Assalamu’alaikum wr. wb. and welcome to our Yearbook 2019! Last year, we made a decision to move our yearbook online out of convenience, so more of you can access and share our content. This year, we have gone one better out of necessity, holding our first online Annual General Meeting (AGM) over video-conferencing in support of COVID-19 social distancing advisories. At the point of writing, we are looking at the largest AGM attendance in recent years.
The impact of COVID-19 on communal life has been and continues to be extraordinary. For the first time, we have postponed many of our programmes indefinitely. These decisions were hard to make as we calculated the “lost impact” we could have had on our youths but it was heart-warming at the same time to witness how strongly our volunteers cared. Most significant of all is the temporary loss of the accidental community that results when our members meet each other in programmes, sparking relationships that turn into friendships, informal mentoring, access to jobs, and common passions that sometimes turn into community initiatives. We will be innovating and finding new ways to connect as a community.
As we adjust to this new norm, we should all know that we are building from a strong base. In 2019, we delivered on several key moves to grow the impact we have on our beneficiaries: being more inclusive to reach more youths, formalizing delivery partnerships, and testing new programme models. This was what we committed to at the start of the year and alhamdullilah through these efforts, we were able to reach 35% more youth beneficiaries compared to 2018.
Forging new delivery partnerships is an increasingly important part of our work. As a volunteer-led society, these partnerships project our impact to more beneficiaries than if we had gone solo. The most significant of these partnerships is that we are now plugged into the M3 network of MUIS, MENDAKI and MESRA. M3 is already changing how we work, such as our contribution to the community-wide youth mentoring movement through our Mentoring Circle and upcoming PEER programme. We have also partnered MENDAKI Tuition Scheme (MTS) so our YMC Career Workshops are open to all MTS students. Partners are also a critical part of our other programmes such as Leadership Incubator, Career Circles, re:work, Mosque Tech Challenge and YMC Values-In-Action as you will see later in the yearbook.
We are also constantly experimenting with new programme models to improve our current slate and meet emerging needs. As jobs and mentoring emerged as key youth priorities, we launched the first run of our Mentoring Circle in September 2019 with 60 mentors and mentees. We started with three professional fields where Malay/Muslims youths are under-represented, namely business, technology and government. We were pleased to also welcome many non-Malay/Muslim mentors, widening the overall social capital of the cohort. We also partnered with The Codette Project and M Society to offer Future Forward Career Critique Convention, to support our youths with their job search in the tech sector through personalized resume and interview skills critiques by HR professionals from the likes of Facebook and Grab. Our Data team constantly crunches feedback from new and existing programmes, providing us the fodder with which to craft further refinements.
MENDAKI Club turns twenty this year. On the cusp of our third decade, it is opportune to hand the reigns to a new leadership team to chart the course to new heights. I would like congratulate the 10th ExCo, led by President Faridah Saad and Vice-Presidents Attiya Ashraf Ali and Umar Masagos, for stepping up to serve and wish them every success. I would also like to thank my own team, the 9th ExCo, and all subcommittee volunteers without whom all we have delivered would not have been possible. Our gratitude also goes out to our Advisor, Minister Masagos, MOS Zaqy Mohamad and MP Rahayu Mahzam for their counsel and support for key programmes, and to Yayasan MENDAKI (YM) staff who are our staunch partners. Special thanks to outgoing YM CEO, Madam Rahaya Buang, whose term at YM mirrored our own Exco term—we wish you all the best in your next role!
Honoured to have served with all of you, and signing off for now.