For those of you who were privileged enough to go to a school where the infrastructures were perfect and funds came in easily—you were lucky. Some students are unable to have that, especially if they live further out from the city. It is the hard reality that these schools may not have sufficient funds to provide the best infrastructures.
Now, though, their teachers can take charge and bring a change in these students' lives—by rallying the community to help and support them.
Here's where 100% Project comes in
Established only eight months ago, 100% Project is a platform that aims to empower educators in Malaysia. Teachers can submit a project they're interested in (from repairing computer labs to conducting language literacy programmes) through their website
and the good people of 100% Project will help them through consultation, putting up the project on the website and getting the public to donate.
If you're wary about where the money's going, the organisation is very transparent about the funds they collect. They even have a refund policy
in the case where a project falls through.
So far, they've seen a lot of success
They've managed to raise funds for 27
schools, accumulating up to RM355,177
. This has impacted 12,467 students
Image: 100% Project
Rojak Daily chats with 100% Project co-founders, Amelia Tan and Andrew Yong, about making crowdfunding work
Before they started the project, Tan tells us that everyone in the team had the common belief that education can make a change. "I used to work for an investment bank before becoming a fundraiser for Teach For Malaysia (TFM)
," she says. Tan is of firm belief that community involvement is important in education, and that while the public may be interested in funding, they may not know the right channel they could go to.
Amelia Tan (Image: 100% Project)
Yong chipped in, saying that he had always been interested in education. Previously, he was also involved with TFM. "Before I knew about TFM, I wanted to build my own school." In his opinion, the educator's career development and teaching process should be focused on, which is why he aims to empower the teachers in the education system to do something more for their students.
Andrew Yong (Image: 100% Project)
They share their observations on what makes a project successful
"One thing that's important is the teacher involved," says Tan. According to the co-founders, the successful projects that get funded quickly come from teachers who are especially passionate about their cause. Tan elaborates, "At the end of the day, there's only so much that we can do. We provide the platform, but if they can't be the one driving it, then it's hard for us to do our job."
Teachers who submit their ideas to 100% Project have to go through a thorough vetting process. The team takes into consideration whether the project can work or not, and they also guide the teachers on how to connect to the public, provide consultation on their project to beef it up, as well as how to effectively use social media to get everyone's attention.
Image: 100% Project
It's not always easy, but it's worth it
Two of 100% Project's biggest challenges have been to reach out to more teachers and to get them to understand what crowdfunding is, as well as to get the teachers to put themselves out there to tell their stories. "People don't like showing off, but you're already a storyteller in the classroom inspiring your students," says Tan. "What we need right now is to take one step further and inspire other people too."
Image: 100% Project
The team has gotten to see the result of the projects firsthand, which has made all their effort worth it.
Tan tells us about a teacher who got her students to use art to express their dreams. "She got her kids to paint a mural of their dreams and collected stories from them," she explains. "Now, the teacher is compiling them into a book. I saw the first copy and found it powerful because the students poured their heart and soul in there."
"Every student learns differently and are engaged by different things," Yong says. "These kids are not doing well through the traditional way of teaching in school. At the end of the day, this was initiated by a teacher who knew what her students needed."
I'm inspired, time to donate!
Great! Head over here
to look at what projects you can help fund.
You can also check out other education non-profit organisations
• Fugee School
• Nation Building School
• Teach for Malaysia
• International Child Resource Institute