AT TAYLOR'S: Grace Ong (SiewHar.Ong@taylors.edu.my)
The aboriginal people of Malaysia, known as the Orang Asli (people of the land) live in villages and settlement areas stretching from the foothills of Tapah all the way up to Brinchang and down to Kuala Terla.  Supporting themselves in the agricultural industry, they work the palm oil and rubber plantations, and harvest crops in the fertile Cameron Highlands, famous for its tea, fruit, and vegetables. It was to this last area that the students of Ms Ong’s International Tourism Management students conducted a community outreach recently. The students donated two book shelves, 50 children’s books, stationary and classroom supplies and donated RM1,300 to the local Orang Asli organization in Leryar Village, Cameron Highlands.  The Bachelors of International Tourism Management majoring in Events Management, batch 8 (BE8) and Bachelors of International Tourism Management majoring in Travel and Recreation Management,  batch 8(BR8) students had conducted fundraising activities for weeks in advance of their trip to the Cameron Highland in preparation for this outreach. While there the students from Taylor’s interacted with the children from the surrounding villages and organized games to promote fellowship and fun..
The degree students from Taylor’s found the project to be of both social and academic value and experienced first-hand the importance of corporate social responsibility during their preparation and outreach activity. This project had enduring business value as well, since it helped in developing the students’ understanding of the economic issues facing the indigenous people of Malaysia. Financial knowledge can contribute greatly to economic growth, and the economic and academic success of this marginalized group is an important component of Malaysia’s future.

The fundraising activities undertaken by Taylor’s students that were carried out to help the Orang Asli children of Pahang created a moment of joy for our students as they realized they were part of something exceptional in helping others. Even though the group had limited resources and funding they managed to overcome these obstacles by applying the Taylor’s Graduate Capabilities and employing extensive brainstorming among themselves to achieve their goals.  Through patience and perseverance Taylor’s planted a ‘Caring Seed’ and in the lives of both students and villagers to realize how important it is to be part of a caring community and to practice social responsibility.