Initiative to empower the women at Kg Chawan Pendam To Address Urban Poverty

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Media Statement by YB Kelvin Yii:

Our office in collaboration with SADIA(NGO) under the All Party Parliamentary Group Malaysia(APPGM)-SDG, organised a 2 days “weaving training course” for ladies at Kg Chawan Pendam(Kubur) to help them learn new skills which they can use to generate extra income for their families.

We also invited the representative from Sarawak Craft Council to oversee, advice and help them market their finished products. This we hope will empower them and connect them to the right agencies so that they can have a sustainable way forward and also seek help if needed especially to help find market for their products.

We believe in the importance of empowering the villagers and to teach them how to generate their own income. This is one of our initiatives to empower the residents in that squatters to help them obtain a new skill so that they can learn to be independent economically.

While many of the men in the village work in the nearby factories or construction sites, we observed that many of the ladies are often at home. That is why we find ways to teach them need skills which they can take back, do it at home and help the family generate income as well.

The ladies thoroughly enjoyed it. Our oldest participant is 84 years old. For the 2days they kept on weaving, many did not even stop for lunch as they were so engrossed with learning this new skill.

They weave from a “reed” locally known as “Bemban” which i was told grows plentiful especially in water catchment areas especially around the Batang Sadong area.

Glad to see the ladies loving the new skill and hopefully this helps them slowly break out of the cycle of poverty.

This kampung is one of the squatters in our constituency that we have been working with to help them elevate themselves out of poverty. Since 2019, we have been working with the villagers to empower them and implement small initiatives focusing on their economy, health and of course education.

Since then, on top of these initiatives we have provided free medical screening for the villagers including free mammogram and pep smear for the women, financial literacy training to teach them plan their finances at home, free tuition for their children to catchup with classes they miss during the MCO and also free pre-school classes for the younger children among others.

We may be limited in resources, but we will try our best to do the best we can to help empower them so that they especially their children can break out of the cycle of poverty in their life.

Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching