Single mother Salmah Mahsen in dire straits
by Antonia Chiam, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on August 9, 2012, Thursday
KUCHING: All Salmah Mahsen wants is to recover her eyesight so that she can work normally and raise her young family.
The 24-year-old single mother of two, who is half blind in the right eye due to a road accident few years ago, now suffers failing vision on her left eye due to some growth.
If the growth is not removed surgically, she could lose her sight.
Her plight worsened when she was recently forced to move out from her parents’ low-cost flat at Taman Dahlia in Matang, and had to put up with a friend at another block.
When met by reporters, Salmah tearfully said she hoped to seek enough donations to undergo eye surgery, which requires an amount that she could not afford at all.
“I want to go for the surgery because I don’t want to lose my eyesight. I have my two daughters to raise. I hope that once the surgery is done I can work to support my family. I have interest in making cakes and sewing,” she said, adding that she did not want to burden her parents who are also poor.
She said she was also looking for a place to stay as she did not want to be an inconvenience to her friend who is renting the flat from someone else.
Her kind friend Siti Aminah, 42, is also a single mother of four who was abandoned by her husband for a younger Indonesian girl and had been struggling to raise her own family.
Fortunately, Salmah’s sorry state came to the attention of Saberkas Women’s Affairs Bureau which pledged to help the poor young woman.
Led by its chairperson Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, members paid a visit to Salmah and presented bags of food and daily use items to her yesterday.
Sharifah Hasidah said the items were all personal contributions from the members. Some had even contributed money out of their own pockets.
“We are very concerned after hearing her plight. We will certainly come up with some plans to help Salmah once we have registered her with e-Kasih.
“What’s important now is to raise funds for her surgery. We will raise the funds from among our members as well as from the public.
“After she undergoes the surgery and recovers, we will arrange skills training for her since she is interested in cooking and sewing. That will help her raise her children independently,” she said, adding that they would also help in applying for single mothers’ housing and other welfare aid for Salmah.
On a related note, Sharifah Hasidah cautioned women to be careful before committing themselves to relationships.
“This is a very common social problem … women with children getting abandoned by their husbands to fend for themselves. Sometimes they are left with nothing and they have to struggle to survive.
“Women must take care of their own lives. Don’t jump into relationships that allow irresponsible men to take advantage of them.”