Community initiative uplifts women in low-income sector

Community initiative uplifts women in low-income sector

PETALING JAYA: The Women Of Will (WOW) celebrated a significant community transformation at the people’s housing programme (PHP) in Lembah Subang recently.

Titled “Empowering Women, Empowering Communities: Celebrating the Transformation of Lembah Subang”, the event underscored the pivotal roles played by women to uplift their communities.

WOW president Datin Goh Suet Lan said it supports women living in low-income communities by improving their home-based businesses through training, coaching and business capital.

“We then develop these women to become leaders so that they may play an active role in empowering their communities.

“As part of our success, 90% of the household income of women we have assisted have increased, while 83% of participants in our programmes used the skills they learned to pursue new business opportunities.”

Goh said today, these women have helped to revitalise their communities through dedicated efforts in collaboration with local and national partners.

She said the growth and transformation of PHP Lembah Subang exemplifies the spirit and determination of the women there to build their lives and community.

“They have overcome challenges and obstacles that revolve mostly around poor collaboration across their housing blocks, lack of trust in NGOs and inadequate community resources to transform challenges into opportunities.”

Goh said the celebration at PHP Lembah Subang concluded with the graduation of the latest group of women community leaders from the WOW Community-Led Development Programme.

“This signalled the continuous growth of future leaders in Lembah Subang and beyond. Among our key achievements at PHP Lembah Subang is that our programmes have impacted over 10,000 community members, enhancing their livelihood and well-being.”

She said the programmes were carried out in collaboration with Yayasan Hasanah, which is the philanthropic arm of Khazanah Nasional, and the Finance Ministry.

“Remarkably, many women entrepreneurs have significantly increased their income, with some advancing to the middle-income and high-income brackets,” Goh said.

She added that under WOW’s Women Transforming their Community programme, successful women entrepreneurs were inspired to support their fellow community members.

They took on leadership roles to introduce other partners and programmes that addressed the challenges faced by their community members.

WOW also formed the Association of Empowered Women Leaders.

The organisation was initiated by 23 WOW women community leaders from 10 PHP and low-income communities across Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Kedah.

It aims to expand nationwide and advocate effective solutions to the challenges faced by low-income communities.

Assocation president Isham Romli emphasised that community leaders play an important role in promoting women’s resilience and potential.

“Using the success of our PHP leaders as examples, we are now focusing on unlocking the potential of other women for longer-term solutions that support sustainable security and growth.”

Goh said WOW plans to replicate its successful WOWED Programme, which was implemented in PHP Lembah Subang, to other low-income communities across Malaysia.

“We invite potential partners and funders interested in implementing the WOWED programme to empower women and transform communities through our outreach initiatives.”

She said WOW encourages government agencies, think tanks, NGOs and social enterprises to collaborate with the association to identify and address community needs through a grassroots, bottom-up approach.


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