The University has outreach projects with various local communities. These projects involve the participation of multiple internal and external stakeholders. The University focuses on community projects to fully encompass the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability. These projects focus on long term goals and impact within every community involved, which allows for a more thorough involvement of SDGs and sustainability themes. 

One current project is the Desa Mentari revitalisation project which aims to elevate the living conditions of the urban poor community located within 10km of the campus. The primary goal of addressing poverty and inequality drives various projects involving University students and staff such as Entrepreneurship training, Urban Farming initiative, mentorship for next-generation women leaders, community education programmes promoting healthy lifestyles and more. Students' participation is part of their curriculum through the community service subject which is a compulsory unit for all undergraduate students.

Other forms of community engagement projects are through volunteerism which are led by student leaders through clubs and societies funded by the University. Activities range from food aid distribution to providing tuition to refugee children as well as  beach and river clean-up projects and sorting recyclables.




The journey of revitalizing Desa Mentari has unveiled a complex web of interrelated challenges, including employment scarcity, social issues linked to educational and job opportunities, aging infrastructure, and limited stakeholder collaboration. These obstacles have historically hindered investment and growth, contributing to a cycle of poverty and inequality.

However, the Desa Mentari Project, enriched by insights from thorough assessments and the dedication of Sunway University alongside various stakeholders, embarks on a strategic mission to dismantle these barriers. By aligning efforts with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs), the initiative promises not only to address immediate concerns but also to lay the groundwork for long-lasting prosperity and well-being.

Background of Desa Mentari

Location and Build-up

Nestled in Selangor, Malaysia, the Desa Mentari locality is a vibrant community that mirrors the rich diversity of the 
nation. Situated approximately 2 km away from Sunway City, Desa Mentari comprises 10 blocks of 11-12 storey and 16-18 storey buildings. It serves as a testament to the government's dedication to addressing housing challenges through low-cost housing schemes. Despite experiencing delays and residing in temporary shelters during the construction process, the community has displayed resilience and adaptability.

Population Landscape

Home to around 26,104 residents, Desa Mentari proudly embraces individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including Malay, Indian, Chinese, and others, fostering a harmonious coexistence reflective of Malaysia's multicultural identity.
Shaped by historical, economic, and social factors, Desa Mentari has evolved alongside the region's landscape of rapid industrialization, privatization of local plantations, and changing migration patterns. As Malaysia's GDP experienced growth, rural residents sought opportunities in major cities, contributing to the community's dynamic composition.
The population of Desa Mentari, representing a tapestry of ethnicities, primarily consists of 
individuals from the lower-income segment, often referred to as the B40 community. The 
community's commendable determination to uphold its way of life amid economic changes adds a 
unique layer to its dynamic composition.


In our preliminary observational analysis of the Desa Mentari community, a nuanced set of challenges emerges, reflecting the complex landscape residents navigate on a daily basis. These challenges not only underscore the pressing issues faced by the community but also serve as focal points for potential positive transformation.

Challenges Faced by Desa Mentari Community

Health Challenges: 

The community grapples with a notably high rate of infectious diseases, with dengue fever being a prominent concern. Other than that, the community contends with the pressing issue of mental health, with residents facing various challenges related to psychological well-being. Addressing the root causes behind this prevalence is crucial for safeguarding public health.

Mental Health Concerns:

In addition to infectious diseases, the community contends with the pressing issue of mental health. Residents face various challenges related to psychological wellbeing, emphasizing the need for targeted interventions. Initiatives focused on destigmatization, awareness, and accessible mental health services are imperative for holistic community wellbeing.

Aging Infrastructure:

The community contends with aging infrastructure, posing health hazards, infectious disease risks, and mental health concerns. Immediate, impactful interventions are essential to address these pressing issues.

Employment Skills Enhancement:

Essential employment skills need enhancement to empower residents economically. Exploring employment opportunities, providing entrepreneurship training, and introducing urban farming programs are vital components of this challenge.

Community Harmony

Challenges related to community harmony and social interactions require attention. Increasing green spaces, promoting safety, and encouraging activities that foster positive social interactions are key components of this challenge.

Living Conditions:

Instances of substandard living conditions demand urgent intervention. The 
community seeks immediate, impactful measures to uplift living conditions, creating a healthier 
and more conducive environment. 

Access to Quality Education:

 The challenge of ensuring access to quality education involves supporting local schools, developing innovative curricula, offering scholarships, and providing skills training. These efforts contribute to elevating educational standards within the community.

Economic Struggles:

Economic challenges within Desa Mentari call for initiatives to enhance business infrastructure, promote digital connectivity, and foster entrepreneurship. Stimulating economic growth is crucial for the community's development.



The Desa Mentari Project shines as a beacon of innovation and community empowerment amidst 
Malaysia's rapid industrialization. The Sunway Desa Mentari Programme is guided by a comprehensive primary objective designed to bring about positive transformation within the Desa Mentari community. Its key goals include: 





The project channels its resources into six pivotal themes, each designed to tackle specific facets of the community's challenges while harnessing opportunities for growth and development:

Focus Areas