Monday, October 29, 2012

Sewing their way out of poverty

Posted by Smookiekins On 10/29/2012 12:48:00 PM

Many young Sabahans, especially from the rural areas, venture into the city to look for jobs.

In most cases, they end up working as shop assistants, in sales, coffeeshops and such places because of their low education.

Although there is nothing wrong with such occupations, they are mostly shunned because they pay relatively little.

Most young school leavers are now more interested in acquiring skills to make a better living but it’s not easy — and only the determined and diligent are not afraid of learning through trial and error.

The 1Azam programme, therefore, is a boon to these individuals, especially when they are taught living skills and not merely given facilities they would otherwise not know how to use.

The creative sewing skills programme, conducted recently by Sewing Academy Kota Kinabalu to eradicate hardcore poverty in collaboration with 1Azam, had benefitted the 20 participants immensely.
The three-month course from July 4 to Oct 4 was a joint effort between the State Youth and Sports Ministry and the Academy of the National Dual Training System (SLDN), accredited by the Human Resources Ministry under its Department of Skills Development.

Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Jahid Jahim officiated at the closing ceremony and presented certificates to the participants.

According to the Academy’s principal Alicia Lenson, the participants were exposed to different kinds of cloth-making skills.

“They were also given motivational talks and tips on entrepreneurship,” she said.

At the end of the course, the participants were given sewing kits to help them start a small business, either by working at home or setting up booths and sewing shops in their villages.

“The main objective was to teach them useful skills that would generate income,” Alicia added.

The participants, she pointed out, should now practise what they had learnt, and leverage assistance provided by the government to break out of the poverty trap.

Meanwhile asked about the course, the participants said it had was a “very good experience” and they wished to continue improving their skills.

Maizah Jamal from Tenom, who now resides in Putatan, felt she needed a living skill to earn some money to complement her husband’s income.

“As a housewife, I feel I need to stay at home and take care of my family but that does not mean I should do nothing after finishing my housework.

I’m really happy I was informed of this programme by a friend. Now, I don’t feel so helpless at home,” said the 28-year-old mother of a four-year-old child.

She added that besides sewing her own clothing, she could also earn some income to lighten my husband’s financial burden, especially in paying small bills. “I’m really happy I have learnt this skill and I’m confident of taking orders now,” she said, adding that with the sewing machine she got after the course, she could start immediately.

Norshazalina Jamil of Kampung Sinsuran Tambunan, heard about the programme from a friend and since she is single and not doing anything in the village, she decided to join the course — and does not regret it one bit.

“I like sewing dresses and creating something out of a piece of cloth. I can sew any fashion not only for myself but also my friends and family. This not only saves me a lot of money but also helps me earn me an income,” the 26-year-old enthused.

“I think initially, I will work at home in Tambunan — then in five years, I may open an outlet here.
“I just need to have enough money. I think the sewing machine given to us after the course will help us set up a small business.”

Norshazalina said with what she could earn from sewing, she would be able to support her parents who are traditional farmers.

Tuhing Tehing from Kampung Pantai Pitas was drawn into the course by poverty.

“I’m the seventh in a family of nine children and my parents are traditional farmers who eke out a living from the land,” the 22-year-old said.

“They also go into the jungle to look for food. It’s a sad life as they have to work very hard to send us to school.

“I still have two school-going siblings while the rest are out there trying to earn a living.”

Tuhing said getting a well-paying job is not easy. So when he heard about the programme, he decided to sign up even though he knew people might think sewing was hardly a job for a man.

“I don’t care what other people think – the most important thing is that I can earn an income from sewing to help my family.”

For a start, he will work from home with an elder sister, and when they have saved enough, they will open a shop in Pitas although Tuhing does not rule out going to other places to start a tailor shop.

For Shairun Nujum of Kampung Jaya Baru, Kunak, the programme was a godsend as it enabled him to express his creativity and view his future with renewed hope.

“I’m the youngest of nine siblings. I live with my mother who is on welfare and life is very hard. So when this course was recommended to me, I grabbed it—not because of anything else other than the opportunity to learn a new skill to earn an income.

“I’ll support my mother for the time being as I hope to continue to the next level of the programme,” the 17-year-old said.

Josephine Matius of Sipitang, agrees, saying learning a skill is always useful, and after the course, she hopes to work for a seasoned tailor before branching out on her own.

“I think I need to study a little more of the techniques before accepting tailoring orders,” the 22-year-old conceded.

Josephine, one of nine siblings, who loves surfing the Internet and chatting with friends, said with the skill she learned from the programme, she would be able to earn an income to support her parents who are traditional farmers.

For Angela Samadau from Kampung Pulutan Menggatal, her enrolment in the programme is all about fascination and interest in creating fashionable dresses.

“I have three children — two boys and a girl — and I like to dress them up. So sewing clothings for them comes naturally.

“Of course, I want to earn an income with this skill and hopefully, orders from customers will come in,” said the 30-year-old who will work from home for a start.

“I also want to teach young people the art of sewing. Maybe I can be an instructor someday.”

The 20 participants of the programme may come from different parts of Sabah but they have the same goal — to be self-supporting and to help their needy families.

The 1Azam programme provides a welcome a lifeline for them and other needy people in the state.

Source: Borneo Post


  1. Semoga dengan adanya skill menjahit mungkin boleh membantu meningkatkan pendapatan keluarga

  2. 1Azam banyak menganjurkan program2 untuk membantu penduduk luar bandar

  3. kemahiran tu lebih berbaloi daripada diberikan bantuan wang one-off.

  4. untuk keluar dari kemiskinan, yang paling utama ialah usaha yang berasal dari diri sendiri.

  5. byk usaha dilakukan kerajaan dalam membasmi kemiskinan.


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