SEREMBAN: Mohd Firdaus Abdul Latif was pursuing a course to repair air-conditioners in 2004 when he was seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident.
He was riding home to Tanjung Malim after classes when he was hit by a vehicle near Templer’s Park in Selayang.
“I woke up in hospital after being in a coma for 40 days and doctors told me I would be wheelchair-bound for the rest of my life,” said the only child to a government servant and housewife.
Firdaus then turned to photography but could only make between RM1,000 and RM2,000 a month.
In 2015, he enrolled in Maybank Foundation’s Reach Independence and Sustainable Entrepreneurship Programme (RISE) and learnt the many aspects of doing business.
“We were exposed to new methods, including using the Internet as a marketing tool, networking and financial planning as well as ways to advertise our business.
“From photography, I ventured into printing and design. And today, I earn about RM25,000 a month,” said the 32-year-old at the Phase Three launch of RISE by Tunku Besar Seri Menanti Tunku Ali Redhauddin Tuanku Muhriz here yesterday.
Also heaping praise on the Maybank programme was paraplegic Azila Alias, a bronze medallist in table tennis at the recent Asean Para Games, who said she was instilled with self-confidence despite her condition.
“Now I give tuition classes and make cupcakes which I sell from home,” said the 44-year-old who makes up to RM3,000 a month.
Nor Zaidah Ab Rahman, 42, who was crippled in 2010 after a road accident, opened a tailoring and eating stall and was making about RM1,000 a month before these were destroyed in a fire.
“I attended a RISE programme in 2015 and learnt new things. I then reopened my shops,” said the mother of five who now brings home a monthly income of RM9,000.
Maybank Group president and chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said the first phase of the economic empowerment RISE programme was started in 2014 for 280 physically challenged individuals as well as those from disadvantaged communities.
Another 1,866 participants from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines benefited from Phase Two.
Farid said under the scheme, participants attended a three-day entrepreneurship and financial training programme and are monitored for between three and six months.
“Following the huge success of the programme, we launched Phase Three in the hope of reaching out to another 4,000 people, including in Laos,” he said, adding that Maybank was committed to being at the heart of the community in the countries where it operated.