Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) extends RM1.5 million support to Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO)

YSD has supported WAO over the past seven years

Kuala Lumpur, 23 March 2017 – Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) has extended its support to the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) with an additional commitment of RM1.5 million for three years until December 2019. 
This is YSD’s  fourth extension in support of WAO which will mark a decade of continuous collaboration between the Foundation and WAO, with a total commitment of RM4.3 million.
YSD Governing Council Member Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato’ Othman, who announced the extension of support to WAO at the Foundation’s International Women’s Day celebration, said the women’s rights organisation has played a crucial role to protect survivors of domestic violence.
“Over the years, the Foundation has supported the protection and advocacy efforts for women survivors of domestic violence and their children through the establishment of shelters and the results have been encouraging.”
“From January 2010 until September 2016, a total of 949 women and 821 children have sought refuge in WAO’s refuge centre, providing much needed shelter and protection for battered and scarred women and children,” she said. 
WAO Executive Director Sumitra Visvanathan said YSD’s support has been crucial in enabling the organisation to advocate for laws and policies to improve the lives of Malaysian women as well as protect and empower survivors of domestic violence.
“YSD has been WAO's strategic partner since 2010, and we thank them for their constant and generous support.”
“YSD’s support has enabled us to provide free services to women and children who are victims of abuse, helping them rebuild their lives as empowered survivors,” she said. 
Through its efforts over the years, WAO is a leading domestic violence shelter provider. The organisation is also a reintegration and case management service provider in Malaysia, developing high-impact advocacy programmes to strengthen state policy and women’s access to justice and protection in an effort to enhance community awareness on domestic violence and promote gender equality.

Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) Chief Executive Officer Puan Hajjah Yatela Zainal Abidin, YSD Governing Council Member Ms Caroline Christine Russell and YSD Governing Council Member YBhg. Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato’ Othman hands over a mock cheque signifying YSD’s continued support of RM1.5 million to Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) Executive Director Ms Sumitra Visvanathan. YSD’s support to WAO is for three years until December 2019.

(left and 3rd from right) Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) Chief Executive Officer Puan Hajjah Yatela Zainal Abidin and YSD Governing Council Member YBhg. Datin Paduka Zaitoon Dato’ Othman with panellists (left to right) Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) Commissioner Mr Jerald Joseph, Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) YBhg. Dato’ Faridah Merican, Cancer Research Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Professor Dr Teo Soo-Hwang, Pertubuhan Kendiri Wanita dan Gadis founder Ms. Low Ngai Yuen and Malaysian Automotive Association President YBhg. Datuk Aishah Ahmad after the forum “Be Bold For Change” at YSD’s International Women’s Day celebration. 

During the event, in conjunction with International Women’s Day, a forum was also held entitled “Be Bold For Change”, with panelists Malaysian Automotive Association President and Corporate Affairs Director of Sime Darby Motors Division YBhg. Datuk Aishah Ahmad, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) Co-Founder & Executive Producer YBhg. Dato’ Faridah Merican, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) Commissioner Mr. Jerald Joseph and Cancer Research Malaysia (CRM) Chief Executive Officer Professor Dr. Teo Soo-Hwang.

WAO also organised a workshop "Why Gender Equality Matters?” to raise awareness on gender-based discrimination and the need for gender equality.

About 190 Sime Darby staff attended the workshop with 120 representatives from  women’s rights groups and beneficiaries of YSD. 

Under the Community & Health pillar, YSD to date has committed RM114 million towards community-based programmes, initiatives, advocacy and research efforts targeted at increasing the well-being of disadvantaged people, reducing socio-economic disparities as well as enhancing the welfare of neglected children, senior citizens, vulnerable women, physically challenged individuals and other marginalised groups. 

About Yayasan Sime Darby 
Yayasan Sime Darby, or Sime Darby Foundation, was established in 1982 and is the primary driver of Sime Darby Berhad’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. 

The objectives of Yayasan Sime Darby are supported by its five pillars, namely: education; environment; community & health; youth & sports; arts & culture. While led by independent members of a Governing Council and managed by a dedicated team, Yayasan Sime Darby works closely with the Sime Darby Group, in areas of mutual interest. 

Since its inception, Yayasan Sime Darby has awarded scholarships worth RM253 million to 3,357 students both in and outside Malaysia. It is supporting long term research projects of significant scientific value like the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) project which is the world’s largest ecological project, and the Reforestation and Rehabilitation of Orang Utan Habitats in Northern Ulu Segama. 

Yayasan Sime Darby is also actively involved in the development and improvement of sports in Malaysia namely track cycling, cricket, sailing and golf. Under its community & health pillar, Yayasan Sime Darby supports initiatives to promote the well-being of disadvantaged people irrespective of race, culture, religion, creed or gender and works with established organisations to promote the development of arts & culture. 

For further information, please contact:

Meena Lakshana
Senior Executive, Public Relations
Yayasan Sime Darby 
Tel:  03-2691 4122 Ext 7614, 013-256 7160 (HP)