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KUCHING, June 24: The Sarawak Initiatives (TSI), through its Leadership Programme, organised a community project at Kampung Beladin in Betong to empower community leaders and women from B40 households, especially single mothers, to increase their income and eradicate poverty.
Jointly organised with Swinburne University and Craun Research Sdn Bhd, the three-day programme entitled ‘Empowering Poor Rural Women’ was held from June 17 to 19.
In a statement today, TSI said the three-day Beladin Community Project’s main goal was to enhance the skills of women to enable them to participate in commercial activities.
“The Community Project seeks to address poverty by providing motivation, support, and encouragement to women in the rural areas and at the same time to bring about social change for them to be active within their ‘kampung’ and to provide engagement of their activities with the urban populations hence bridging the rural and urban socio-economic development,” it said.
TSI also hoped that the Beladin Community Project would generate greater interest and that the Sarawak government would further provide incentives to bring about socio-economic change and empower women in rural areas.
“This strategy carried out by TSI would be the first step to engage women from the rural areas, and TSI hopes to see their efforts and the efforts by the women turn to meaningful and fruitful commercial ventures later,” it said.
The five main objectives of the project were capitalising on the skills and knowledge possessed by women in Kampung Beladin, improving the livelihood diversification strategies among women, utilising local resources to generate income for women, optimising human capital within households to help generate income, and creating a community engagement platform for TSI members.
Mohammad Syahrimin headed the Beladin Community Project Sahadan, a postgraduate student in Development Study at Universiti Malaya and assisted by specialists Dr Lucy Sebli, a lecturer from Unimas (Universiti Malaysia Sarawak); Elizabeth Voong, a lecturer from Swinburne; and Professor Dr M. Naiz Asadullah, a Professor in Economics from Monash University Malaysia.
The programmes organised included workshops on cooking, e-business, and financial management, as well as conducting a research paper on rural poverty and gender led by an economics professor from Monash University, Professor Niaz, assisted by a political scientist from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Dr Lucy Sebli.
TSI also convey its appreciation to Batang Lupar MP Dato Sri Rohani Abdul Karim and Jabatan Pendaftaran Pertubuhan Malaysia under Malaysian Incentive Community Empowerment (MyICE) for funding the project.
For more inquiries on TSI’s upcoming projects, contact 019-876 7928. — DayakDaily