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Empowering Single Mothers and Reducing Plastic Waste in Sarawak
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Empowering someone means helping them have control over their life to participate in society fully and meaningfully. Sarawakian women living in poverty often lack the resources to lead empowered lives. As per the data published by the Department of Statistics Malaysia, Sarawak ranks as one of the poorest states in Malaysia. The number of households in the B40 category in Sarawak had also increased because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This campaign aims to empower B40 Muslim communities (poor Malaysian families) focusing on local women with a special priority for single mothers who have the hand skills in sewing and tailoring. This unique campaign is a two-fold campaign where on one hand the focus is on up-skilling and enhancing the skillset of the women and on the other hand the focus is on saving the environment. How does this work?
Improper plastic waste disposal is a serious issue across Malaysia. Plastic wastes from households across the country end up in open landfills. Other than plastic bags, waste from textiles also represents one of the major sources of plastic pollution as micro-plastics from the industries leak into the oceans. A lot of the used clothes and plastic products cannot be recycled at the recycling centres. Hence, the alternative to these single-use plastics, old used clothes and textiles are that they can be up-cycled into grocery bags which is more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
At the same time, it becomes a source of providing extra income for the women-in-need. Under the guidance of WormingUp, these women will undergo training that will provide them with the designs, manuals, tools, and support to produce up-cycled grocery bags from used cloth to earn an extra income that will help them in supporting their families. They will further be guided with entrepreneurship classes and how they can sell these bags in the market.
This would help them to break away from the chains of chronic poverty and become independent to sustain their families. Many of the single mothers in this campaign have to support their families that are completely dependent on them. Many of them have to completely bear the financial brunt of the family expenses along with taking care of their children.
Worming Up has partnered with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Unimas to provide the necessary skill set training. The women will aim to sell their grocery bags to shops in ‘Chinatown’ in Kuching to replace the plastic bags used there.
Donations to this campaign will aid in uplifting B40 women in the community with a special focus on single mothers and reducing plastic waste through up-cycled bags.
These single mothers and other female entrepreneurs are a living example of the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ regarding those who try to work to earn a Halal and respectable income instead of begging others. At GlobalSadaqah our mission is to empower such people so that they go from becoming beneficiaries to benefactors themselves. This is the core of our mission to Circulate Good.
Even the smallest of donations count. The donations from this campaign not only help a single mother set up a decent business but will also help bring smiles and mental peace to a needy family.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “It is better for one among you to bring a load of firewood on his back and give charity out of it (and satisfy his own need) and be independent of people, than that he should beg from people, whether they give him anything or refuse him. Verily the upper hand is better than the lower hand, and begin (charity) with your dependents. [Muslim]
WormingUp is an accredited social enterprise based in Kuching Sarawak, founded in 2015. WormingUp aims to create a circular economy within the food supply chain where food waste contributes directly to the production of wholly organic foods ensuring the sustainability of our food source whilst ensuring the environment is looked after in the process.
Alliance Islamic Bank SocioBiz is a donation crowdfunding platform that aims to empower financially disadvantaged communities through entrepreneurship