Made in Malaysia, for Malaysians

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on August 30, 2018.
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I Love Malaysia Bazaar at IPC Shopping Centre, for which The Edge is media partner, provides yet another meaningful way to celebrate the 61st Merdeka Day of our nation. A shopping spree that aims to make a difference, the bazaar is part of the shopping mall’s Merdeka Day campaign for this year, which runs until Sunday, at the atrium area of the mall’s ground floor.

What sets it apart from other bazaars is its feel-good aspect. Featuring 20 booths in total, the highlight will take place tomorrow and Sunday, showcasing 10 booths run by NGOs and social enterprises, offering products that are not only proudly Malaysian but also contribute directly to various social and economic empowerment causes. Each organisation champions a cause worthy in its own right, ranging from the welfare of children in shelter homes or the elderly with disabilities to facilitating single mothers or advocating the plight of farmers and Orang Asli in Sabah and Sarawak.

 

1. Asrama Cahaya Rumah Wanita Cacat Infant Jesus Convent

Look out for: Handicraft made by the 38 mentally or physically challenged residents with assistance from volunteers. Sixty percent of the residents are above 70 years old and mostly left at the convent gates as babies.

 

2. Batik Boutique

Look out for: Beautiful batik gifts and fashion accessories made by women from low-income backgrounds who are offered employment opportunities under this social enterprise.

 

3. Various vendors under the Caring Moms platform

Loom out for: F&B and wellness products such as pastry, cookies and other baked goods, smoothie bowls, nuts and turmeric tonic from businesses run by mothers and women who are connected via the platform built to provide a safe environment to transact, learn, interact and support each other.

 

4. Havan

Look out for: Fashionable pocket tees featuring the printed artwork and creative expression of children living in shelter homes that go to fund EQ lessons for the children.

 

5. Helping Hands Penan

Look out for: The popular, colourful handwoven bags, which come in all shapes and sizes, and that create economic opportunities for the weavers from Sarawak’s Penan community.

 

6. Langit

Look out for: A premium line of agricultural produce such as rice, ground ginger and black pepper that supports smallholder farmers in Lawas, Sarawak. Thirty percent of the social enterprise’s profits go to reducing intense physical labour and increasing yield.

 

7. MySkills Foundation and Malaysian Nature Society (partners of Yayasan Hasanah)

Look out for: Traditional Indian sweets and cakes prepared by the De’Divine Cafe, a training ground for youth under the programme who have dropped out of school, as well as Malaysian Nature Society merchandise.

 

8. Persatuan Daybreak

Look out for: Various handicraft items handmade by disabled adults and youth who receive specialised skill training from the Ipoh-based organisation.

 

9. Project Heart

Look out for: Hand-sewn bags by children from a shelter home and sponsorship of schoolbags for the children’s 2019 school term.

 

10. Social Enterprise Estate by YWCA

Look out for: Pouches and limited edition upcycled bags including on-the-spot customisation service, assorted cup cakes and flower teas (free tea while waiting for customised bags to be sewn) and a flower shop all by YWCA’s vocational school for underprivileged young women.