By Rohani Maswari
Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) students are the latest group of caring Malaysians to chip in to the relaunched of The Malay Mail Care Fund with 19 students from the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies raising funds as part of their final year project.
Faculty dean Associate Prof Adnan Hashim, said the faculty allows students to apply what they have learnt, including organising an event such as this charity fund, and expressed hope the students would continue to give back to the community.
The charity drive started with bidding for several items, including two tickets to the Paramore concert in KL on Oct 19, a new Carlo Rino handbag and four tickets to Universal Studios Singapore, courtesy of An Nur Travel Pte. Ltd. Games stalls were also set up.
As an UiTM alumni himself, The Malay Mail chief operating officer Endie Shazlie Akbar, said he was proud to see some things have not changed.
“Undergrads still take the initiative to give back to society and the mass communications students always led the way in organising activities like this, especially from the advertising class 5A.”
The project, organised together with Sky Ad Media Sdn Bhd, also aims to create an awareness of The Malay Mail Care Fund for other generous Malaysians who want to make contributions to the needy.
Sky Ad Media chief executive officer Gerard Lim said UiTM students contacted him shortly after The Malay Mail Care Fund relaunch in August.
“They needed assistance in marketing activities. We suggested they explore online marketing.
“While they initially proposed to promote Sky Ad Media, I suggested they do something to benefit the community and I proposed The Malay Mail Care Fund.”
Lim also applauded The Malay Mail Care Fund as it assists anyone who needs help in any way, regardless of their background. “It’s a noble initiative. It’s part and parcel of being a caring Malaysian. It’s obvious The Malay Mail is exactly that.”
With a tagline: ‘It’s a box, fill it with hope’ and a walking man-sized box as a mascot, the message of this project by 19 students of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in support of The Malay Mail Care Fund will naturally draw blank faces at first.
Project leader Aidil Dulbahri, 23, was quick to explain: “The box is a metaphor. It symbolises our heart. Only when we open a box will we able to put things in it. The same applies with our hearts. When we open our hearts, we open ourselves to good things, thus leading us to do good things like donating to The Malay Mail Care Fund.
“Plus, we use boxes to store items donated to us and items delivered to the Fund will come in boxes.”
He said the main challenge in creating greater awareness about charity came from ‘within’.
“The public already know about The Malay Mail Care Fund, or at least they have heard about it. So to create greater public awareness requires effort,” he said.
“For example, this morning (yesterday) we had someone who dropped a number of used items, like clothes and even a camera. But in our own campus, some students never heard of The Malay Mail Care Fund. So, they were our focus.”
The final year project by Aidil and his fellow 18 students at the Bachelor of Advertising programme at UiTM’s Faculty of Communication and Media Studies paid off because the response was encouraging.
“We did not set any target as to how much we want to collect. The more, the better. We managed to collect money from students and lecturers. Some lecturers donated used items that were in good conditions.”
Aidil said they contacted Sky Ad Media Sdn Bhd for help with their final-year project and that led to The Malay Mail Care Fund.
“Initially, we wanted to sell tickets to local theatre shows but one of our members know someone who works with Sky Ad. So we got in touch with Sky Ad who suggested we do something different and briefed us about the Fund.
“We thought it was a great idea and we worked hard to pull it off. We still have a lot of work to do but I think we did a good job so far in helping out those who are in need.”