‘Clothes of Confidence’ (CoC) is a new social impact programme by Uniforms 4 Us (U4U) that provides brand-new sets of U4U branded school uniforms and developmental workshops for underprivileged students living in Malaysia.
The developmental workshops being offered include topics on financial empowerment (Money and Me), goal setting (I Believe In Me), communications (My Voice and I), leadership (The Leader In Me) and mental health awareness (My Mind Matters).
The first batch or ‘cluster’ of CoC participants focused on setting goals and learning about the steps and actions required to achieve these goals. A total of 350 underprivileged students between the ages of 13 and 15 from seven schools in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor were engaged in the ‘I Believe in Me’ module, which was facilitated by a social enterprise called Mustard Seed Creations. Organised in October and November 2018, CoC Cluster 1 was supported by Yayasan Hai-O and crowdfunding platform Actyvate.
“Research has shown that 1 out of 5 students do not finish secondary school. The number two reason why students drop out of school is because their parents are unable to afford school related expenses,” said Azimy Wan Ahmad, founder and director of U4U.
“This is why my co-founder Fauzia Sultan and I were determined to do something to complement the efforts that have been taken by the government and the private sector,” he added.
“However, besides providing school uniforms for underprivileged students, we also wanted to help achieve the aspirations of the Ministry of Education’s blueprint of creating well-rounded future leaders. So, we decided to also provide developmental workshops.”
U4U collaborated with PINTAR Foundation to select six government schools with deserving students. These schools were SMK Dato’ Haji Kamaruddin and SMK Ampang Pecah in Kuala Kubu Bharu, SMK Pengkalan Permatang in Kuala Selangor, SMK Kepong, SMK St. Gabriel in Kampung Pandan and SMK Segambut.
IDEAS Academy, a secondary school for refugee children, mainly from Myanmar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Yemen, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Palestine and Ethiopia, was selected as the seventh school in the inaugural programme.
U4U held an appreciation ceremony at SMK Segambut on 9 January 2019 to mark the success of the inaugural CoC programme.
“Our social impact programme is called ‘Clothes of Confidence’ because we strongly believe not only does a new set of uniform restores dignity and confidence to a child, but programmes like these could help restore and improve self-esteem and self-confidence,” explained Azimy.
Established in July 2018, U4U retails school uniforms and employs members from the underserved community. A portion of U4U’s revenue is used to heavily provide school uniforms and workshops on leadership, communications, financial empowerment and mental health to underprivileged students in Malaysia. The social enterprise is accredited as an Impact Driven Enterprise by the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC).