One Step at a Time
Strategic Transformation via Education Development "SASTRA Education Development" a Social Enterprise company Incorporated in Malaysia 12th May 2014 and positioning to serve ASEAN countries and Globally through education projects which can help to develop human capital and end poverty. At SASTRA, we work strategically with various stakeholders to ensure we contribute towards our shared vision. We aim to be self sustainable entity and 100% of the profits to be used to further improve SASTRA and its projects.
To be a responsible and self-sustaining organization which operates with integrity and delivers high quality programmes in the education sector in order to end poverty across ASEAN and beyond.
2012 - The Beginning
Founding member Ananda took a step to understand how he can contribute and address the growing issues related to poverty, the underprivileged and unemployment. After various research, he decided to support the needy via education projects by ensuring it can be a self-sustainable project. Therefore, Social Enterprise Model was studied and further research was carried out to understand the benefits of establishing Human and Career Development Centers & Programs in urban and suburban areas mainly focusing on schools. Therefore, he seeks support from FEM an independent investment company to help assist him to kick start the initiative. Ananda took the lead to validate and implement the research ideas by engaging with various stakeholders to understand the challenges from a bottom-up and top-down approach by beginning and spending his time at rural and urban schools in Malaysia.
2013 - The Validation Process
Global partnership initiative was taken to reach out to corporate and non-profits to seek support towards the project by establishing various discussion to ensure every stakeholder are addressed by their needs towards the pilot project. Further international relationship, studies and data have been established focusing on ASEAN Countries and Globally with support from various stakeholders who are already on the ground addressing issues towards education.
2014 - The Execution Process
After various discussion and research throughout the years, Ananda secured a Social Enterprise Start-Up Grant for operations from FEM to initiate officially an entity to focus on improving education for the underprivileged. Therefore, before the incorporation took place, The strategy was to firstly identify and mobilize the Board of Trustees who have a genuine interest in addressing issues in education and willing to volunteer themself as the first core competency team and ensure governance is put in place. Secondly, to create a team of Advisors who are willing to volunteer and share their experiences and expertise. Thirdly, to identify passionate fresh graduates who are "genuine" in making a difference in education as the operations team on the ground by creating employments for these candidates.
In the first quarter of 2014, Ananda and his team of 2 part-time staff started to identify a school located in Selangor, Malaysia and piloted the Human & Career Development Programs which was designed and drafted by Ananda and the future Board of Trustees and Academician. The positive outcomes with the stakeholders demonstrated the need for Human and Career Development programs for government schools in Malaysia and resulted to officially incorporate the social enterprise which was decided to be incorporated in Malaysia as a Hub for Asia and maybe globally one day. SASTRA Education Development Sdn. Bhd was incorporated 12th May 2014 in Malaysia as a social enterprise company to strategically implement the initial research findings by contributing directly towards education projects while ensuring it is able to be self sustain and more importantly 100% of the profit are invested towards SASTRA Education Development projects by stages with careful growth planning that can support the children in reskilling and upskilling. It was a journey towards reinventing academic that can support the constant changes.
By the end of Q1 2014, SASTRA had contacted various organization to work collectively to improve the national schools mainly establishing Human and Career Development Centers. In the year 2014, The Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE), has also supported SASTRA's initiatives by facilitating and granting approvals which can help to generate revenues to ensure SASTRA is able to expand its projects to all Malaysian Schools. The Q2 for SASTRA was to identify genuine passionate fresh graduates who are genuine in making a difference in education as the operations team and started to pilot internship for graduates from the various sector. SASTRA had 2 options:
1) To identify graduates who are unemployed and train them with relevant knowledge and skills and place them in the upcoming HCDC centres.
2) To give opportunity for students via internship to validate if these students have the skills needed when they graduate mainly education qualification.
2015 - The Strengthening and Structuring Process - Malaysia Focus
SASTRA's Projects have been redefined as SASTRA HUB to focus on various projects related to Education or another cause-based project. Therefore, SASTRA officially launched SASTRA HUB and slowly begun research and identify like-minded organizations that are focusing on learning and development.
Over the last year, SASTRA Education Development has achieved an impressive level of growth and organizational transformation. SASTRA's clearly understand that the journey it has embarked will have various challenges and constant changes. However, understanding and improving the lives of rural and underprivileged children through career development programmes have been at the core of our work in Malaysia. SASTRA further strengthen its Human and Career Development Modules in 2015 with various input from an internal and external team.
We were able to identify and reach an estimated 2000 school children living in complex, fragile environments in Malaysia with the support of all our stakeholders. This was an increase by more than 75% since 2014. With constant studies and practical research and implementation, SASTRA recognizes it is the time for us to aim for and achieve even greater impact for the children by engaging as a SMART Partnership with various stakeholders who are willing to contribute and work collectively towards developing human capital in urban and suburban via establishing Human and Career Development Centers and Programs and SASTRA Bright Champ Fellowship Programs.
In May 2015, SASTRA Strategic Plan 2015–2018 have been initiated to provide further clear target, strategy and milestones to guide us in our direction. The initiatives have been developed to further enhanced the program quality and ensure SASTRA is able to create a revenue through its services and products. Moreover, improving efficiencies within the organization by creating employment for graduates and placing them in schools have been the focus. SASTRA continue to priorities the children through our programmes providing opportunities for education and responding to the subtle humanitarian needs. Implementing these strategies will see us achieve and hopefully exceed our aspirational target of reaching more than 70,000 Malaysian schools children by 2025.
Since incorporation on 12th May 2014, SASTRA has been focusing primarily on Malaysia to learn and ensure every team member is impacting the children via our programs and support in creating revenues for SASTRA. SASTRA believes that being a social enterprise company, the impact should be clearly defined before the revenues and making sure the revenues generated are well managed. With this aim, we continue to look for graduates who have the passion to be in Malaysian schools and make a daily impact in a child's life before moving towards other division within SASTRA Operations. However, we did come across graduates who are not willing to be in schools or suburban platforms and prefers to be located in corporate towers. The outcome of some of these graduates has indicated that the new generation prefers to be in the metropolitan landscape and the studies they carry out in university may not have adequate employment in cities and there is a need in upskilling them. These findings ensured SASTRA should remain focus to identify genuine people who are willing to be at our HCDC centres or at rural province.
2016 - Our Achievements
SASTRA continued to work with the Ministry of Education Malaysia and provided feedback on how it can continue to be a part of supporting the 2013 - 2025 National Education Blueprint under Shift 9 strategies. SASTRA was approved by the Ministry of Education Malaysia to work with more than 10,000 Schools in Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah & Sarawak). These approvals further supported SASTRA to identify one school in each state that is ready to establish Human and Career Development Centers & Programs and also to launch the SASTRA Bright Champs Fellowship Programs. We remain focus to identify the underprivileged children by creating a platform for these children not as a charity but to creating them towards excellence.
Established 2 out of 14 Targeted Human and Career Development Center Hubs in Malaysian Schools - Central Location ( Selangor) and Northern ( Kedah)
Created employments for University Students via Internship.
Identified more than 2000 Malaysian Schools children that need helps.
Carried out Human and Career Development programs for Refugee children with IDEAS Academy that is supported by United Nations Higher Commission Refugee (UNHCR)
Working with more than 50 outreach partners in Malaysian National Government Schools and Internationally Organization to address share vision.
Understanding and improving the lives of rural and underprivileged children through various customized programmes by working with MNC and Education Institutions Nationally and Internationally.
Supported a Social Enterprise company in New Zealand that are addressing a similar issue related to talent and human capital. (LYFE)
Strategic Partnership established with 40-year-old Foundation "Be Friend a Child", Scotland UK who are addressing a similar issue related to talent and human capital
Strategic Partnership with Gawad Kalinga to raise social entrepreneurs in the Philippines.
Introduced Osh In School at Malaysian Government School.
Identified social impact investors who are keen to invest in the SASTRA Bright Champs Alumni.
Launched SASTRA Drinking Water Project to Generate Revenues as primary income to reduce dependent sponsorship besides programs provided
2017 - Re-Evaluating
SASTRA Re-Evaluates all projects since 2014 to create an impact on other regions.
2017 SASTRA Education Development started to “RE-EVALUATE” all projects, process and operations. As we are less than 2 months away to achieve our 3 years of official operation, we are in the process to have a rethinking of our strategies and being fully lead by the board of trustees and volunteers. SASTRA aim was to reduce all major expenses while ensuring the HCDC project continues. SASTRA primary project is to establish the Human and Career Development Center (HCDC) in urban and suburban locations by working primarily with schools. As of 2017, we have managed to establish 2 centres in 2 States at Malaysian Government School and in the process, to role SASTRA HCDC Implementation Grant to Schools are keen to adopt the model. Furthermore, SASTRA has adopted our 2 National School in Malaysia (SMK Taman Ehsan, Selangor and SMK Lubok Buntar, Kedah from the Ministry of Education Malaysia.
Since 2014, we have taken various steps and invested in the various project to support building human capital and ending poverty with our stakeholders and now we have started to hand over by stages to interested stakeholders to further develop the projects we piloted under SASTRA Platforms. We believe, this step will help to create new ownership and for potential stakeholders who are willing to invest and develop further the models. Furthermore, it allows SASTRA to reduce the capital cost for the projects which is not creating the impact which was aimed and maybe a new experienced and passionate owner will be a help to achieve a collective share vision and ensure each project will continue to thrive within its sectors. This will also allow SASTRA to reduce direct decision making on the projects and position as a strategic partner if the project can be aligned towards the HCDC model. Moreover, SASTRA is positioning to further strengthen its project in the Asian region and globally by further developing and engaging with stakeholders who are keen to invest in the SASTRA Fellowship Programs. SASTRA will also drive towards creating further sustainable revenues to achieve and lookout for new projects which we can help to develop under SASTRA platforms.
We will be also restructuring our board charter policies, services and also strengthening our Board of Trustees by further identifying additional new potential genuine people to serve with SASTRA. Furthermore, we will be reaching out to more individual to support SASTRA under the capacity of the Volunteering Board of Advisor who is able to further guide us to achieve a shared vision and mission. These processes have been carried out during SASTRA Execution Process in 2014 and it's time for SASTRA to unlearn to relearn and adapt towards the constant changes and evolve towards positioning in ending poverty.
2018 - Operation Lead by Board Member, Alumni and Volunteers
SASTRA Alumni and Volunteers took the lead to carry out SASTRA Fellowship in Malaysian National Schools under the Human and Career Development Centre. The Alumni and Volunteers are supported by Board Members together with 275 volunteer teachers located in various schools and working to launch the HCDC model at their respected schools. Funding remains a crucial part for SASTRA and it is purely generated by selling SASTRA drinking water in addition to various in-kind support. We do not raise money from the donation. Close to 95% of operations overheads have been reduced. The board understands that it might slow down the activities that are planned by SASTRA however, this strategy will allow the SASTRA Alumni to demonstrate their ability to serve others unconditionally. Like how, we started off to do our best for the children in needs by fully sponsoring the program. We hope our alumni will lead as mentors and empower more children to become excellent in their own skills sets and abilities. We are also pleased to see how our initial seed funds and support resulted in Performing Arts (2015) developed by a teacher at Kedah (Leadspire Academy) and Food ball club (Good Wood Football Club) that focuses on empowering underprivileged children, young researchers and social entrepreneurs are on their way to developing business with the support of SASTRA eco- systems.
2019 - 2025 - Focusing on Additional Revenue Stream
SASTRA aim is to continue to generate revenue by the SASTRA Water sales and further research have been carried out in rolling out Publication, Food Truck Project, Farm Projects by working with new partners that have social entrepreneurial spirit via SASTRA HUB. We foresee that this can slowly shape up if we continue to work with our partners and alumni. The aim is to generate revenue and support the projects that we are addressing. We believe that by our collective engagement we will reach out to more stakeholders that are addressing poverty and empowering underprivileged children in various programs.
We welcome Smart Partnership to launch SASTRA projects and hopefully by end of 2022 we are able to roll out a few. Moreover, other products and services is been researched to support in creating revenues and the COVID -19 Pandemic re-ensures that SASTRA is relevant to continue to develop our projects so we can continue to support where we are able to mainly on job creation and social entrepreneurs. We have also published a case study on SASTRA Education Development.