28 May 2019

The team Au-mazing People, from Victoria University, is a group of passionate and dedicated 3rd year students to the cause of autism. Their capstone module for their degree is the Applied Business Challenge (ABC); where the team undertook as their project  a charity challenge. The key deliverables were:

  1. Raise awareness for the cause internally and externally
  2. Raise funds for a specific project.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental impairment where individuals face difficulties with social skills, speech, non-verbal communication and behavioural repetitiveness. Global statistic shows that autism effects 1 in 69 children. In Malaysia alone, that would mean that an estimate of 9000 children are born with autism per year. However, due to our busy lifestyles, we tend to forget about the minorities and there seem to be a lack of awareness about autism in the general society. Which is why Au-mazing People would like to bring this issue to the centre of the spotlight and remove the social stigma that Autistic people are unable to fit in the society due to the social challenges that they face on a day-to-day basis.

On the 16th of May 2019, Au-mazing People officially handed over a cheque of RM11,000 to Autism Cafe Project (ACP). With their initial goal of RM 10,000, they were completely overwhelmed and did not expect to obtain an extra RM1,000 donation to be handed over to ACP. From the picture above, it shows the team members of Au-mazing People, Adli Yahya, who is the founder of ACP, his autistic son Luqman, and the ABC lead facilitator, Ms. Alagarani.

You may or may not have come across the name Au-mazing People already. If you haven’t heard, they are a group of passionate and dedicated 3rd year students to the cause of autism from Victoria University who have just completed their course in Applied Business Challenge (ABC). During the course they have undertaken a charity challenge, which inspired them to come up with this project.

ACP is a local cafe staffed by autistic youths that is located at Rubix (formerly known as im4u Sentral) Puchong, and has recently branched out to SACC Mall Shah Alam. Other than a cafe, it also serves a training ground for the youths with ASD to gain employment and life skills. However, their core activity is event catering. They have stumbled upon one major problem, which was the limitations of their current transportation. As they were using their own personal transport, it had a few drawbacks to it being small, inefficient, and may cause spillage of food from time to time. Most importantly, they also needed a bigger transport that could safely transport the youths as well as the bulky equipments such as pot warmers and chafing units to and from catering events.

Their goals for the project were to raise RM10,000 for the procurement of a pick up truck for ACP as well as to spread awareness about Autism to the local society. To raise the RM10,000, Au-mazing People come up with a month-long campaign called ‘Au-mazing Heroes’ which coincides with Autism Awareness Month in April 2019.

Throughout their campaign, they had done a photoshoot, ran an ongoing crowdfunding through simplygiving, bazaar and events. The photoshoot featured the autistic youths working at ACP modelled in their in house merchandises including T-shirt’s and handmade bracelets. The purpose of the photoshoot was to empower the youths and to focus on showing the public what they can do instead of their disabilities. The pictures were shared across their social media pages for the public to view. Other than that, they also hosted a bazaar in Sunway College itself at the boulevard on the 17th and 18th of April 2019, whereby they sold food by ACP and they also had a sensory booth. Last but not least, they Co-hosted an event in the recent Publika Autism Awareness Event on the 27th and 28th of April 2019 and collaborated with Sunway iLabs to have their final event on the 7th of May 2019.

Their pilot project which was an Autism Awareness campaign was also held in Publika last 18th and 19th January 2019 in which they collaborated with National Autism Society of Malaysia (NASOM) and Suka seni. They had talks, an art showcase and performances by autistic children alongside bazaars and workshops. If you’d like to find out more about them, you can visit their social media pages (IG / FB: @aumazingpeople) or email them at aumazingpeople@gmail.com.