HWUM students raise over RM100,000 in crowdfunding



Raised 100K

Heriot-Watt University Malaysia (HWUM) students have raised over RM100,000 crowdfunding efforts for twelve beneficiaries – Kids Scuba Diveheart Malaysia, Lang Tengah Turtle Watch, FUGEE School, Malaysian Federation of the Deaf, Malaysian Mental Health Association, MERCY Malaysia, Nicol David Organisation, Paws Animal Welfare Society, Persatuan Bagi Orang Buta Malaysia (Malaysian Association for the Blind), Persatuan Kebajikan Ti-Ratana Malaysia, TFM Foundation and Yayasan Chow Kit.

The HWUM EmPOWER Crowdfunding Project started in 2022 in conjunction of HWUM’s 10 year anniversary for ten beneficiaries and successfully raised RM67,289 for ten selected charitable organisations to provide help with their respective causes.

In 2023, 400 students via 40 student groups surpassed last year’s success of raising RM102,594 for twelve beneficiaries. The crowdfunding project began on 26 January 2023 and ended on 10 May 2023 via the simplygiving.com platform to garner the fundings.

Professor Mushtak Al-Atabi, Provost and Chief Executive Officer of HWUM said, “To all participating students, thank you for collaborating with us in creating future leaders. We are immensely proud of your hard work and your ability to channel your purpose into a positive impact on the world, regardless of its scale. Please keep in mind that even the smallest efforts can make a significant difference. Your achievements and the positive change you have brought about have touched and inspired numerous individuals, including myself.”

Under the innovative HWUM EmPOWER programme, the programme is aimed to engage students in advanced self-driven developmental activities enabling them to achieve their full potential and hone their soft skills. It is a four-level structured programme to future-proof graduates, unleash their potential and to prepare them to stand out and have an impact in a highly uncertain world.

The EmPOWER programme encompasses four levels of leadership development for students throughout their studies at HWUM to develop students’ competencies in Leading Self, Leading Teams, Leading Communities and Leading Enterprises. These competencies are developed for students’ leadership through experiential learning in six focused domains – Global Citizenship, Leadership & Impact, Emotional Intelligence, Resilience & Happiness, People Skills, Creativity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Critical Thinking & Decision Making and Employability & Industrial Relevance.

The top five student fundraiser groups are Listen Through Your Heart (RM13,130), Mercy Journey (RM7,326), Mental Health Leads to Mental Wealth (RM5,458), ChowKids (4,926) and Young Learners (RM4,644).

Yu Heng Loo, the student fundraiser group leader for the Listen Through Your Heart (Malaysian Federation of The Deaf) said, "Participating in the EmPOWER journey will be a precious memory for me, especially all the sweet and sweat time spent together with my team members. With all the efforts done in spreading awareness of deafness, we hope that everyone is aware of the deaf community. Hence create a better and equal society for them."

Kishen Zachary from the group MERCY Journey said, "As a participant of the EmPower Community Service Project, I can attest to the lasting benefits it has provided me. This experience offered me the platform to take on a leadership role as VP, guiding my team towards a shared goal and vision. Throughout the project, I honed essential skills such as team management, people management, problem-solving, and communication. I am proud of the results we achieved, utilizing the resources available to raise a significant amount for Mercy MY."

Amanina Iskandar, group leader of Mental Health Leads To Mental Wealth (group that worked with Malaysian Mental Health Association) said, "The EmPOWER Community Service Project has been an invigorating and rewarding journey for our team. While navigating the challenges of raising funds and striving to achieve our group's goal within a tight deadline, we were inspired by the overwhelming support and generosity from the community. Their contributions enabled us to reach our targets, and we are deeply grateful for the opportunity to make a meaningful impact together."

Hanim Mohd Kamal from the group Chowkids (Yayasan Chow Kit) said, "This project has given all members of our group the opportunity to serve our IMPACT statements. Most of our members' IMPACT statements revolve around giving back to society, helping people and promote healthy wellbeing lifestyle. Through this project, we got to implement our IMPACT statements in some ways. 

Group leader of Young Learners (Nicol David Organisation), Fatin Fadzil said, "Our participation in the EmPOWER programme has been enlightening and eye-opening as it has given us many new experiences. As a leader, the efforts my group had put in to empower underprivileged children through Nicol David’s Organisation is extremely endearing and I’m very proud of hos hard they worked. We had the ability to do our part in the community and help Nicol David in achieving her goal."

Jasmine Low, Heriot-Watt Global College Malaysia who is also the Project Manager of the HWUM Crowdfunding Project 2023 said, “We are very proud of the achievements of our students who were part of the EmPOWER 2023 Crowdfunding Project. This year's theme was "To create a Sustainable, Equitable and Enjoyable Future" for our beneficiaries and targeted to raise RM100,000. The students not only achieved the set target but exceeded it! With the support of the staff and EmPOWER team, the students applied the entrepreneurial and critical thinking skills they learnt from their EmPOWER workshops and through their fund-raising efforts were able to mobilise their purpose into impact.  We are also truly grateful to the entire Heriot-Watt community and our Impact Coaches for the contributions, encouragement and support rendered to the students.”