Initiative launches inaugural CSR – Breaking Barriers

Initiative, IPG Mediabrands’ full service global media agency, recently launched its inaugural corporate social responsibility initiative in support of persons with disabilities (PwD).

The landmark initiative ‘Breaking Barriers’ launched to bring about greater awareness and garner support for PwD in Malaysia, many of whom face tremendous obstacles in their daily lives. The CSR commenced with a paintball day that invited PwD to join a paintball tournament alongside Initiative staff.

In conjunction with this, an auction and fundraising elements followed in subsequent weeks, to raise visibility for various NGOs who work with the disabled community, with RM16,000 being raised in donations and sales for deserving organisations.

Darren Yuen, Chief Executive Officer of Initiative Malaysia said, “The disabled community in Malaysia is unfortunately largely unseen and unheard. This community of around 4.5 million Malaysians are greatly underserved, as we lack infrastructure, social and employment opportunities for this group.

Aligning with our Mediabrands’ objective to foster a climate of respect and inclusivity, our ambitions with Breaking Barriers was simple – to align our core values and break down the physical, mental, and emotional barriers around what is and isn’t possible for the disabled.”

The Breaking Barriers paintball day saw 30 PwD joining in the day, with varying disabilities ranging from speech, hearing impaired and physical disabilities. The intention of the day was to foster better understanding between the differently abled, as they navigated the challenges of the intense sport of paintball, with special accommodations to ensure the event went smoothly.

Calvin Wong, Co-owner of Mudtrekker Paintball Park said, “All of us here at Mudtrekker are extremely proud to be associated with Initiative Malaysia to host a ground-breaking event such as this. Running the tournament was not only fun, but enlightening, as we learnt more about ourselves and how best to communicate with one another to achieve the goals of the sport.

Mudtrekker is Malaysia’s largest paintball park with 6 fields to cater for all needs, and it was truly special to be able to bring together this group to share in our joy of paintball. The day really showed us all that there are no boundaries to having fun activities together.”

Darren added, “I’ve been playing paintball for a decade, yet this event was particularly memorable for me. It was extremely heartening to see our Initiative staff come together as one with our invited guests to play in the tournament-style championship.

The unity, camaraderie and competitiveness were second to none, and shows that all we need to do is make the effort to bridge the gap and break down preconceived notions around what can or cannot be done by the differently abled.

“I’d like to give a special shoutout to Mudtrekker for making the paintball day a success. We are also truly thankful to all our clients, partners, media owners and Mediabrands family who supported us through the auction and fundraising process. It was heartening to see everyone checking-in to our Facebook Live auction to bid and interact in a meaningful way as they learnt more about the organisations being supported.”

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