Globally, Volvo Group, which manufactures commercial vehicles and construction equipment, practices a corporate social responsibility programme called ‘Seasonal Gift’ that supports beneficial social causes in the local communities where they are present. In Malaysia, Volvo Trucks, which is part of the Volvo Group, has gifted a Volvo FM330 truck to the Kechara Soup Kitchen Society (KSK) as its ‘Seasonal Gift’ effort.
The heavy-duty FM330 4×2 rigid truck will come complete with a customised body that will be fabricated by Seri Zenith Engineering Sdn Bhd, a manufacturer of semi-trailers and bodies for commercial vehicles, and one of the supporting partners of this effort to help the underprivileged community.
This truck will be used by Kechara Soup Kitchen for food collection and distribution, as well as become a mobile clinic and mobile space for educational activities for poor communities in rural areas. KSK is a non-profit organisation founded in 2006 that distributes free food, drinks and basic first aid to the homeless and needy. Based on its motto ‘Hunder Knows No Barrier’, KSK has also established a food bank programme through partnerships with Tesco, AEON, Munchy’s and Westin Hotels. It also runs a mobile clinic that provides free health checks and counselling services to the homeless and poor.
“We at Volvo Trucks are very excited to have identified KSK as the beneficiary of our Seasonal Gift corporate social responsibility fund. The decision to donate a truck to KSK was a logical one, given that all their charity work is fully in line with Volvo Trucks’ core values of quality, safety and environmental care,” said Mitch Peden, Managing Director of Volvo Malaysia.
This is the second time Volvo Trucks in Malaysia has been awarded the ‘Seasonal Gift’ fund. In 2017, Vovlo Trucks used this fund to aid the Bario community in Sarawak, helping to build a fire-fighting system for the longhouses, as well as five eco-shelters along the Kelabit community’s heritage trail in the jungle.
Volvo Trucks believes that the FM330 heavy-duty truck will help KSK run its food bank and food distribution operations more effectively, and will ultimately be of benefit to the underprivileged. “At Volvo Trucks, our dedication to social responsibility means that we support a range of health, safety and educational projects. And the majority of our social commitments take place at the local level where we can directly make a big difference,” Peden added. Coincidentally, this year marks Volvo Trucks’ 50th year in Malaysia, which makes this social project even more meaningful to the brand.
“We are very honoured to receive this generosity from Volvo Trucks and its partners who are supporting this truck donation initiative. Through our food bank programme, we collect large amounts of food surplus from donors and deliver to multiple locations on a daily basis. In doing so, our drivers had to make multiple trips as we only have a small vehicle. This truck donation and fund-raising initiative spearheaded by Volvo Trucks will undoubtedly increase our efficiency and capacity, enabling us to save time and food wastage. We will definitely be able to help more people in the community too. For this, we are immensely grateful,” said Henry Ooi, President of Kechara Soup Kitchen Society.
Besides Seri Zenith Engineering which is working with Volvo Trucks on the design and fabrication works of the truck body, industry players Taipanco Sdn Bhd and Asian Trucker Media Sdn Bhd are participating as Platinum sponsors of this social initiative, while the Association of Malaysian Hauliers and Aimtrans Logistics (M) Sdn Bhd are Gold sponsors. The Platinum sponsorship package involves a contribution of RM15,000 while Gold is RM5,000.
The cost of the truck body fabrication is RM150,000, and Volvo Trucks hopes that more parties will join this effort to raise more funds for KSK to help the needy. Platinum sponsors will get their logos printed on the truck body.
Besides donating the truck and leading this initiative, Volvo Trucks will also be covering the costs for acquiring a Goods Driving License (GDL) for the drivers, as well as truck repairs and maintenance. Volvo Trucks will also provide free training to KSK’s truck drivers on how to maximise all the safety and fuel-saving features of the FM truck.
“As a leading heavy-duty truck brand in the industry, it is important that we take it upon ourselves to welcome and encourage the trucking community to come together and be part of this meaningful project. We believe this can be a great community effort that could bring a wider social impact. At the end of the day, we want to create value and sustainability for the communities in the environment that we operate,” Peden said.
Interested parties who wish to contribute to this effort to help KSK can get in touch with Volvo Trucks, or donate directly to KSK (Maybank account: 5122-3133-4874; reference: Volvo Food Truck). All donations are eligible for tax deduction, and any excess funds beyond that which is needed for fabrication works will be channeled to KSK.