KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 26, 2010): Specially tailored living-skills courses are to be launched to help the needy, especially women and single-mothers, to become self-reliant.
Pandan MP Dato’ Sri Ong Tee Keat said the previous practice of giving out financial aid to the poor and needy was no long-term solution.
“We (OTK Service Centre) are now coordinating with Women, Family and Community Development Ministry on developing the intensive courses under various programmes.
“The courses will be structured according to both communal and multi-racial relevance, depending on the needs and type of skills.
“We have to do this because some skills are only relevant to certain races while others are suitable to everyone,” Ong said after visiting the Pandan Jaya wet market this morning.
He conducted a personal inspection of a group of 16 women, including single-mothers, who were “graduating” from a five-day Sari One Malaysia intensive creative sewing course which started on Monday (Nov 22).
The women, from the Indian community in Pandan and Ampang, set up stall at the market, under the guidance of professional trainers, to market their “handicraft” that included soft toys, recyclable green bags and other custom-made door gifts.
Most of the materials used to sew the products, using Jenome multi-purpose sewing machines, are recycled that included rags.
Ong said the trainers, professionals engaged by the ministry, would monitor and provide guidance to the women for a year to ensure they become “self-reliant entrepreneurs”.
“The women are the pioneer group of participants for Sari One Malaysia which is the brainchild of deputy minister Senator Heng Seai Kei.
“We are now in the midst of finalising various courses suitable for needy Chinese and Malay communities, besides courses that are suitable for all races,” he said.
For example, he told reporters in a briefing that the Chinese full moon (month-long confinement period after birth for women) maid service was a dying trade.
“So are the services of Chinese wedding masters of ceremony. For the Malays, we are looking into courses like hairstyling, bakery and even vehicle garage management (receptionist, stockist, etc) for women,” he said.
Ong said all the courses would cover marketing strategies to enable course participants to become entrepreneurs in the long-run.
The women, who had two Janome sewing machines at the stall to showcase what they learnt, attracted curious crowds who were doing their morning marketing.
Pandan MP Dato' Sri Ong Tee Keat inspecting the Sari Satu Malaysia stall in the Pandan Jaya wet market - OTK Info Unit pic by Fan Jia Wei