The Get’em In Business (GIB) Resolve Charity campaign was an initiative launched in Malaysia during the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak. The pandemic hit everyone hard from business owners to employees and schools. Initially we all thought the pandemic and the lockdown would only last a few days or weeks however, to everyone’s surprise it went on for months on end. We witnessed businesses being shut down, employers cutting staff and schools closing leading to students having to learn virtually from home because of the safety rules that were in place.
As news of impoverished children from less developed areas in Malaysia with no means to learn virtually and continue their studies hit headlines, GIB Founder and CEO, Dr Joel McMurphy felt deeply moved to reach out to help. As the GIB Malaysia team dug deeper, we discovered that some of the children (whose names will not be mentioned in this article) were not only lacking access to digital tools such as laptops but lacking in basic needs as well. Knowing that some of these children did not have access to education let alone food touched us all. We immediately knew that we had to do something about it.
GIB’S RESOLVE CHARITY CAMPAIGN AND CONTRIBUTIONS
GIB Malaysia was completely moved by the detrimental effects of the global pandemic on everyone, but most especially on the children in Malaysia. Catering to and providing to their needs was very important to us. We could not imagine being in their positions, so this was one of our primary motivations to start this project. Wishing we were able to do more to effect change on a global scale, we reached out to GIB’s investment community members in Malaysia and Singapore to raise funds. Here are a few ways we were able to help a few of these children and their families in Malaysia with the funds raised.
PROVISION OF ELECTRONIC DEVICES
Due to lockdown restrictions that were set in place as a result of the global pandemic, everyone was not allowed to leave their homes unless it was necessary. Everyone was working from home while children were learning virtually as well as being home-schooled by their parents. Through GIB Malaysia’s community contacts on the ground, we located families and children that were most in need among the urban poor of Kuala Lumpur among families in two low-cost flat developments. Some of the families only had one mobile phone to share among several kids, while several others had no devices at all. Providing these laptops to all these families was definitely a game changer because parents did not have to sacrifice their children’s education. All in all, we were able to deliver 100 laptops. All the children were entirely grateful because they had been missing out on a lot of their lectures and school work.
PROVISION OF FOOD AND UTILITIES
The global outbreak affected a multitude of people which in turn affected the economy on a large scale. With business and company owners taking a hit, some of the businesses closed while company employers cut down on employees as well as deducting the salaries of the employees they had left. This definitely affected each and every individual because their day to day budgets changed and many were living from hand to mouth. It broke our hearts when some of these families shared with us that they had not eaten in days and some were living on only bread and water. One of the children’s parents mentioned that they were embarrassed to look their children in the eye because they had no means to provide for them. We made sure that we bought foodstuffs that would last them at least two months and also gave them a sum of RM100 each. We also discovered that some of the families were living in the dark with no means to pay for electricity bills. Despite providing the children with laptops, it did not make sense for them to have laptops with no electricity, so we cleared the outstanding bills and made advance payments for one month.
During GIB Malaysia’s charity initiative, we noticed that some of the needs we considered as basic needs, were not available in a number of homes. How were the children going to virtually learn without an internet connection? Luckily there were broadband providers with yearly subscriptions so we were able to provide the children and their families with internet access of up to a year. We also advised the parents to control the amount of internet their children accessed and what kind of information was made available to them. This way the children would only be focused on educative and informative news instead of other things.
PROVISION OF SURGICAL MASKS AND HAND SANITISERS
While we visited some of these homes, we noticed that some of the families were using their clothes which they would pull over to their faces and other makeshift face masks as a form of safety and prevention. When we asked whether they at least had sanitisers, in many flats, there was none. Here was a global deadly disease outbreak yet most of these families had no proper protective gear. So we also provided them with surgical masks as well as educated them on the importance of staying safe in the time of the pandemic.
EDUCATION ON COVID-19 AND THE IMPORTANCE OF STAYING SAFE
When we visited these homes and observed that many did not only have the equipment needed to stay safe, we also noticed that many were not quite aware of what COVID was. Many just knew it was the reason behind them losing their jobs but were not aware of the impact it could cause on an individual’s health if contracted. We were shocked that many did not quite believe that the pandemic was life threatening and that actual people were dying. We made sure we educated them on the severity of the disease outbreak by handing out pamphlets in various local languages that provided safety information. By providing them with information and safety equipment, now they were not only able to use it because we asked them to but they understood the importance of the safety measures that they needed to take.
GIB MALAYSIA’S DONATIONS MAKE AN IMPACT
We at GIB were extremely humbled to be able to make an impact on these children’s lives. Through the generosity of GIB’s global investment community, we were able to afford the means to provide food, laptops and preventive gear to people who were affected by the pandemic. This was the biggest effort yet to help people in immediate need, as most of our social responsibility initiatives are focussed on helping businesses.
“We are extremely proud that we came together and put a smile on many faces. As an organisation, we were also able to strengthen our values of gratitude and appreciation towards what we have. The relationship between our employees and employers was strengthened during this pandemic and we realised the importance of each other’s presence and peace in our dealings. We found a sense of deeper meaning in our work, strengthened our personal and work relationships and learnt that it really is the small things in life that can genuinely and truly make a difference,” said GIB CEO Joel McMurphy.
As an organisation, we would love to urge everyone to have peace in their day to day dealings with others. Life is short and we never know what the future holds so it is important to appreciate and embrace each and every moment while it lasts. We would also like to thank everyone who inspired the birth and idealisation of this campaign for we would not have achieved such a great deal without their help and support. Lastly, we would like to encourage everyone to help their neighbour and give whatever they can by simply finding out how he or she is doing. At the end of the day, it is the little things that matter, and even just enquiring after your neighbour’s health or wellbeing counts as a good deed.
“I am thankful. Before this I was missing loads of classes and was worried about having to repeat a class because I had missed out on so much. Thanks to GIB, I can now attend my classes and catch up with the other students on what I have missed,” said one beneficiary student who preferred to remain anonymous.
Get’em In Business (GIB) is also working on a way to merge or totally create a new form of technology that can aid the less fortunate during the pandemic or other unfortunate events that may happen in the future. We are a team that likes to think ahead and the global pandemic has definitely taught us that in this modern day and age technology is our new best friend. Stay tuned if you would like to know more.