Autism #Anakkita (Our kids)
INTRODUCTIONAccording to the National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM), autism is one of the fastest growing disorders and approximately 9,000 kids in Malaysia are born with autism each year. To address the challenges faced by autistic kids in the areas of education and care, Bank Rakyat launched its CR initiative specifically to cater for autistic community in Malaysia with an integrated marketing approach themed “Anakkita” in October 2016 and has continued until December 2018. Bank Rakyat’s core strategic thought is every child deserves a champion and Bank Rakyat aims to champion autistic kids in Malaysia. Their goals are to raise public awareness of autistic kids, elevate the lives of people with disabilities and to attract other organisations to collaborate through fundraising. Bank Rakyat is committed in providing therapies and programmes that will improve autistic kids’ individual capabilities and motor skills, which will then lead them to meaningful and productive lives in society.
FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGYAutism #Anakkita initiatives are aligned towards 4 pillars:
- Education – providing exposure and awareness to the public regarding autism
- Socialising – providing autistic kids the opportunity to experience recreational activities in open spaces.
- Therapy – organising activities elevating motor skill and cognitive behavioural therapy, social and communication skills and fund raising.
- Fundraising – involvement in fundraising and charitable activities
- Autismlympic: A sporting event specifically crafted for autistic kids which was participated by almost 1000 austistic kids, parents and media practitioners. Taking from tremendous feedback, Autismlympic was extended to other 8 states and participated by almost 500 autistic kids.
- Autism Award: The inaugural appreciation award organised for autistic kids and organisation/individual/ media partners who have directly involved in supporting autism community in Malaysia. This award serves as a platform for autistic kids to embrace their talent and specialities.
- Autismpreneur: Bank Rakyat provides autistic kids with entrepreneurship talent with a platform to expand the business and open up potential market to sell their products. They have helped autism centres to explore innovative ways to improve the products as well as provide opportunities for autistic kids to be part of the process.
- Autism buddies: Bank Rakyat has collaborated with youth community and university students for volunteerism activities. Apart from that, they have incorporated other organisations namely Dettol, Mydin, McDonalds and Milo to co-organise the programmes.
ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACTTestament to Bank Rakyat’s successful integrated marketing CSR initiatives for the benefit of autistic kids in particular and autism in general is Bank Rakyat is now known as a strong advocate for autistic kids with over 19,000 benefitting from their programmes. Bank Rakyat has conducted 05 programmes and won CSR Malaysia Awards 2018 – Company of The Year (Overall Excellence), for Championing Impactful Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives. Notable programmes were Bank Rakyat 2017 Autismlympics: A sport programmes that gathered 1,000 autistic kids and Dari Hati Ke Hati Bank Rakyat 2017 Awards: Awards resentation recognising autistic achievers, supporters and schools. Bank Rakyat has become synonymous with championing the cause of autistic kids in the country. Their initiatives have also delivered the objective of getting numerous other organisations in projects involving autistic kids, auguring well for the future care of and aid to autistic kids and other autistic individuals
FUTURE DIRECTIONAs part of Bank Rakyat’s ongoing efforts to raise awareness, they also lent their support to The Autism Café Project (ACP), which serves up more than quality food. It provides opportunities for young adults with autism to be gainfully employed in jobs that match their capabilities. For 2019 onwards, Bank Rakyat focuses in providing food for underprivileged kids which includes nutritional food for autistic kids. They have organised Nuri Nutrisi Autism Exhibition that focuses on nutritional food for autistic kids at National Museum. Beside exhibition on autism and nutritional food, Bank Rakyat has also organised special activities for about 150 autistic kids such as therapy sessions, mini Autismlympic, Autismpreneur and cooking demonstrations on nutritional food during the exhibition.
Bank Rakyat was established on 28 September 1954 and now has been recognised as the biggest Islamic cooperative bank in Malaysia. Bank Rakyat continues to expand its product range and customer facilities that are varied and innovative. The products and facilities include consumer banking, commercial financing, savings and investments as well as products of financial planning to satisfy the many demands of a wide spectrum of modern day customers. To date, Bank Rakyat has 147 branches with more than 1000 automated teller machines (ATMs) and cash deposit machines (CDM), as well as 184 Ar-RahnuX’Change (pawn broking) outlets nationwide.