder Vincent Wong Lin Fung said the idea came about as organic waste from the local wet market is polluting the Lahad Datu seafront.
“We believe the locals will benefit from having a cleaner river, as well as a wet market that has an efficient waste management system. The public can also learn how to make their own fertiliser using their kitchen compost,” he said.
To create awareness among the public, Iloveld.com plan to organise regular “mudball throwing sessions” every month where the public will get an opportunity to contribute to river cleaning by making mudballs and throwing them into the river.
Other Dana Belia recipients for this cycle include Yew Eng Teik, 37, from Selangor; Faisal Azreen Abu Hassan, 22, Kuala Lumpur; Suzila Mohd Shukor, 39, Perak; Mohd Waqiyuddin Baderol Alam, 26, Selangor; Azlina Ahmad, 32, Penang; Leaderonomics youth group, Selangor; Cyril Soidi, 36; and Persatuan Belia Kampung Batu-Batu, both from Sabah.
They were chosen based on their ability to execute their projects independently and create opportunities for youths to channel their energies positively and productively. The Yayasan 1MDB selection panel also looked for strong leadership skills and a well-prepared execution plan.
The recipients collectively received RM660,000, varying across individuals depending on the intensity and coverage of their respective projects.
1MDB Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Executive Director Hizwani Hassan believes there are more dynamic youths out there waiting to be discovered by Dana Belia.
“They need not have big ideas to change the world. What we are looking for is some creativity, and a passion to make a difference to society. We don’t mind if their project is small. What matters is their big heart,” he said.
He urged more youths to respond to this challenge as there is a remaining RM13.75 million of the fund looking for worthy projects.
To date, Yayasan 1MDB has received more than 3,000 applications that are in various stages of selection.
Dana Belia, a brainchild of the Prime Minister, provides youths aged between 15 - 40 with a platform to express hopes, ideas and creativity through projects that promote unity.
For more information on Dana Belia and how to apply, visit www.danabelia.com.my, interact with the Dana Belia community on Facebook and follow Dana Belia on Twitter.