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Jayne Kennedy

Jayne Kennedy

Co-Founder, Epic

Jayne Kennedy is a co-founder of Epic, an award-winning social enterprise on a mission to engage local champions to build homes together with marginalised communities through their flagship initiative, Epic Homes. Her desire to improve the quality of life for beneficiaries and grassroots partners runs deep, not just by building homes but by nurturing a supportive community in the long term.

“There is power in knowing that your decisions can impact and influence others. To know that you have a larger responsibility to provide more diverse, equitable, and inclusive opportunities to others who may not have the same privilege as you,” Jayne asserts.

When the pandemic struck, Jayne’s mission of helping underprivileged communities came to an unexpected halt. Unable to enter the Orang Asli villages, she admits the pause forced the team to reassess their strategies. “We spent time experimenting with new ideas and piloting various resilience programmes in the communities we work with,” the young humanitarian explains.

During the pandemic, Epic raised over RM 2 million in funds, impacting over 6000 families in 86 villages as a part of relief efforts for the Orang Asli communities affected by the Movement Control Order (MCO). The social enterprise also engaged in numerous community development initiatives, including a sustainable farming programme, digital learning hubs, an Orang Asli Entrepreneurship Programme and more. “It was a good opportunity to bring to life ideas that were shelved for so long,” Jayne says before adding, “With every ending, there’s a new beginning.”

While Epic strives to inspire, mobilise and empower people to live extraordinary lives dedicated to helping others, Jayne understands it can be easier said than done. “It can seem intimidating and a challenge to navigate. When it comes to social work, it’s about getting to know people, allowing them to share their stories and building human connections. I would say that’s something anybody can do. If there’s an effort that’s important to you and you’re willing to contribute – go for it!”

Ever a team player, Jayne is excited about Epic’s plans as the nation moves into an endemic phase. “We are always looking for more opportunities to bring value to the communities that we work with through new projects or companies interested in taking CSR to a different level.”