Once homeless, now artisan: Ani Mail’s handwoven products on display at 12 petrol stations

A file photo of Fatimah (left) and Ani. Photo credit: Ukas livestream on Facebook on May 23, 2023.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, May 23: A once homeless woman now turned artisan is earning an income through the sale of her handwoven products on display at 12 petrol stations in Sibu.

The 56-year-old Ani Mail’s ‘glow up’ is one of the success stories from the establishment of homeless transit centres (TTG) under Ministry of Women, Early Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development (KPWK).

Its minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said Ani used to be an occupant of TTG Sibu where she gained the knowledge and skills on weaving.

“She is now appointed as one of the trainers at TTG Sibu, teaching other homeless people weaving skills.

“Her handwoven products and those of her friends have been marketed at 12 Petronas petrol stations around Sibu,” she said when presenting her ministerial winding-up speech at Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.

In addition to economic empowerment, TTG Sibu residents are also taught reading, writing and numeracy skills, in collaboration with Sarawak State Library (Pustaka) which is running the Adult Literacy Programme with the help of Methodist Pilley Institute and Laila Taib College.

Fatimah delivering her ministerial winding-up speech at the DUN sitting on May 23, 2023. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit

TTG Sibu has been in full operation since February last year.

Since then, a total of 87 homeless persons have benefited from TTG Sibu’s services where nine are now employed, three placed at Rumah Seri Kenanga (RSK) Sibu and Kuching, 15 still undergoing skills training to enable them to earn an income, 12 have been reunited with their families, and the remaining have left TTG voluntarily.

Fatimah disclosed that the TTG in Miri which is located behind the old Miri District Office is currently being upgraded by Miri City Council (MCC) with the work expected to be completed by December this year.

Meanwhile, the TTG in Bintulu which is located next to Sungai Sebiew Bridge is currently under construction by Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) and is expected to be completed by May 2025. — DayakDaily