Finco’s mentorship programme targets a total of 10 schools


Abu Hassan (left) with AMMB head of group corporate communications and marketing and senior vice-president Syed Anuar Syed Ali at a media meet-and-greet in Kuching.

KUCHING: The Financial Industry Collective Outreach (Finco) – the nation’s largest collective impact initiative for corporate social responsibility (CSR) – will roll out its life mentor programme involving 10 schools across the state in January next year.

This initiative will pool together 200,000 potential volunteers from all financial institutions all over Malaysia, amounting to 107 comprising conventional and Islamic banks, investment banks, development financial institutions, as well as general insurance, life insurance and takaful companies.

According to Finco board member Abu Hassan Alshari Yahaya, the goal of this programme is to increase the life aspirations of children – especially the underprivileged ones – through exposure to global careers and personal development opportunities.

Called ‘Finco Mentor Online’, the programme targets Forms 3, 4 and 5 students.

“These mentors will interact with the students, give them advice and share with them many things such as career options. It’s important for them to take charge of their situation, instead of waiting for decisions to be made for their future,” he told reporters during a meet-and-greet yesterday.

Abu Hassan, who is also Bank Negara Malaysia assistant governor, is here for the Sarawak Financial Carnival 2017 going on at CityOne Megamall here this weekend.

He said it made sense to tap into the vast talent potential of financial institutions, having more than 2,500 branches across the nation with about 200,000 employees in financial and related industries.

“It is hoped to have high impact on the younger generation, and we hope this would help elevate the financial industry in terms of the way they get closer to the community.

“These volunteers could be bank CEOs (chief executive officers), employees or even those who wish to volunteer to be mentors.”

The whole concept of collective outreach, said Abu Hassan, is the way to go for CSR as pooling together resources on a wide level would generate greater multiplier effects, versus individual corporations doing their own CSR programmes.

“It’s important to work with other agencies to create multiplier effects. We have to leverage on the people who have the right infrastructure.

“We have appointed an activator Sarah Lasung to drive the programme here and determine the kind of process to help 1,500 students in this pilot step.”

Finco launched its pilot ‘Finco Read’ – a programme meant to enhance English proficiency among students – during the previous financial carnival in Sabah.

It kicked off in August this year at 14 schools across Sabah and after assessing its results, Finco is eyeing to roll out the programme nationwide next year.

This would fall back on its belief to increase access to opportunities for underprivileged children through mastering English, Abu Hassan pointed out.

“We create a platform for people to come and offer their programmes under this network.

“At the same time, there are people who come in and make the programme more impactful – we welcome everyone to participate under this venture.”