As a group, Shangri-La has a goal to uplift and support its local community members in impactful ways. In April 2019, during a corporate event for Genesys, a global leader in omni-channel customer experience and contact center solutions, Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu organized a local craft market to benefit the Sabahan community. The large-scale event hosted over 600 international delegates and raised over MYR157,000 (about USD39,500) for the artisans and their communities.
In partnership with Community Learning Centres in Sabah and PACOS Trust, a local organization dedicated to supporting indigenous communities in Sabah, the market featured goods created by members of indigenous tribes and villages on the west coast of Sabah.
“We believe this is the first corporate event initiative of its kind in Sabah, where an international organization is actively involved in supporting the improvement of livelihoods,” said Fiona Hagan, the resort’s general manager. “The sustainable development goals form an important part of [Genesys’] CSR initiative, while also guide our actions to contribute positively to the community. We are grateful to see the passion and determination of Genesys in supporting this community outreach program that aims to improve the livelihood of the local community.”
Throughout the afternoon, attendees purchased goods from members of the Dusun, Rungus, Lundayeh and Murut tribes. A popular item included woven bags from the Rungus tribe with a motif called Kinoriki, which are hand-stitched patterns from Liu Pitas, a small village in northern Sabah with 67 families. The Rungus tribe’s tradition of delicate embroidery is passed down from their ancestors and features beautiful and images of as plants, animals and humans.
“Weaving is the only source of income for the women in the community, and the shoppers’ involvement has a direct positive effect on their livelihood,” said Saurabh Upadhyay, director of marketing at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu.
Attendees also enjoyed local Sabahan food from Tuaran vendors including kuih apam balik, crispy pancakes with peanut filling, roti jala, a popular Malay afternoon snack served with curry dishes, and barbecued chicken wings.
Beyond the successful local market, Genesys extended CSR practices throughout its corporate event by gifting its delegates with locally-made bamboo straws and Sabah-made wristbands.
“There is a lot we can accomplish together, and this initiative is a clear example of actions that can support the indigenous communities of Sabah,” continued Hagan. “Every little effort to support our indigenous craftsmen goes a long way. We believe it is important for organizations to help support communities positively, and at Rasa Ria, we will continue to do so.”
Thank you to Genesys and Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu for supporting local artisans and making a positive impact on indigenous tribes and the surrounding communities.