We the youth. Helping those in need. Exceeding expectations. Empowering others.
Project WHEE! is a rural community development project involving youth participants supported by eHomemakers, a Malaysian nonprofit social enterprise. This project entails a cultural exchange experience in Bario, Sarawak, where participants serve the rural community through meaningful efforts.
Our aim is to help and empower the mountainous community of Bario earn an income through eco-tourism, product development, e-services and other means. Our work includes developing eco-tourism activities for the local community, training them to carry out these activities, and assisting in the setting up of other sustainable projects. We recruit participants to teach the women participating in eco-tourism spoken English so that they can communicate more effectively with tourists as community guides and/or homestay hosts.
Aside from developing eco-tourism activities and teaching English, the participants will be involved in other community development projects that vary according to the needs of the community, such as environment, renewable energy and health. The participants will also assist the community in cultural events that happen during their term in Bario.
- To socially and economically empower rural communities through sustainable development projects.
- To inculcate in youths a passion to serve, to learn, to understand, to teach, to inspire, and to be inspired.
- To empower youths with a more holistic view of life to pave their way to become knowledged workers with empathy.
- To expose youths to the diversity and multi-cultures of the Asia Pacific Region.
- To introduce sustainable energy services and Internet access in rural areas to catalyse community development.
- To train the residents especially women to maintain development initiatives introduced to the community.
- To equip rural women with proper skills, knowledge and resources (such as speaking English) to operate eco-tourism, e-services and product development activities.
- To train women to be leaders and trainers for others.
- To raise awareness about the community development situation in rural areas.
- To inculcate critical thinking, team building and problem solving skills among youths.
Long Term Goals
- To empower the rural communities socially and economically to reach the Smart Village status defined by the communities.
- To empower rural women to make informed decisions and eventually build the confidence and boldness in successfully running micro-entrepreneurial activities and community development initiatives.
- To lure back other younger women and men from the cities to revive the economy and the cultural traditions.