Mah Sing Foundation first got to know the plight of the Kampung Tudan community in 2017, when we were approached by Hopes Malaysia. We were told about the struggle of the community to walk 30 minutes to the nearest river for water. Due to the distance, they are unable to utilize their time in better ways and with poverty, also children education is frequently disrupted as they need to assist their families. The gravity water system is well maintained today and won the Sustainable Development Award 2019 in UN Sustainable Goals. The community decided to further utilise the gravity water which leads us to the mushroom cultivation project.
This project is currently benefiting 6 families with an average household income of RM 400 – 800 per month. The mushroom farm currently produces around 30 – 50kg mushroom per week and it is providing an increase of 30%-60% steady income monthly for each involved household. They have taken initiative to come up with a proper working system to distribute work among themselves ensuring the mushroom farm is running smoothly. Up to now, the villagers are communicating with project coordinator effectively at all times. They are also coming up with new ideas to generate income from tourists which is mushroom picking experience. The mushroom farm also helps surrounding families with more job opportunities. Some started roadshows to promote the mushroom, some are working in logistics, and some work with Hopes Malaysia on getting organic certifications for the mushroom we produce. Overall confidence in the community has grown. And the community has made constant efforts to keep the place organized, clean and beautifying its surroundings to look more attractive to tourists.
HOW HAS THIS PROJECT HELP TO ADVANCE THE CHOSEN SDG?
No poverty – one of the most direct and sustainable methods in eradicating poverty is to create employment opportunities. Our project does not only provide the underprivileged/poor job opportunity but to empower them with entrepreneurship skills in managing a farming business. Our project has a long term impact and sustainable in improving their livelihood. Moreover, it can be replicated to other communities.
WHAT IMPACT HAS THIS PROJECT CREATED IN THE COMMUNITY / NATION?
The beneficiaries of this project are the villagers of Kampung Tudan. They have learned a new agriculture skill which is more sustainable in the long term which is to cultivate oyster mushrooms. The project coordinating team working with the villagers to design a systematic way to manage mushroom bags in order for more consistent harvest to have a more efficient operation. The villagers also have to get out of their comfort zone to look for buyers around their community as well as business partners. This helps with growing their business skills, bookeeping capability and increase their financial awareness. The most evidential impact would be the steady income provided to the villagers who are involved in this mushroom cultivation project. Their income is directly correlated to the efforts they put into running the mushroom farm and finding good sales distribution channels. The villagers also now understand all the care put into the crops yields better prices compare to other mushroom farms.
THE TAGLINE FOR UNITED NATIONS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (UNSDGS) IS “LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND.” EXPLAIN HOW YOUR PROJECT HELPS TO REALIZE THE COMMITMENT OF UNSDGS FOR THE FUTURE.
One of the factors of inequality is resulted from the disparity in income and opportunity. This project has directly addressed this vision as the champion of economic empowerment for the underprivileged communities. The increased income of the poor and their skills in entrepreneurship acquired from this project will steer towards the vision of inequality. Our project does not stop only at making sure the community have an increase in their income but also nurtures a business minded and financially aware community. It empowers the underprivileged communities economically and financially to allow them the opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty. The aim is for them to be independent of help in the future and therefore self-sustainability is key to our project.