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‘Up Close’ experience for visually impaired and special guests at Zoo Negara

19 August 2017

4 min read

Over 300 Students from Sekolah Kebangsaan (Asli) Bukit Cheding - a school for Orang Asli children, members from the Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB) and children from the Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation had an ‘up close’ encounter with some animals in Zoo Negara at the invitation of the Maybank Group in conjunction with the Maybank Global CR Day 2017 recently.

The special guests were hosted by Maybank Chairman, Datuk Mohaiyani Shamsudin; Group President & CEO, Datuk Abdul Farid Alias and Group Head Global Banking, Dato’ Muzaffar Hisham as well as employees of Group Global Banking (GGB) to an informative and fun-filled outing. Some of them also helped the employees to refurbish and restore the animals’ enclosures and also plant greeneries at areas surrounding the zoo.

The visually impaired, meanwhile, had an opportunity of their lifetime through a special ‘touch/feel’ experience where they connected with some of the animals using the sense of touch by recognising the distinctive features of different types of animals. The special guests were given an educational tour as well as briefed on interesting facts about animals and their importance to the environment.

At the event, Datuk Mohaiyani said that Maybank’s mission of humanising financial services ensures that the organization does not only flourish economically, but also emphasises on enhancing the social and environmental aspects which have led to its various corporate responsibility efforts.

“We are excited to be joined by the Sekolah Kebangsaan (Asli) Bukit Cheding, Malaysian Association for the Blind and Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation, giving them the opportunity to enjoy what our National Zoo has to offer.”

The Global CR Day is a distinctive event where employees reinforce Maybank’s mission of humanising financial services by being at the heart of the community. Over 20,000 Maybank employees worldwide are commemorating the eighth Maybank Global CR Day today where they are engaging directly with the communities in their respective locations, whilst helping continue impacting lives and the environment through sustainable initiatives.

With the theme “Enabling Communities with Solutions”, the Maybank Global CR Day is part of the Group’s employee volunteerism programme undertaken in all countries where it operates. It is believed to be the biggest single community programme undertaken simultaneously in one day, by a Malaysian-based corporation on a global scale.

Meanwhile, Dato’ Muzaffar said, “We aspire to build a better world while undertaking our day-to-day business operations; these are both essential ingredients for long-term success.”

“Our emphasis is on sustainable programmes that provide long term community benefits and contribute to the progress of communities where we operate. It won’t be easy, but balancing the short and long term needs is key to delivering sustainable, profitable growth that creates value for all our stakeholders.”

Dato’ Muzaffar also announced that GGB will embark on a new ‘edutainment’ initiative for people with special needs for the rest of the year. Under this programme, they will work with the three organisations to ensure their members can enjoy both education and entertainment activities on a regular basis.

For the MAB, GGB will work to refurbish the Maybank-MAB cinema hall as well as contribute one descriptive movie per month until end of 2017 to enable the visually impaired to enjoy movies on a monthly basis.

For the children of Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation and students from Sek Keb (Asli) Bukit Cheding, GGB will organise a special movie screening every quarter at MBO Kecil which is the first dedicated movie hall for children in Malaysia at MBO Cinema, Starling Mall in Petaling Jaya.

“Our intention is to ensure that people with special needs are not left out of everyday life within our community. By embarking on this ‘edutainment’ initiative, we intend to also help create awareness among entertainment organisations and businesses about the role they can play in making our society an inclusive one.”

In addition to that, as part of its efforts to raise funds for Zoo Negara, GGB will also be leveraging on MaybankHeart, Maybank’s digital crowd-funding platform to enable members of the public to donate towards the upgrading of the zoo and the upkeep of the animals.

For this year’s Maybank Global CR Day, a total of 105 initiatives are being implemented by employees across the Group. These include various community projects involving special children, the visually impaired, the elderly, disabled, single mothers and orphans as well as the environment in general.

The Global CR Day is being participated by employees from the Group’s global network of offices in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Bahrain, India, London and New York who came together simultaneously in their locations today to reaffirm their commitment to social development and welfare as well as environmental conservation through various community programmes.

Among other initiatives undertaken in other parts of Malaysia included the training and development of special children in the art of angklung, a river bank beautification themed “River of Life” at Kampung Kassipilay and understanding and promoting the arts and culture for the Orang Asli community in Pulau Carey.

Elsewhere, around the globe, employees in Singapore participated in a community mobility programme to empower people with intellectual disabilities from MINDS (Movement for Intellectually Disabled of Singapore) as well as raise funds to assist them in improving their quality of life. In Jakarta, Maybankers launched a donation drive to collect school items such as bags, uniforms, books and stationeries for disabled students. Numerous other unique programmes, many of which have been carried out on a long-term basis, were also undertaken in other international markets.

The Global CR Day was first held in 2010 in conjunction with Maybank’s 50th anniversary. Over 10,000 employees took part in that inaugural event. The number of participants has increased over the years, reflecting the strong volunteerism spirit among employees participating in this unique global programme.