This article first appeared in The Star (Community) (via M. KRISHNAMOORTHY, 13 January 2013) found here
Youth volunteers who have been empowering the orang asli community in Hulu Langat, Selangor for the past two years, have had to scale back their work as their funds have been cut down drastically.
Funding by several organisations for the volunteers’ work has decreased and the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR) is now sourcing funds to continue their work with the orang asli in the Klang Valley.
Its co-founder Long Seh Lih said it was difficult to continue activities at the same scale, as donors have cut back their funding to the MCCHR. Through its project entitled UndiMsia, MCCHR has been involved in empowering orang asli youths for the past two years.
UndiMsia was launched in September 2011 and it started out with training urban and semi-urban youths and the past year, it began focusing on orang asli youths.
“We have been educating them on their civic responsibility, in particular, how to seek solutions to their problems. We also coached them on their fundamental and constitutional rights.
“To disseminate the message, we provided them with infographics and videos. We work with them on producing these materials.
“This is to ensure that they own the process and the materials,” said Long.
So far, the Centre, under the banner of UndiMsia has disseminated 90,000 infographics, produced four videos, which have been circulated on the Internet and other social media sites and the videos have received close to 100,000 hits on YouTube.
The Centre also works with other organisations to produce the infographics and videos. Such collaboration means that the materials will benefit a wider audience as it will be distributed not only in Hulu Langat area but also to orang asli communities with whom these organisations work with.
MCCHR plans to provide a mobile resource centre that will be complemented by a literacy programme for the orang asli community.