As part of its EmPOWER programme, Heriot-Watt University Malaysia (HWUM) collaborated with Manipal International University ('MIU') on the PCs for B40 ('PC4B40') initiative to donate affordable computers to students from B40 communities in Malaysia.
The objective of PC4B40, which kickstarted in October 2021, was to ensure equal access to education to students from underserved communities. In addition, the project aimed to equip these students with information technology (IT) skills to enable continuity of their education online.
Guided by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 4 (Quality Education) and 10 (Reduced Inequality), 26 HWUM students raised a total of RM17,000 through their EmPOWER crowdfunding projects called Fiesta O Rama and AirFunding.
As part of PC4B40, HWUM students worked together with MIU to program and assemble compact-sized computer boards for 16 units of Raspberry PI computers.
Eight units of the Raspberry PI computers were donated to Persatuan Pembangunan Jayadiri Selangor while the remaining eight were donated to deserving families.
HWUM Provost and Chief Executive Officer Professor Mushtak Al-Atabi said: "We are pleased that after completing their impact statements, our students have acquired social responsiveness and entrepreneurship qualities, mobilising that purpose into a positive impact on the world and making us proud through their excellent achievements."
HWUM Mechanical Engineering student and leader of the EmPOWER PC4B40 initiative Ivan Yew Cheng Xin said: "We would like to express our gratitude to Iva & her team at MIU, and everyone who supported us with this project, who helped us make a difference in society, especially for students from underprivileged families. This project also helped me to achieve my impact statement: ‘I am a motivator. My purpose is to train myself in programming aspect and utilise the knowledge to motivate others in making an impact to the society."
MIU Mechanical Engineering student and leader of PC4B40 Initiative Iva Song Ci Way said, '"We would like to express our gratitude to Ivan Yew & his team at HWUM for being a partner in this initiative; the EmPOWER programme at HWUM and everyone else for their support in making this a success and a perfect example of Professor Mushtak's #TogetherWeCan".
Due to the shortage of the Raspberry PI Model B, which was used in the inaugural PC4B40 initiative, HWUM is researching other models of Raspberry PI to utilise for the next phase.
HWUM remains committed to nurturing purpose-driven leaders through its ‘Positive Education' approach.