Raja Singham (standing) presenting his future plans to the Edunation team.
WHILE businesses exist to provide customers a service and its owners a profit, business owners such as Brickfields Asia College (BAC) founder and managing director Raja Singham, 48, realise the importance of giving back to society, to the less fortunate in particular.
Winners for two categories of The Star Outstanding Business Awards 2015 (SOBA), the private education provider clinched the Platinum Award for the Best in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) category and Silver Award for Best Brand category.
Raja Singham and his wife Meera Mahendranathan have been involved in CSR activities since establishing the college in 1991, primarily through offering scholarships to students in need of financial assistance.
To-date, the college has provided more than RM20mil in scholarships and bursaries.
As a teenager, together with four of his A-level classmates, Raja Singham’s first major project was a charity concert in aid of the Ethiopian Famine Fund which raised several thousand ringgit.
Today, Raja Singham, through the BAC Education Group, works with over 50 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and charities involving children with special needs, education, disadvantaged and abused women, refugees and even animal welfare.
This means about 100 charity events are organised in a year to raise funds.
A UNHCR Teacher Training Workshop which runs monthly, at the BAC Petaling Jaya campus. BAC lecturers train teachers who will teach refugee children.
One of BAC’s major projects is a free online and offline tuition service covering 12 subjects in the Malaysian secondary school syllabus including Mathematics, Additional Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Chemistry.
The website Edunation (www.edunation.my) was co-founded by Raja Singham and Edmond Yap and thus far, BAC has invested close to RM3mil on this online portal.
Edunation is currently completing videos on all subjects for the Malaysian primary school syllabus and it is targeting to provide the primary school content in Mandarin and Tamil by end of this year.
“In addition to its repository of over 3,000 videos, students can get help from tutors via live chats,” Raja Singham said.
More than 40,000 Malaysian students are currently using Edunation.
Apart from that, Raja Singham said they were also helping to train teachers.
“Malaysia has played its part in accommodating economic refugees.
“However, these refugee children are still not accepted into the local school system,” he said.
In an effort to support the education needs of these children, BAC has collaborated with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide training for teachers to support refugee schools.
“These teachers will teach the refugee children so that their educational needs are fulfilled.
“Eventually, when these refugees are repatriated to their destination countries, the children will be better prepared to fit into the host country’s education system,” he said.
Another major CSR initiative is the Make It Right Movement, BAC’s charity arm which focuses on enhancing the livelihood of women, children, the underprivileged and the disabled.
The Make It Right Movement, in collaboration with social organisation Tech Outreach Malaysia, has fully-funded and conducted a series of entrepreneurship workshops.
These workshops are for single mothers and other disadvantaged women, as it aims to improve their eligibility for interest-free loans to fund their individual business ventures.
“We also provide volunteering opportunities to students and the public at large.
“This movement aims to mobilise at least 100,000 Malaysians as a volunteer force to assist the various NGOs and charities achieve their noble objectives and to help the less fortunate,” Raja Singham concluded.
This is part of BAC’s commitment to producing highly employable and socially responsible graduates. It actively supports student engagement in various charitable causes such as orphanage visits and fundraising events for the less fortunate.a