AT TAYLOR'S: Project Coordinator for CSR (steve.wise@taylors.edu.my)
PROJECT PARTNER: Epic Homes (info@epichome.org)
EPIC Homes – Extraordinary People Impacting Community - is an initiative that aims to develop relationships between the urban and rural populations of Malaysia through the activity of building homes for underprivileged Malaysian communities. Their current focus is on the indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia, the Orang Asli. Their 5-year goal is to ensure that every Orang Asli family has a safe home to live in. This is a huge challenge as more than 12,000 Orang Asli families are in need of housing aid in Peninsular Malaysia alone. Epic Homes seeks to mobilize and empower teams of volunteers to carry out this ambitious goal.
One of those teams was from Taylor's Education Group, the largest education provider in Malaysia with its modern University, two Colleges and five schools offering unparalleled excellence to Malaysian and international students. Staff from across the TEG, led by Dato' Loy Teik Ngan, undertook to take on the challenge of building an entire home in just one weekend. Partnering with Epic Homes in this endeavour, the staff were encouraged by inspirational talks from community leaders and challenged to focus on the realigning their personal goals with the needs of the larger community in mind. It was a joyful celebration of Taylor’s commitment to local communities, and a weekend to remember for all who took part.
Since their first house construction in 2010, Epic has built nearly 40 homes, mostly in the states of Selangor and Perak. Through these house-building projects Epic has connected indigenous Orang Asli families with over 500 people from around the world. In addition to local Malaysians, they have also had builders from Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Japan, Holland, New Zealand, India, Sweden, Korea, Turkey, UK, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Africa, USA, Iraq and Venezuela.

John-son Oei, the co-founder of Epic, reflects on this process, “When an EPIC Home is built, a family does not just get a new house, they become connected to a larger community who genuinely cares for them; a community that seeks to understand their housing challenge, and who seeks to work with them to solve it together.”  Epic welcomes individuals and groups to join with them in this ambitious outreach to the Orang Asli. Interested groups can put together their own teams that can serve to bond office and work groups in a joint effort to help these marginalized people. Both groups and individuals are encouraged to contact Epic. Visit their website at http://epichome.org/ or sign up on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/epicarmy

Taylor's University considers it a privileged to partner with Epic Homes in their initiative to provide affordable housing for the Orang Asli. There is an opportunity for many other community projects in the villages where there is already a great deal of good will and appreciation for all the help they have received. Projects related to health care, nutrition, agriculture, business development, tourism, and of course engineering solutions to the many problems they face in their daily lives would be most welcome. Please contact Stephen Wise, Project Coordinator for Corporate Social Responsibility, at steve.wise@taylors.edu.my for more information on how you can get involved.

Written by Stephen Wise