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Allianz Malaysia was recently announced as one of the five winners of the Allianz SE Social Innovation Fund 2017, receiving a €50,000 (estimated RM249,000) grant to support the education of Malaysian underprivileged and indigenous youth. 

The Allianz SE Social Innovation Fund 2017 saw over 30 entrants from Allianz group entities worldwide competing to secure €50,000 funding for their chosen social development project in collaboration with a social organisation partner. The fund acts as a catalyst for change within Allianz’s global ‘Encouraging Future Generations programme’ which focuses on the social inclusion of youth and children.  

With the grant, Allianz Malaysia will be funding an 18-month education programme – the SOLS Academy of Innovation - in collaboration with Science of Life Studies 24/7 (SOLS 24/7), a humanitarian organisation which serves, educates and empowers underserved communities through education and social empowerment programs.  

“We are immensely proud to have won the grant from the Allianz SE Social Innovation Fund 2017. It was great to find a like-minded partner in SOLS 24/7 who shares our drive and aspirations for empowerment, and our belief that everyone has the right to an education which is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). More importantly, the project addresses social exclusion where young underprivileged Malaysians are concerned,” said Zakri Khir, Chief Executive Officer of Allianz Malaysia Berhad. 

As part of the programme, students will attend full-day classes at the Academy and learn subjects including English, Mathematics, Information Technology, Coding, Solar Energy, Project Management as well as Personal Development. SOLS 24/7 will recruit students from various areas, particularly rural villages in Gua Musang, Gerik, and Negeri Sembilan. 

The inaugural intake of the SOLS Academy (previously called the Solar Academy), was successful in engaging Orang Asli youth in particular, with more than 95% students from indigenous backgrounds  graduating from the programme. The Academy prepares graduates for jobs in the growing solar sector, in office administration, and also aims to empower youth to become “community educators” that can inspire and lead younger generations in their home communities. 

After 12 months of classes, the students in the Academy will take on a 6-month internship. Through the partnership with Allianz, the students will be able to gain potential internship opportunities with Allianz Malaysia. Throughout the duration of the programme, Allianz Malaysia will also engage its employee volunteers to develop the students’ life skills and support their holistic development. 

“As the saying goes, if you give a man a fish you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime. Essentially, that is what we are striving for, to help these youths build a strong foundation and equip them with skills that enhance their employability through our mentoring, workshops and internship opportunities,” added Zakri.  

The Allianz SE Social Innovation Fund 2017 invests in social inclusion efforts and is one of the Allianz Group’s global corporate responsibility strategies to foster resilient societies. Besides Allianz Malaysia, other Allianz SE Social Innovation Fund 2017 winners include Allianz Australia, AGCS South Africa, Allianz Thailand, and Allianz Zagreb.

Prior to participating in the Allianz SE Social Innovation Fund 2017, Allianz Malaysia has been actively supporting social inclusion through its various corporate responsibility initiatives that aim to equalise opportunities of marginalised communities. 

To learn more about the Allianz SE Social Innovation Fund 2017 and each of the winning projects, click here allianz.com/en/press/news/commitment/community/170913_the-art-of-giving/. 
The Academy of Innovation is accepting applications until 31 December 2017. To apply, call +60 19-305 8942 or to learn more about SOLS 24/7, visit www.sols247.org.