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. “Beneath all social enterprises, we have one desire: to improve the quality of life for our beneficiaries and grassroots partners. This desire shouldn’t and isn’t unique to any of us – and should be something we collectively uphold and aim for,” explains Jayne, who has a decade of experience on projects that have brought people together. Through volunteering, CSR and community engagement, individuals are empowered to transform communities, providing support and stability to the vulnerable while bridging the urban-rural divide. “We seek to add value through collaboration, community engagement and participatory design, to bridge different sectors of society together: inspiring, mobilising and empowering individuals towards making positive change in their communities,” she says.
Jayne confides that bringing together multiple perspectives and identities to pursue a common goal is always challenging. “The work we do includes stakeholders from grassroots partners, to government and corporate funders – we have to respect their identities and hold their needs, wants and loyalties with care. With diversity comes differences and when harnessed well, this can create a wonderfully innovative and creative force, but this takes time, care and intentional relationship building.”
She offers Malaysians a word of advice, “Consider how you can influence positive change in your locus of control – your small actions at home and work can have huge ripple effects in the larger fabric of society. Don’t underestimate your contribution towards a more inclusive and integrated Malaysia.”
Belt by Salvatore Ferragamo; Boots by Manolo Blahnik