Many in our project location fall under the B40 group (earning an average household income of less than RM 1,100 monthly). The four chosen villages are in remote areas with no proper road access. Those who are able to travel to the nearest town for supplies will find prices of those items are marked up, making it a burden to the families. Access to the variation of diet are also inadequate thus, the families, especially children are faced with insufficient nutrients and challenged with having a balanced daily diet.
This long-running program focuses on 37 households in creating a sustainable and impactful way to improve their current living condition, as well as providing access to a safe, sustainable and nutritious food supply. Our work also impacts the nutritional wellness of children, which is the core of the Foundation’s work.
We have been working closely with the communities to expand and diversify the variety of crops and poultries available for self-consumption to achieve a balanced intake of nutrients. We also educate the villagers with sustainable agriculture practices which help them produce better and bigger crops through crop rotation and provide them with information of which crops are in demand in the market.
Project Result(s) / Impact(s)
This project has improved the standard of living of the 37 households involved. Firstly, the farmers can now grow a diverse range of crops on their farms after gaining more agricultural knowledge and skills. This helps to maintain the genetic diversity of crops grown and keep the soil fertile.
Approximately 50% of crops (around 1,000 kilograms per month) harvested per month are for self-consumption. Each family has successfully reduced RM 40 to RM 60 in food expenses every month due to this sustainable lifestyle.
The villagers have also taken up fish farming and poultry farming, with many of the villagers sustainably raising Tilapia fish using solar-powered oxygen pumps. The Tilapia fish are mainly reared for self-consumption, where excess harvests are sold for additional income. As of now, poultry farming of chicken is still ongoing.
With the community now having an improved diet, they are healthier and do not need to worry about malnourishment or going hungry. This also increases their bodies’ immunity, especially towards opportunistic diseases which result from poor nutrition and imbalanced diets.
Through this programme the villagers do no need to travel to town often to purchase food which reduce travelling costs and risks of contracting Covid-19 along their journeys.
The tagline for United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) is “Leaving No One Behind.” Please explain how the nominated project helps to realize and advance the commitment of UNSDGs for the future. Highlight any other SDG(s) that your project has directly or indirectly created positive impact to people and society
The “Sustainable Livelihoods Project” works towards fulfilling Goal 2 – Zero Hunger by empowering communities through sustainable farming. Food is the basic need that every individual must have before they could pursue education and generate income, but is lacking in rural settlements. Anyone can start growing their own food for proper nutrition, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic era where food insecurity has worsened. By educating the villagers, they are able to be self- sustained and continue sustainable farming practices for generations to come.
By sharing knowledge of better farming techniques with them, growing a variety of crops, and identifying what crops are in demand in the market, the beneficiaries will be able to have a variety of food sources and sell the excess crops to improve
their existing living conditions. This also allows them to have access to a safe, fresh and nutritious continuous food supply, harvesting their own vegetables and fish whenever they need, thus reducing hunger and malnutrition. We believe in empowering more rural communities through this project to expand our social impact.
Goal 1 – No Poverty
In 2019, over 20,000 households were classified as “hardcore poor” by the Sabah State Government. With villagers having a nutritious supply of food close to their homes, they will not need to visit the markets as frequently which reduces travelling cost. Additionally, the villagers no longer need to purchase as much protein and vegetables from town.
Moreover, surplus harvests of fish and crops are sold within their respective communities and online via Hopes’ Tamu Kita platform. Through this project, the beneficiaries are able to obtain an average of between RM300 – RM340 of additional income a month.
Goal 3 – Good Health and Well Being
Our project provides villagers of all ages with the food needed for a proper, balanced diet. A sustainable source of vegetables and fish is readily available for each household. The increased intake of nutrients and protein has improved the villagers’ health, reducing malnutrition and healing the health problems caused by it.
Goal 10 – Reduce Inequalities
The rural communities are not only living below PLI (RM2,280 as announced by Malaysia’s Department of Statistic on 10th July 2020), they are also often lacking access to basic human needs such as food, shelter and clean water. Through this project, villagers are educated on sustainable farming and proper nutrition. The information and skills gained can be passed on to other villagers and future generations, reducing the inequality gap. Furthermore, the extra produce harvested can be sold for additional income – reducing poverty within these rural villages.
Goal 17 – Partnerships
Mah Sing Foundation’s third collaboration with Hopes Malaysia has successfully improved the nutrition and financial situation of 37 rural households. We wish to deepen this impact through more of our projects. The achievement of long-term sustainability is vital for our partnerships. We hope to uplift more rural communities that need better nutrition and livelihoods – eliminating hunger and leaving no one behind.