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Jan 5th, 2009

Honda Dreams Fund Searches For Its Next 20 scholars

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The Scholarship is now open for Applications for the 3rd year. 

Kuala Lumpur, 5 January - Continuing their commitment, Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd and its partner, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today announced the opening for new applications for the Honda Dreams Fund, the third year since its launch in April 2007.

With 40 scholars today enrolled in the courses of their choice and taking the first step towards achieving their dreams, 20 more will soon be given this similar life-changing opportunity. The Honda Dreams Fund (HDF) aims to provide full and non-binding scholarships to 20 underprivileged, but determined students annually to pursue higher education or skills training.

"UNDP remains committed to supporting efforts to assist marginalized and disadvantaged communities, consistent with the Millennium Development Goal No. 1, 'Poverty Eradication'. Education can help break the cycle of poverty, and the Honda Dreams Fund aims to transform the lives of deserving students who live close to or below the poverty line," said Kamal Malhotra, UNDP Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.

Malhotra added that through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives such as the HDF under Honda Malaysia, the Malaysian private sector could be a positive agent for change, helping to create new opportunities and inclusive markets.

"The HDF is in line with the global development trend for the private sector to play a bigger role in addressing national development challenges, particularly in light of the current global financial and economic crisis."

"Given the tension between business survival and social responsibility in the current economic climate, innovative and creative solutions will be key in delivering benefits to both the corporation and targeted communities," he said, adding that the successful integration of CSR initiatives as part of a company's wider long-term sustainability agenda has important implications for CSR development in the country.

Honda Malaysia reiterated its commitment of RM1 million again this year for HDF in its quest to continuously search for the most deserving and to reach out to youths who 'have the dreams but not the means'. Last year, HDF reached out to the indigenous communities in rural Sabah, Sarawak, Pahang and Perak.

Mr. Atsushi Fujimoto, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd said, "This is Honda's 3rd year of commitment towards the Honda Dreams Fund scholarship. It is our hope to be able to help turn dreams into reality via education for deserving youths. We hope to help the talented and less fortunate youths realize their dreams and achieve a better future through education and at the same time, contribute to the human capital development in Malaysia. As such, we would like to encourage eligible Malaysian youths to apply for HDF. The Honda Dreams Fund is part of Honda's commitment in becoming a company that society wants to exist."

"Today, our achievements are traced back to our founder, Mr. Soichiro Honda as he instilled in us to believe in the Power of Dreams which is what the Honda Dreams Fund is all about. Our previous scholars had various dreams from becoming a pilot to a modern farmer, a journalist to a cartoonist. It does not matter what their dreams are as long as they have a dream and the will to fulfill their dreams."

Honda believes that everyone deserves an opportunity and is focusing on the plight of the underprivileged youths in Malaysia who does not have the means or the funds to achieve their dreams and aspirations.

The Fund covers tertiary education/skills training fees and provides allowances to meet living expenses for the duration of their courses. Deserving candidates can choose any courses of their choice in any institution in Malaysia.

Entry requirements and eligibility for Honda Dreams Fund:

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It is open to Malaysians aged between 17 - 24 years of age who have at least completed and passed the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) or Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) examination. (especially for candidates wishing to pursue forma tertiary education in local universities/institutes of higher learning)

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Combined Household Income of less than RM1,500 per month

- Candidates must not be receiving any bursaries or financial aid from other organizations, agencies or government.

 

To apply, candidates are required to write an essay on their aspirations in realizing their dreams in not more than 500 words. Application forms will appear in major newspapers beginning 5th January 2009 and the closing date for entries is 31st March 2009.

Since its inception, UNDP has been involved in the project to manage and oversee the awards of the scholarships. The organization will be working with an independent advisory panel comprising members from various NGOs in the screening and selection processes.

Honda's commitment to the society where it is in covers many areas of philanthropic activities. In its commitment towards corporate social responsibility efforts, Honda Malaysia is also sponsoring the "Save Our Sumatran Rhino" project since 2006, an environmental conservation effort focusing on a rhino species found mainly in Malaysia. This project was launched in January 2006 in partnership with WWF-Malaysia.

Through both the "Rhino Rescue Project" and the "Honda Dreams Fund", Honda Malaysia is committed to give back to Malaysia and Malaysians and become a company that society wants to exist. For more information on the Honda Dreams Fund, please visit the website at www.honda.com.my


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