– One of Dow’s priorities in community engagement is creating a long term impact. Like how the company has worked with HOPEww, more than 250 children have benefitted from a STEM education over the last six years.
Dow in the community
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Dow Malaysia continued to collaborate with NGOs to advance their education, sustainability and inclusion strategic priorities with the local community.
Developing the next generation of engineers
In partnership with HOPE WorldWide Malaysia, Dow sponsored the Robotic STEAM Education & Micro:bit Boson STEAM Learning Program to help children from under-privileged families develop engineering skills. This gave the children a chance at advancing their education and interest in engineering. This year, also the company’s 6th year partnering HOPEww saw a total of 252 children benefitting from this program since 2016.
Dow also extended a mental health program to them to help build better resiliency.
Putting food on the table
Since the start of the pandemic, Dow partnered HOPEww twice in delivering groceries to 100 impacted families; each delivery with groceries lasting two months. The company hoped that this will help to ease financial burden of these families and aid recovery from the aftermath of the pandemic.
To support sustainable living in the community, Dow supported a food compost program focusing on reducing/repurposing food waste, home urban farming (grow own food), and encouraging food security (consume own food). The objective was to create a greater social impact while engaging the community, specifically the B40 (bottom 40%) families in cultivating sustainable living through training, education, empowerment, and circular economy.
Supporting the autism community
Dow worked closely with The National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM) leading to the establishment of the National Autism Center (NARC) at UiTM Shah Alam, a center for autism community in collaboration with UiTM lecturers. Due to pandemic restrictions, more virtual webinars were being organized this year. The inaugural ‘ASD And Oral Health Care’ webinar in January received more than 700 participants. Other topics in the year include ‘Play-Based Intervention’ with play as a medium of therapy and ‘Influence of Sensory Issues on Autism Children’s Behaviour’. The NARC One-Stop Portal (https://narc.uitm.edu.my/) was also curated for easy access to autism research, information, programs, etc.
Dow also supported the ‘Smart Mushroom Project’ at NASOM Kuantan with a mission to turn the center into one that is self-sustaining and self-reliant. The project will enable autism families to embrace sustainable living through growing mushrooms and hydroponic plants, and selling them to restaurants and online buyers for income.
To provide a safer environment for autistic children, Dow also provided the center’s therapy/sensory room with floor and wall padding protection. Made using recycled shoe top (from Dow Singapore’s shoe recycling project) and bound by environmentally friendly binder, the use of the upcycled padding also makes the center more sustainable.