The dawn of the new normal has make it more challenging for vulnerable groups in Malaysia, particularly Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), refugees, asylum seekers and children to access resources which provides information on the Covid-19 pandemic and the vaccination process amongst others.
In addressing this inherent problem and as part of MIRM’s commitment to promote diversity and inclusion of vulnerable communities in Malaysia, MIRM curated a project which strives towards removing barriers to access information, by developing fully inclusive and accessible resources in the form of Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos, brochures, information packs and info graphics, focusing on selected topics for these communities.
In implementing this project. MIRM has applied for, and was awarded a grant from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in January 2021, as part of WHO’s initiative to strengthen the engagement of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the Asean region in response to the Covid-19 pandemic – making MIRM the first non-medical entity in Malaysia to receive funding to carry out the aforementioned project, along with two other approved initiatives.
This project is lead by Mr Brian Lariche, the CEO of MIRM, together with a team of interns who are involved in research and development of suitable materials to be adapted for the target communities, and MIRM’s Design Team (made up of all PWDs) who will develop the finalised resources into accessible forms.
The resources were curated to raise awareness about Covid-19 and the vaccination process by debunking myths and fake news circulated on social media platforms, and to educate the target groups on preventive measures and best practices to protect themselves and their communities from Covid-19. In ensuring accessibility of the resources developed, MIRM procured softwares such as Speechello – an application which converts text to speech, with different voice-overs in various languages. The resources were also translated into different languages, including English, Malay, Tamil, Bengali, Telegu, Burmese and Urdu amongst others, for the benefit of the target communities.
Here are some insights from Valerie Chai (Lead Graphic Designer), who has been actively involved in the project:-
“I have developed three videos so far. The first video explains the importance of vaccines; I have to made constant adjustments to include new information to reflect the current situation. The second video is a step-by-step guide on the vaccination process. The third video educates the target communities on how to register for vaccination on the MySejahtera application. I am grateful to the MIRM team, who assisted me in obtaining the translations for these videos and provide the voice-overs for the same in different languages, including English, Malay, Chinese, Tamil, Burmese and Urdu. MIRM is currently sourcing voice-overs for other languages: Arabic, Persian, Bengali, Nepali, Indonesian, Hindi, Telugu and Somali, Thai, Malayalam, Hakha, Kachin and Tedim amongst others.”
Throughout the course of the project, MIRM also supported partners and affiliates who are focusing on the target communities, including United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organisation of Migrants (IOM), by sharing the completed resources for dissemination to the target communities. These organisations in turn supported MIRM by providing the required scripts in different languages.
Thus far, the videos developed has been circulated to relevant partners and affiliates for dissemination to the target communities, and hosted on related websites and social media platforms for greater outreach. Based on the current available data, the resources developed have reached over 10,000 individuals from the target groups.
The MIRM team is currently working on developing more accessible and inclusive resources on Covid-19 to support the target communities in transitioning to towards new normal, in line with MIRM’s mission to enrich communities and transform lives through community development initiatives.