We began by distributing water tanks to drought-prone communities in 2011. At the end of 2011, we shifted our focus to Rural Electrification installing village-based micro-hydro systems for the generation of off-grid electricity. In 2015, we added further village-based initiatives with our Economic Growth and Education Support programmes.
Our founding belief is that it is possible to make a difference in the form of practical assistance to our rural communities. Communities can be empowered to participate in order to instil a sense of ownership over the projects. Our projects are usually structured such that rural communities are necessary partners to bring the project goal to fruition, usually via contribution of labour and on-site materials, which help keep project costs down.
Compounding this is the grouse that rural Sarawak has received inequitable government development compared to other areas in the country. Transportation and communication connectivity remain a challenge in turn leading to health and education facilities being inaccessible. Electricity and water supply remain behind other parts of the country – up to 2010, the electrification rate in Sarawak was 72% against 99% in Peninsular Malaysia. This leads to a scope for community-focused NGOs to work alongside wider government efforts.