HAVING lost her job as a seamstress during the Covid-19 pandemic, Noor Hayati Ismail took up making and selling acar or pickled vegetables to earn a living.
The 44-year-old resident of Kampung Baru Hicom People’s Housing Project (PPR) did not have a smooth start with her business as she had difficulty marketing her product.
“When the first movement control order started, I lost my job because the clothing factory I worked at closed.
“Since I like making pickles, I thought of turning it into a business and selling it to the flat’s residents and those living nearby.
“Business was slow as I did not know how to promote my pickles online. I was also not IT-savvy, ” she said.
An opportunity arose when an online marketing course by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), under Selangor’s Kita Untuk Kita (K2K) programme, was held to train residents in digital marketing.
“It was helpful because I learnt how to market my products online.
“Customers got to know about my business and now I earn more from selling pickles.
“I decided to become a facilitator to promote the programme to my fellow residents, ” she said at the launch of Hari K2K at Kampung Baru Hicom PPR in Shah Alam.
A community event led by PPR Hicom Women’s Association (Perwacom), Hari K2K showcased the programme achievements at Kampung Baru Hicom PPR.
Think City Resilience senior programme manager Uta Dietrich said K2K started more than a year ago.
“We had the idea of designing an initiative to empower the community because we found that the standard of living among PPR residents had dropped.
“However, Covid-19 hit and we then had to modify the programme to ensure it complied with the standard operating procedures set by the government.
“This K2K programme looks at the social, economic and physical aspects of PPR communities.
“We engaged with residents to create programmes such as K2K Idol and K2K Aktif Bersama initiative to help community members de-stress, create some fun and empower them to fight this pandemic, ” she said. K2K Idol was a singing competition mentored and judged by top Malaysian artistes.
The K2K Aktif Bersama initiative is an ongoing well-being programme consisting of walking groups, badminton for children, health talks and workshops on composting.Think City is looking at organising more programmes to empower the community.
“One of the initiatives suggested by residents was to set up a community garden near the vacant land next to Sungai Klang.
“We will meet with the relevant people in Selangor government to gauge the feasibility of this and other initiatives, ” said Dietrich.
Perwacom president Norizan Mohd Nor said K2K Selangor had a positive impact on the community.
“It has been heart-warming to see the community feeling more empowered, thinking bigger and having a sense of control over their own future.
“I hope this programme will provide our community with the tools to create better livelihoods, sustain ourselves and forge a better quality of life in the long run, ” she said.
Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, who launched Hari K2K, said the initiative was a paradigm shift, which provided an opportunity to identify the needs of the PPR residents.
“This is in line with the state government’s efforts to provide what the community needs.
“Through data management, processing and analysis, it helps in formulating good policies for the people, ” he said.
The K2K Selangor programme — which was initiated by Think City Sdn Bhd — works with local communities, government departments, non-governmental organisations and the private sector for the benefit of PPR communities.
It aims to improve the standard of living and strengthen management systems of PPRs.
The programme also collects information about the communities via multiple channels, including the K2K digital application, to tailor and target support as well as measure its effectiveness.