UOB Malaysia Raises RM 300,000 For Three Charities Through The 2021 UOB Global Heartbeat Virtual Run/Walk

by | Nov 1, 2021 | SUSTAINABILITY | 0 comments

UOB Malaysia colleagues and their families united to raise RM 300,000 for charities through the Bank’s flagship annual fund-raising event, the UOB Global Heartbeat Virtual Run/Walk. The funds raised helped to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and vulnerable communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The money raised through the UOB Heartbeat Fund will provide financial support for three charities1 in Malaysia, which are Food Aid Foundation, SOLS 24/7 and Yayasan Generasi Gemilang. The funds were distributed equally across these three beneficiaries to help more than 1,300 children and youth from vulnerable families for a year as they rebuild their lives from the disruptions caused by the pandemic. 

Mr Wong Kim Choong, Chief Executive Officer, UOB Malaysia, said, “Vulnerable communities, especially disadvantaged children and youth, have been among those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the economy is gradually reopening, it is important to continue supporting these communities as they slowly begin to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. We hope the money raised through the UOB Global Heartbeat Virtual Run/Walk can help make a meaningful difference to those impacted by the pandemic and to alleviate some of the burden faced during these challenging times.” 

The charities used the money to purchase fresh produce, nutritious meals, and toiletries for the children and also help fund 40 youths to complete a year-long apprentice programme at SOLS 24/7’s Solar Academy. This programme offers Malaysian youths a second chance to obtain an education and provides them with career opportunities in the solar industry. Additionally, the funds provided to Yayasan Generasi Gemilang went towards providing students from socio-economically challenged backgrounds with internet access and other school supplies they may need for their studies.

Mr Nick Foong, Director of Services from Yayasan Generasi Gemilang, said, “There are many basic essentials that vulnerable families require during this pandemic. However, with the implementation of lockdowns and the disruptions caused by the pandemic, many families are struggling to put food on the table. With this generous donation from UOB Malaysia, vulnerable families are able to afford the basic necessities such as rice and oil. The funds would also go a long way towards providing children with internet access to help them continue with their education.” 

This year marks the 14th edition of UOB Malaysia’s Heartbeat Run/Walk event and the second time it is held virtually for participants to take part safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on last year’s successful event, UOB Malaysia expanded the participation criteria for this year’s two-month virtual event to encourage colleagues and their families to accumulate active hours through various fitness activities including running, ball games, yoga and more. 

From July to August 2021, UOB Group ran the global fundraising effort across its 17 markets and raised a record of more than RM 5 million ($1.86 million). The collective spirit of UOB colleagues saw participants clocking almost 80,000 active hours, surpassing the Bank’s target by more than 50 per cent with UOB Malaysia colleagues contributing almost 11,000 active hours. By enabling participants to choose their favourite physical activity, the UOB Global Heartbeat Virtual Run/Walk inspired colleagues to stay active for a good cause while taking care of their mental well-being amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The UOB Heartbeat Fund follows UOB Malaysia’s other initiatives over the past two years to help ease the burden and stress experienced by vulnerable groups in the community. Since the pandemic started, UOB Malaysia has cumulatively donated RM600,000 via MERCY Malaysia to provide hospitals with critical medical equipment needed to help them fight the ongoing pandemic as well as to ease the burden of healthcare workers. The Bank has also offered various relief measures, including a six-month opt-in repayment moratorium which took effect in July 2021, as part of its continuous effort to support customers who are financially impacted by the ongoing movement restrictions.

As part of UOB’s commitment to forge a sustainable future, the Bank also launched the UOB Heartbeat Pledge to encourage colleagues to do good and to go green through thoughtful personal actions at home or at work. UOB colleagues contributed more than 3,700 pledges in July and August with the aim of conserving resources, reducing waste and uplifting communities which are aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

For example, some UOB employees have pledged to reduce their shower time by two minutes, potentially saving 1,785 litres of water each time, while others are committed towards choosing energy efficient devices and household appliances, reducing unnecessary printing and acting with kindness and compassion.