Local NGO nurtures self-sufficiency with farming, sewing initiatives
31 March 2023
The Dignity Farm Academy is aimed at changing mindsets on agriculture so youths view it as a viable and sustainable option.

KUALA LUMPUR: Encouraging Malaysians to go back to basics and appreciate the merits of self-sufficient living has long been a vision of the Dignity for Children Foundation. In late 2021, the NGO acted on its vision by establishing the Dignity Farm Academy.

“There is an acute awareness of the importance of sustainable food production, and the need to instill awareness that education is more than just classroom-based,” said Dignity co-founder Elisha Satvinder.

Located in Bentong, Pahang, the academy aims to build a model of transformative education grounded in community building, natural agriculture, and skills development. Students learn vocational skills such as sustainable farming, and valuable team skills that will help develop their character.

The Dignity Farm Academy aims to address misconceptions towards agriculture by allowing youths to view the sector as a viable and sustainable option. It presently boasts a thriving food forest comprising diverse vegetables and herbs such as spinach, yams, ginger, carrots and pegaga, as well as fruits such as papaya, banana, rambutan and durian.

It also has an expanding poultry farm of 400 ducks and chickens that enables farm-to-plate practice at Dignity’s transformational enterprise, eat X dignity café, located in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur.

Programmes available at the academy include educational farm tours, youth seminars, accelerated character education and vocational development courses, as well as skate camps.

The latter are made possible through Dignity’s collaboration with VANS, which invested in Malaysia’s first granite skatepark at the farm. Skateboarders can utilise the skatepark for a fee on weekends, providing them a safe environment wherein to practise and hone their skills.

Monies earned from farming and educational programmes will be channelled back into the school.

Women Train Women
The Women Train Women programme has thus far successfully equipped 16 women with basic sewing skills, who will now progress to sewing clothes.

Meanwhile, Dignity has also announced its Women Train Women programme, aimed at providing marginalised women with valuable sewing skills and training.

Funded by giant retailer H&M, the initiative seeks to empower and equip women in B40 communities, single parents, and refugees with the capability to start their own sewing businesses.

Participants are led by experienced seamstresses who will teach them everything from basic techniques to advanced skills like pattern-making and alterations.

The programme offers six projects covering the making of items such as coasters, pouches, backpacks, tote bags, face masks, and lanyard straps, with six hours allocated to each project. Plans are underway for a second phase that will see the participants undertaking more complex sewing projects.

According to Dignity head of transformational enterprise Natalie Tan, Women Train Women is designed to help those who face multiple barriers to employment, including poverty, lack of education, and discrimination.

“Marginalised women are often the hardest-hit by economic downturns and social inequality,” she said. “By providing them with valuable skills and training, we can help them break the cycle of poverty and become self-sufficient.”

The Dignity Farm Academy is open to corporations for team-building activities and to urbanites who wish to get away from it all. Bookings can be made via AirBnb.

Dignity welcomes volunteers for its Women Train Women programme as well as its other transformational enterprises. Email dignity@dignityforchildren.org, call 03-4044 1397, or visit its website for further information.

Article appeared on: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2023/03/06/local-ngo-nurtures-self-sufficiency-with-farming-sewing-initiatives/

About Dignity

Our work began in 1998 in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur with only 20 students then. Dignity is now a learning centre with more than 2,300 children ranging from 2-19 years old.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please do try again!
Your subscription has been successful!

Stay Updated!

Subscribe and get notified of our latest events and updates.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

Donations are exempted from income tax under subsection 44(6) Income Tax Act 1967. Tax exemption receipt is available upon request.
© 2023 Dignity for Children Foundation (200001003583 [506188-W])
Thank you :)
Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. You'll now be the first to find out exclusive news and updates!
Oh no :(
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again!
Generic Popup