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Training vulnerable third-age communities in Kiulu, Matunggong
Published on: Sunday, February 12, 2023
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Training vulnerable third-age communities in Kiulu, Matunggong
Community member demonstrating skills learned during the Intergen project.
Kota Kinabalu: A non-profit organisation, Social Innovation Movement (Sim), has launched the Intergenerational (Intergen) Community Project in Kampung Pukak, Kiulu.Sim President Prof Ainurul Rosli said through a community-based approach model, Intergen aims to create communal resilience among vulnerable third-age communities at Kampung Pukak, Kiulu, and Kampung Timug, Matunggong, along with Miri, Sarawak. “Intergen encourages knowledge transfer between the third-age communities and university students to close the digital gap, while promoting a circular economy through upcycling of used or discarded fabric sourced locally,” she said in a statement, Friday. “Community participants will learn to produce the Ecobag 2020, a grocery bag made from recycled fabric. “This project helps generate income by closing the digital gap, minimise reliance on single-used plastic bags, and limit textile waste.” Its local and international collaborators include Brunel University London, North Borneo University College, Curtin University Malaysia, BlennyBags, Good Shepherd Services, Circular Borneo, and Malaysia Venture Capital (Mavcap), and is supported by Yayasan Hasanah through a grant of RM279,750 for 21 months.

Ainurul said without adequate government assistance and increased financial burden as a result of rocketing cost of living and inflation, the welfare of vulnerable third-age communities is placed at grave risk. 

The Ecobag 2020 created by the community members of Kg Pukak in Kiulu.

“With this in mind, we set up three Intergen community hubs, supporting third-age community members to become more financially independent by promoting an entrepreneurial mindset and closing the digital gap between generations. “We want to influence people and prove that the older generation has untapped potential and is important in the narrative of the country’s socioeconomic development. “Furthermore, they can instil much needed communal values to our younger population. Ultimately, changing the younger generation’s views on ageing and the elderly,” she said.

The Intergen Project, she said had set three intended outputs.

“In the immediate term, Intergen hubs established in this project create space that fosters connections between young adults and third-age individuals; therefore, encouraging new Intergen relationships to blossom.

“In the mid-term, change the attitudes and knowledge of young adults regarding the ageing process and the elderly community, shifting pre-existing, stereotypical notions of old-age dependency to one of empowerment. In the long term, affect third-age communities to develop, sustain, and refine core skills and mindsets that create opportunities to enhance their financial security,” she said.

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