Change Through Chocolate: How Social Enterprise ChocoLah Is Helping Underprivileged Youth
Founded by Raudhah Nazran, ChocoLah is helping to equip underprivileged youth in Malaysia with the skills and entrepreneurial abilities they need to sustain themselves
Amidst the surge of Instagram home bakers and other small food businesses that emerged under lockdown, ChocoLah also aims to make its mark this year, but with motivations that go beyond profit or fame.
ChocoLah was founded by Raudhah Nazran, founder and CEO of Accelerate Global, a Malaysian social enterprise that empowers underprivileged youths with the skills and entrepreneurial abilities to help them sustain themselves.
Recently, Nazran launched ChocoLah with the target of selling 1,000 'rainbow crunch' chocolate jars before Ramadan to help Accelerate Global raise funds to build a community centre for homeless youths and children in the country. The end goal is to keep these underserved young people off the streets and safe from bullying, sexual violence and harassment.
"ChocoLah actually came out of my own deep frustration at having witnessed marginalised kids and youths getting bullied on the streets, and 'controlled' by external parties, even so far as by organisations," says Nazran.
"I started ChocoLah with the aim of raising funds to build a community centre to house these marginalised kids and youths we often see on the streets. The community centre will not just be a learning space, but also a safe house for these kids and youths where they can sleep, eat, learn and play," she says.
The funds raised from selling 1,000 chocolate jars should cover many of the costs incurred for the community centre, which Nazran hopes to call Rumah Accelerate. She also hopes to establish ChocoLah as a source of revenue to help sustain the community centre.
ChocoLah's homemade chocolate crunch jars are made of rainbow-coloured cereal and melted chocolate, available in three flavours: milk chocolate, white chocolate and marshmallow milk chocolate. All are priced at RM15 (about US$3.60).
On June 1, ChocoLah is releasing a new product, the Duduk Rumah (Stay At Home) Care Package. "[We are] partnering up with a local auntie who makes Batik painting, [and is] currently unemployed. The care package includes three ChocoLah jars, one A5 Batik Painting Canvas, one brush and three water colours," Nazran says.
The team at Accelerate Global are exploring every revenue stream they can to help fund their ambitions. "I'm also looking to house [the children's] parents," says Nazran. "Big dreams, I know, but I'm committed to making this happen."