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About Us

Founded in 2016, Hopes Malaysia is an emerging civil society organization (CSO) at National Level (Malaysia) that focuses on Sustainable Community Development projects to meet the basic needs of the underprivileged rural Sabah community.

With years of experience in the local area, Hopes Malaysia has been actively empowering remote and rural villages in Kadamaian, Kota Belud, Sabah, Malaysia (where there are over 74-poverty stricken villages), helping over 10,000 villagers and their families in rural communities live better each day.

We place much importance and value on “Sustainable Development” in underprivileged rural communities, leading them to become self-sustainable communities in the long-term future.


Based in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, our team works to bring long-term, quality change to the often-underserved local rural families. We make it a must keep close engagement with the communities we operate in, to clarify our stance as a CSO and sustainably meeting their basic needs in order to create further livelihood opportunities.

The formula we hold firm in our charitable operations is “Sustainability + Impact + Practicality + Feasibility”. From addressing the basic needs of clean water and food security, to rural empowerment for an improved quality of life, our initiatives to create meaningful, long-term change in rural communities continues to expand - supporting families to thrive, not just survive.

: Sustainably Breaking the Poverty Cycle
: Empowering Rural Communities with the Basic Needs For Sustainable Living

Project Sites

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Golden Hearts Award 2019:
Improving lives in a sustainable way

sam lee - founder


Founder of Hopes Malaysia

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I'm Sam. A Sabahan currently in my early 30, with a UMS bachelor's degree in Entrepreneurship, 2022 marks the 6th year of my Sociopreneurship journey! I’ve always been passionate about rural development, driven to make a change for the underprivileged in Sabah.

There has always been a need for real change in rural Sabah. Back in 2016, I decided to partner with my friend Khay Inn to form Hopes Malaysia. However, the journey of our CSO wasn’t easy, we had to conduct plenty of research and learn the basics from zero.

Throughout the process, we’ve learnt that ‘sustainability’ is what vulnerable communities need to improve life practically in a long-term manner. Hence, we aim to carry out our work by starting to sustainably solve rural communities’ basic needs issues, then tackling food insecurity, community and livelihood challenges faced by underprivileged families.

We’ve created a project developmental plan that is practical, sustainable, and can truly tackle the communities’ issues in the long run. From my experience in growing Hopes Malaysia, community engagement always comes first to truly understand the communities’ needs before committing to any projects. This helps us to prevent resources wastage and community disagreements.

Only through mutual understanding, can we analyse their issues efficiently and prioritize what we can do to help tackle their issues. With the villagers empowered and being involved in the work process, it creates a sense of ownership, responsibility, and appreciation for them when completed.

Rural Community Development to me is not always about "what we can offer" to the villagers in our projects, but rather asking "what does the rural community really need?" to sustain in the long-term future. Sustainability comes from practicality and can only bring lasting results when needs are met Although our team is small, we continue to do our best to personally make sure that real impact is made for our project beneficiaries.

When sustainability is the heart of all our work, we can break the cycle of poverty!

Our Sustainable Impact

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Gravity Water

Hopes Malaysia started its work with the Kampung Tudan Gravity Water Project for 300 villagers in 2016. Since then, we have empowered over 7,800 villagers in more than 8 remote rural Kota Belud communities with the basic need of clean water for their daily home and farm needs. Our sustainable gravity water systems are 100% natural, connected by an increasing amount of 50 kilometres of piping.


Sustainable Farming

Farming is crucial in isolated rural communities as families often rely on the land to survive. Our sustainable farming methods have resulted in over 250 families from 10 rural villages being empowered with the skills, knowledge and tools needed to start small-scale farming and achieve food security for them and their children. Growing diverse crops for better nutrition while protecting the environment.


Rural Infrastructure (Suspension Bridges)

It is a widespread issue in rural Sabah concerning children’s safety when travelling to school. Many neglected rural Kota Belud communities possess unsafe rural infrastructure (bridges) for students and villagers to cross over dangerous rocks and rivers. Through our projects, communities have been empowered in rebuilding 3 suspension bridges essential for over 2,250 people. Easing villagers’ daily lives and ensuring safe education to keep students in school.


Sustainable Livelihoods Empowerment

Rural farmers and women are empowered to reach their full potential in Farming and Business. Our community workshops and training empower villagers with the skills, knowledge and opportunities to become independent farming entrepreneurs, improving their families’ income and quality of life. Project farmers and #Womenprenuers utilise our community vegetable stall, Gerai Tamu Kita, bringing in excess of RM7,000 monthly to achieve sustainable livelihoods for their families.

Project Awards


JCI Malaysia Sustainable Development Award
(collaboration with Mah Sing Foundation)

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

Best of the Best

Star Golden Hearts Award


IMAGO Mall Kaamatan Video Contest (3rd Place)


JCI Malaysia Sustainable Development Award
(collaboration with Junior Chamber International Tanjung Aru)

Goal 6: Clean Water And Sanitation

JCI Malaysia Best Local Community Empowerment Program
(Kampung Tudan Gravity Water Project)

Our Recent Work Updates

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