B40 ladies sell cookies to make ends meet

KUALA LUMPUR: The month of Syawal has brought festive cheer to a group of B40 women who are now earning a sustainable income from making Raya biscuits and selling hampers as well as personal protective equipment amid the pandemic.

The head of the Community Kitchen at the Batu Muda People’s Housing Project (PPR), Noraizah Yahya, said the group of about 20 women were able to sell 35,000 biscuits and 1,000 hampers.

This, she added, was made possible with support by the Community Kitchen project started by NGO Women of Will.

“The women have picked up marketing skills, are now more independent and creative, and are able to help their families and set aside some money for savings and education.

“This not only boosted our confidence in baking biscuits and packaging the hampers in batik fabric ala Japanese Furoshiki-style, but we can manage the project independently on a continuous income platform, ” she said.

The project is supported by Edra Power Holdings Sdn Bhd.

Noraizah said by working as a group and teaming up with PPR Lembah Subang’s Community Sewing Centre, they were able to chalk up higher earnings as opposed to selling biscuits single-handedly.

One of the participants, Norshuhadah Nasaruddin, said she hopes that the project will be extended to the larger B40 community as well as underprivileged women.

She described the current movement control order as a blessing in disguise as this had led to almost unending orders for Raya biscuits, compared to last year.

“My confidence to earn a sustainable income is much higher now due to the opportunity given to me, compared with many B40 women who don’t have a stable income under the current difficult circumstances, ” she said.

Women of Will chief operating officer Lakshwin Muruga said the community kitchen and sewing centres helped women with zero income to initially sew personal protective equipment and earn some money during the pandemic.

“We look forward to operating the kitchen at maximum capacity, including morning and night shifts, and help women and their families in underprivileged communities, ” he said.

Jennifer Aleeya Wong, vice-president of group corporate affairs at Edra, said the power company had been helping underprivileged women the past five years and was committed to continuously supporting B40 women during the pandemic. — Bernama

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