Photo - (From left) Mark Rozario, Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) Chief Executive Officer; Thomas Chan, Dialogue in the Dark Founder; and Eugene Teh, Digi's Chief Corporate Affair Officer.
Digi Telecommunications (Digi) has announced Dialogue in the Dark (DiD), a social enterprise in partnership with Genashtim (technology solution provider), as the winner of the sixth edition of its Digi Challenge for Change (DigiCFC) programme, which encourages Malaysians to develop innovative solutions for change.
Digi's chief corporate affairs officer, Eugene Teh said that the two other finalists in the running were Protect and Save The Children (PS The Children) partnering with Association of Registered Childcare Malaysia (PPBM) and Science of Life Studies 24/7 (SOLS 24/7).
Teh said DiD has received a grant of RM250,000 (US$57, 235) and the opportunity to be guided and mentored by the programme partners.
Their idea was to train, equip Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and Visually Impaired Persons (VIPs) with language and digital literacy skills to operate a virtual call centre, which will include screen reader technology customised for the PwDs and the visually impaired allowing them to work remotely from their homes.
"Digi believes in an internet that is for all to inspire a better Malaysia," said Teh. "This means extending the power of data connectivity to different segments of the community notwithstanding their physical, social and economic limitations. In line with this, Digi Challenge for Change is all about empowerment through connectivity, realising meaningful and sustainable societal impact, through a competition-based challenge for social organisations."
"The winning team's idea was compelling to the judges as it is a sustainable system that leverages on innovative technologies to empower the targeted communities by providing them skills and job opportunities as call centre agents," he said.
"This, we hope will bring about social and economic benefits such as employability, learning and communication opportunities, and social change and innovation to this target group of people," Teh said, adding that the team will implement and pilot their online call centre in the next six months.
"We are ecstatic to be announced as the winners of the DigiCFC programme. We would like to thank Digi for recognising what we can accomplish for the underserved communities. We believe that this is the first step to further inspire the PwD including the visually impaired communities in continuing to serve the society despite the challenges that they faced," said Stevens Chan, the founder of Dialogue in the Dark.
"The DigiCFC programme has been an opportunity of a lifetime to showcase, not only one idea, but many internet solutions to unearth creative and innovative ideas for the benefit of society. Digi has been very supportive of our idea and we now believe that with the grant of RM250,000, we can now move forward to implement our solution in the next 6 months," added Thomas Ng from Genashtim.
Among the panel of judges for the finale were Eddie Razak, executive vice president of Social Innovation of Agensi Inovasi Malaysia, Wan Dazriq, programme manager for Ventures, Social Entrepreneurship of Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre, and Quah Yean Nie, Digi's head of Communication & Sustainability.
DigiCFC is a flagship Digi Empower Societies programme that focuses on engaging social purpose organisations (SPOs) and solution providers (SPs) to create innovative technology solutions that address common social issues in Malaysia. The programme is also part of the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) Social Public-Private Partnership initiative led by Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM) in collaboration with the Public Private Partnership Unit (UKAS), and the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia.
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