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Women's Weekly (Malaysia) - - Inform -

ara Sukor is a mother of two while Ayu Ab­dul­lah is a mother of one. Both women love help­ing oth­ers. Even be­fore The Mak Mi­nah Project was launched, both Sara and Ayu had al­ready es­tab­lished their own non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tions sep­a­rately.

Sara was run­ning soup kitchens in ur­ban ar­eas while Ayu, who came from a re­search en­gi­neer­ing back­ground, started an out­fit sim­i­lar to her pre­vi­ous work ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ev­ery Thurs­day, Ayu vol­un­teers at Sara’s soup kitchen, where they of­ten meet home­less fam­i­lies to­gether (whom they also refer to as street clients). Both Sara and Ayu feel that one of the hard­est things is to see fam­i­lies go to their soup kitchen weekly to get food for their kids.

They also vis­ited the homes of street clients, which were of­ten just rooms in shop lots that were in ter­ri­ble con­di­tion, not at all con­ducive for chil­dren.

“That’s not the way for kids to grow up,” says Sara. “It’s an en­vi­ron­ment where drug ad­dicts are ev­ery­where and peo­ple sleep on the streets. They would be in­flu­enced by other kids who do not go to school and not fo­cus on their ed­u­ca­tion. Their only role mod­els would be their par­ents who have to go to soup kitchens ev­ery night and work for daily paid jobs.” Ge­lan­dan­gan Kuala Lumpur and An­jung Sing­gah, among oth­ers. These are also tran­sit cen­tres where home­less fam­i­lies or in­di­vid­u­als can stay for sev­eral nights.”

From the re­fer­rals the Mak Mi­nah Project re­ceives through so­cial work­ers work­ing at the tran­sit cen­tres, Sara, Ayu and their team then se­lect par­tic­i­pants who meet their cri­te­ria – fam­i­lies who have chil­dren but do not own a house and are will­ing to work hard.

“We want them to have a higher chance of mak­ing it in the world rather than al­ways go­ing to char­i­ties to ask for hand­outs”, says Sara. The Mak Mi­nah Project’s vi­sion is to em­power fam­i­lies and help them climb up the so­cioe­co­nomic lad­der.

“We want to en­cour­age so­cial mo­bil­ity and pro­vide ser­vices, which are some­times dif­fi­cult or chal­leng­ing for some to ac­cess,” says Ayu.

The funds that the Mak Mi­nah Project gives to their par­tic­i­pants are all crowd-funded. While the or­gan­i­sa­tion has yet to re­ceive any do­na­tions from cor­po­rate com­pa­nies, most of it comes from pri­vate donors who be­lieve in their vi­sion.

Cur­rently, the Mak Mi­nah Project is start­ing to re­ceive grants from the gov­ern­ment as well as pri­vate cor­po­ra­tions for their project

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