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