Thursday, January 27

RM15 million for Sarawak Women Aspiration Group


Fatimah (centre) poses for a group photo with some of the SWAG forum speakers, along with Rohani (fifth right), Noriah (fourth right) and Rubiah (fifth left).

KUCHING: The Sarawak government recently approved an allocation of RM15 million for Sarawak Women Aspiration Group (SWAG).

Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said RM5 million would be used to build a one-stop centre in Kota Samarahan and the balance of RM10 million is for operational purposes at the centre.

“The remaining RM10 million is for the operational matters of the centre to provide various types of facilities for women’s development in entrepreneurship.

“In this centre, they will have the incubator and marketing trainings besides financial and accounting and high quality product development so that we will be able to achieve the international marketing standard,” she said when speaking at a SWAG programme here yesterday.

She said with the availability of this centre, women who have interest in entrepreneurship will be trained in information technology (IT) to enable them to develop their own business websites.

“At the moment, since 2014, through our centre which is located at the Welfare Department of Sarawak, we have successfully trained about 13,802 women from all over the state.

“We will be upgrading courses like labelling, marketing through social media, finance and accounting and also developing websites.

“Our main focus will be single mothers and actually, some have come forward to ask if they could be provided homes, so that they are able to work from home.

“That’s why my suggestion was for them to refer to the Single Mothers Association to get some ideas on how to apply for a low-cost house for that purpose,” she said.

Fatimah added that her ministry’s objective is to see women coming out of poverty and to increase their family’s income, which in turn contributes to the state’s socio economic development.

About 180 women from Kuching and Miri attended the SWAG programme where a forum and dialogue were held with the stakeholders from the ministry itself, Women and Family Bureau and Swinburne University of Technology Melbourne and Sarawak who did the Sharing Research Findings and Sharing Findings respectively and Good Shepherd Microfinance.

Experienced entrepreneurs like Ranong Peru (Ran & Nong Creation), Meriamah Yambo (Sarikei Pavillion) and Dr Anna Sue shared their passions on crafts, local produce and fashions respectively.

Among those present were members of Parliament Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim (Batang Lupar) and Rubiah Wang (Kota Samarahan), director of Women and Family Development Bureau Noriah Ahmad and head of School of Design and Arts, Associate Professor Ida Fatimawati Adi Badiozaman.