Cash-strapped youth groups have welcomed the government's plan to set up a RM100 million youth volunteer fund.
The fund, termed Dana Sukarelawan 1Malaysia (Dre1M), will help youth groups to carry out volunteer activities through a measure known as “seed money”.
It was announced yesterday by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak under the 1Malaysia For Youth (1M4U) volunteer programme
Drug Free Youth Association (DFYA) president Khairuddin Aziz welcomed the idea, adding that it was difficult for his group to come up with money to run anti-drug campaigns.
“It’s hand-to-mouth [right now],” he told FMT over the phone.
“We have to supply performances [just] to pay the rent, and sometimes it’s not affordable. [Right now] we have to look for more shows [to get more funding], and we can only get shows from the government,” he said, adding that private sponsors “did not pay much”.
DFYA’s activities, he said, focused on weaning youths off drugs, alcohol and smoking.
Hoping to be selected by the government fund, Khairuddin added that the money would help his group’s as they currently lack funding and assets.
“It’s a very good idea, [because] before [this], we were fighting to make volunteerism an agenda. [This fund will] accelerate the culture of volunteerism among young people,” he said.
Jufitri said that most youth volunteer groups at the moment did not know how to raise funds for themselves, adding that many lacked necessary “exposure”.
He said that they needed the know-how on how to get funds to run their activities.
Also, he said that the fund should be allocated “professionally” to both urban and rural associations.
While there is little information on the details of this fund, it was reported that Dre1M will be handled by a special task force and governed by a board of trustees, which will be chaired by the PM himself.
Najib also announced plans to set up a youth-centric radio station called 1M4U.