– Citi in Community: Youth Empowerment, Financial Inclusion and Urban Transformation –
Citizenship is core to Citi and a responsibility shared by all of our businesses, clients, suppliers and communities. Through Citi Foundation, our citizenship efforts focus on promoting economic progress and improving the lives of people in lowincome communities. We continuously invest in initiatives that enhance financial inclusion, create job opportunities for youth and introduce new approaches to build and sustain vibrant cities.
In Malaysia, Citi has proactively embraced a “More than Philanthropy’ approach to our strategic community initiatives. Our focus areas are in Urban Transformation, Financial Inclusion and Youth Economic Opportunities.
Citi Foundation grant partners in Malaysia are Think City, a subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad. Think City is a community-based urban regeneration body that seeks to create more sustainable and livable cities. Citi has partnered Think City over the last 5 years pioneering corporate sponsorship of urban migration research, development of cultural and arts initiatives in the heart of Kuala Lumpur City and in the past one year, a focus on Laneway Improvements to transform dilapidated laneways into vibrant community spaces with opportunities for healthy living based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the New Urban Agenda set by the United Nations (UN-Habitat).
An extension of Think City’s focus on urban transformation includes a strategic approach to inner-city social problems including homelessness and social stigma related to migrant communities in three laneways in historic Kuala Lumpur.
Think City also provides opportunities for selected community and civil society partners to jointly address significant social issues. There is also a significant environmental dimension that will involve waste management opportunities with local communities.
Citi’s community engagement in Youth Economic Opportunities is via a grant to the The Edge Education Foundation for the ‘Money & Me’ Youth Financial Empowerment Program which is in its fourth year of implementation. The programme is designed to equip low and middle-income youth between ages of 15 to 16 with basic financial planning goals and entrepreneurial skills to prepare them for the job market.
In the area of Youth Entrepreneurship, Citi is in partnership with the Asia School of Business supporting The Rapid Youth Success Entrepreneurship (RYSE) Program to improve youth unemployment rates in urban Malaysia. Low income students from community colleges in the country are taught innovation and design thinking by the Asia School of Business team in addition to social entrepreneurship skills and e-commerce. A regional youth entrepreneur initiative funded by Citi Foundation in Asia Pacific was held for the first time in Malaysia in 2018. The UNDP and Citi Foundation Youth Co-Lab Summit brings together each year, young social entrepreneurs throughout the country to compete and develop innovative business proposals to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Initiative has the support of the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (Magic) as well as the relevant government bodies involved in science and entrepreneur development.
In financial inclusion, Citi has partnered with Era Consumer Malaysia to run pre-school and teacher training in financial education and with Universiti Putra Malaysia to spearhead a special programme for local income mature women in the country.
Citi employees are our best community ambassadors, generously giving their time and contribution to local charity giving and community support programmes. In 2019, close to 4,000 Citi Malaysia employees, families and friends joined other Citi employees worldwide for the Citi Global Community Day in Kuala Lumpur and Penang to raise over RM100,000 was raised this year for the Paralympic Council of Malaysia to prepare the Malaysian contingent for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Our journey in serving communities are aligned to Citi’s mission of enabling economic progress. Through Citi Foundation, we hope to support more vibrant and sustainable living in cities, provide a brighter future for youth in low income families, empower women and girls to build financially independent lives and encourage the development of youth entrepreneurship and leadership in the country.