Finland Supports Important Malaysian Initiatives

Every year the Embassy of Finland supports selected projects run by Malaysian non-governmental organizations through the Fund for Local Cooperation (FLC). The projects to be sponsored in the first round of funding in 2011 have now been selected. This time the FLC will be granted to the Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society and the Women’s Aid Organisation.

The Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society (SWCS), an NGO based in Kota Kinabalu, will use the funds to run a community-based educational project in the wise use of Mangrove. Sabah has the most extensive coverage of mangroves in Malaysia and local communities depend on its resources for livelihoods. Over time, however, mangroves have been cleared out to make way for housing and commercial areas. SWCS’s educational project strives to create awareness among the local communities and decision makers about the wise use of mangroves. In the long run this is a paramount objective to ensure the sustainability of livelihoods and the well-being of the peoples is Sabah.

The Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) is using the funds to organize Fiesta Feminista, a meeting that will focus on issues of feminism, human rights and democracy in Malaysia. The inaugural Fiesta Feminista was organised in 2007. Due to the popularity of the event, Fiesta Feminista will reassemble in 2011 and welcome the diverse participants from around Malaysia and the region – grassroots communities, indigenous women, academicians and activists. The main objectives of the meeting are to bring people together, popularise feminism and make it accessible to everyone as well as to encourage and empower new advocates of women’s rights in Malaysia.

The Embassy of Finland is proud to be cooperating with these dedicated and socially responsible organisations. The second round of FLC will be open for applications in the end of July.

For more information about SWCS and WAO, please visit:

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