AT TAYLOR'S: Project Coordinator for CSR (steve.wise@taylors.edu.my)
PROJECT PARTNER: Principal Dora Tigan (skbario@gmail.com)
The Bario Hostel Project is an ambitious initiative by Taylor’s Education Group to bring about positive change in how education is delivered to rural populations in Sabah and Sarawak. One key strategy that has been widely adopted has been to construct boarding facilities in central locations. In 2007, Taylor’s Education Group took the first step towards helping the children of Sabah with the the construction of a boarding facility in Kota Marudu. This hostel now houses 50 children from surrounding villages. This was then followed by another project in 2009 and a further RM 60,000 contribution by Taylor’s went towards the construction of a hostel in Kampung Koromoko.

In 2012, the target was set to renovate and refurbish Sekolah Kebangsaan Bario in Bario, Sarawak. The renovation and refurbishment in SK Bario includes a new access road, kitchen, dining hall, assembly hall, new accommodation wing and toilets. The additional and upgraded infrastructure and facilities will allow a greater number of children from surrounding villages to attend school and secure a higher level of Government funding. The construction of Phase One began in late 2013 with the new Assembly Hall that doubles as a dining area with cooking, storage and washroom facilities.  This phase was completed in mid 2014.
The Kelabit, with a population of approximately 5,000 people, is one of the smallest ethnic groups in Malaysia. A hardy and resilient people, the Kelabit are determined to improve their living standards through education for their own children, and seek to provide schooling for the children of neighbouring villages as well, many of whom have no access to schools. The importance of education as a means to alleviate poverty is now well understood. But access to education remains a problem among the indigenous communities  of Sarawak and Sabah. Daily hours of long walks along treacherous trails to and from school are common.

The vision for the Bario Hostel project was provided by Taylor’s CEO and Managing Director, Dato’ Loy Teik Ngan, who is spearheading the effort. Dato' Loy’s vision encompasses and inspires a whole range of community service initiatives across Taylor's, but this one is close to his heart. “If we can provide a home for children while they study, we can ensure that more of them can improve their lives. This is why we have adopted the motto ‘Give the children an education. Build them a hostel.’ For these children, it is their hope for the future.”
Dato' Loy seeks to inspire others with the vision of how education can change lives and give people hope. Taylor’s Education Group is committed to the completion of this project, and welcomes the contributions of individuals and corporations in this worthy effort. Financial contributions can be directed to the charitable foundation set up for this purpose, and are deductible for income tax purposes. Please direct inquiries concerning individual or corporate donations to SiewChin.Ho@taylors.edu.my

Written by Stephen Wise