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Caring for the Communities Where We Live and Work: Spotlight on Malaysia
Oct 29, 2021

When Malaysia’s government implemented a COVID-19 lockdown in May 2021, Martina Jezdikova knew she had to do something to help her community, and she knew how she could make it a reality.

The marketing director of Kimberly-Clark Malaysia logged onto Facebook and immediately noticed that people in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were going hungry during the nation’s third straight lockdown, which threw millions of people out of work. That’s when Jezdikova connected with a friend, and the two of them began calling people and posting requests on social media to collect food and money to help.

Kimberly-Clark’s caring value encourages employees to care not only for each other but also for the communities where they live and work. For Jezdikova, this motivated her to jump into action when she saw so many of her community members suffering.

“I thought maybe we would help people for a few days, and we didn’t stop for eight weeks,” Jezdikova said. “We fed over 4,000 people, including 1,100 families, and raised almost $17,000 to feed everyone around us who was in need.”

Jezdikova personally picked up groceries in her car and mindfully spent the donated funds at local wholesalers in order to support small businesses. She and her friend assembled bundles of dried food, fresh vegetables and proteins and delivered them to the communities who needed food the most.

One of the most heartrending experiences came from talking to a Pakistani immigrant whom she saw selling toothbrushes on the street with everything he owned in a plastic bag beside him. He said he was out of work due to the lockdown, and Jezdikova gave him money for food.

“He was kind of in disbelief,” she recalled. “He told me that in spite of it all, he still has a better life than he did back home, and this was someone who was living on the street and had literally nothing. I learned a lot about not taking anything for granted, being very grateful for what we have, and being willing to help others.”

The lockdown and food drive ended after three months. Jezdikova is now volunteering with the Destiny Welfare Centre to help women learn new skills for employment and help young children gain early education skills. Her personal purpose dovetails with Kimberly-Clark’s purpose to care for its people, its consumers, its communities, and the planet.

“With Kimberly-Clark’s purpose of Better Care for a Better World, I feel that our programs and brand values are aligned with my personal values, and it’s one of the reasons I have been with the company for 19 years,” she noted. “During the pandemic, Kimberly-Clark has demonstrated across many countries that we do what we say in helping many communities in need globally.”

In April 2020, the company and the Kimberly-Clark Foundation earmarked more than $8 million in cash and product donations to assist with global COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. The initiatives included giving $2.5 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the American Red Cross and donating 1 million period products to the Alliance for Period Supplies.

“Caring for others – especially those who are underserved – is vital during this global health crisis, and I am proud to work for a company where care underlies everything we do,” said Jezdikova. “I can’t wait to continue finding ways to strengthen the community where I live and work, during the pandemic and beyond.”

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