Volvo Trucks, one of the world’s largest heavy-duty truck brands, recently launched its corporate social responsibility initiative comprising the contribution of a heavy-duty Volvo FM330 4×2 rigid truck complete with customised body frabrication to the Kechara Soup Kitchen Society (KSK) , a registered non‐profit organisation that provides food sustenance and basic medical care for the homeless and poor communities in Malaysia.
The initiative is part of Volvo Group’s global corporate social responsibility programme called the Seasonal Gift which is carried out annually around the globe, with the key objective to creating better welfare and prosperity for local communities by supporting meaningful social causes.
The truck, once handed over to KSK, will serve as a multi-purpose vehicle for food collection and distribution, mobile clinic and mobile space for educational activities for poor communities in the rural areas.
Mitch Peden, Managing Director of Volvo Malaysia shares, “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.
“KSK’s charity efforts emphasise on reducing hunger and social issues, which help raise the quality of life for the homeless and poor families from all backgrounds. We also understand that KSK has been actively running a food bank programme and had been facing several logistical challenges. Thus, we believe our truck can truly help KSK to operate more effectively for the benefit of the communities.
“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 adds.
KSK was founded in 2006 as a non-profit organisation that offers street distribution of free food, drinks and basic first aid to the homeless and those in need, regardless of race or religion.Over the years, KSK had also established mobile clinic that gives free health checks and counselling services to the homeless and poor, and a food bank programme through partnerships with brands such as Tesco, AEON, Munchy’s and The Westin Hotel. The organisation operates based on its motto ‘Hunger Knows No Barriers’ and its belief that compassion for the less fortunate should be as wide reaching as possible. Since it started, KSK has delivered over 1.5 million meals to-date.
Henry Ooi, President of KSK said, “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 amount of food surpluses 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.”
Ooi also shared that KSK’s long-term mission is to reduce the flow of homeless people living on the streets by providing a building center as a place for training and assistance to help make the homeless employable and for them to re-enter society.
On the truck donation, Volvo Trucks said that it will take several months to have the truck fully ready. This is because it involves various aspects from designing, planning and building the customised truck body to handling matters concerning licensing and approvals. Thus, the actual handover of the completed truck will be done in the second quarter of next year.
As lead sponsor, Volvo Trucks will be donating the truck chassis and is also collaborating with industry partner Seri Zenith Engineering Sdn Bhd, a manufacturer of semi-trailers and bodies for commercial vehicles to plan and fabricate the custom-designed body of the truck specially for KSK.
According to Peden, the required fund for truck body fabrication is RM150,000, in which Volvo Trucks is hoping to raise funds and is inviting industry players to be part of this initiative by sponsoring a Platinum package of RM15,000 or a Gold package of RM5,000.
As of now, in addition to Seri Zenith Engineering, other industry players who have confirmed their participation in this fund-raising initiative as Platinum sponsors are Taipanco Sdn Bhd and Asian Trucker Media Sdn Bhd, and as Gold sponsors are the Association of Malaysian Hauliers (AMH) and Aimtrans Logistics (M) Sdn Bhd. Companies who contribute as Platinum sponsors will have their logos printed on the truck body.
Any excess of funds beyond the truck body fabrication cost will be donated to KSK. Parties who are keen to contribute may get in touch with Volvo Trucks’ headquarters in Shah Alam or donate directly to KSK’s Maybank account number 5122-3133-4874 by referencing it to ”Volvo Food Truck”. All donations for this initiative are eligible for tax deduction.
Apart from donating the truck chasis and spearheading this initiative, Volvo Trucks will also be covering the costs for acquiring Goods Driving License for the drivers and truck repair and maintenance. On top of that, Volvo Trucks will also be providing free training for KSK’s truck drivers on how to maximise all the safety and fuel-efficient features of the Volvo 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. Beyond donating a truck, I also look forward to encouraging Volvo Trucks’ employees and customers to participate in KSK’s various charitable initiatives. At the end of the day, we want to create value and sustainability for the communities in the environment that we operate,” Peden says.
Peden also shared that Malaysia is one of the seven countries among Volvo Group’s global operations that has been awarded with the Seasonal Gift corporate social responsibility fund and that this is the second time Volvo Trucks in Malaysia has received it. Two years ago in 2017, Volvo Trucks used the fund for the Bario community in Sarawak, which went into the construction of fire-fighting system for the longhouse and five eco-shelters along the Kelabit community’s heritage trail in the jungle.
“This truly underscored the importance of Malaysia as a market for us. The nod we got from our global headquarters to carry out such high-impact charity projects and to give back to the communities here has made Volvo Truck’s 50th year anniversary in Malaysia this year so much more meaningful,” said Peden.