Heading home from the office on Saturday morning after the training session with the Salaam Wanita women, I reflected on the past few hours. To most of us, going into work on a Saturday morning, for any reason, would seem more like punishment than a reward. However, this is an event I have been looking forward to since I arrived in Malaysia. All the work I have been doing has been to improve the programs and resolve some of the challenges these women are facing. I spent most of the day introducing myself to the women, listening to them catch up with old friends and listening to my coworkers Rachel and Pooi Lai conduct an effective training session.
I got the opportunity to talk to a few of the women and spent an extended period of time with Nurul, a divorced mother of three, with the brightest smile I had seen in a while. Nurul is blind in one eye, and due to her disability, has had trouble finding work in the traditional office setting. Abandoned by her husband, was faced with the challenge of supporting her family and still caring for her three children. Nurul She came to eHomemakers over three years ago. Before long, she was encouraged and given the financial support to start her own small business. Nurul began producing the traditional and infamous muruku snacks that Malaysian love and that we can’t get enough of in the office weekly. As I stood watching the women interact, she confidently approached me and asked me what I thought of her muruku. I raved about her baking skills and before long we were immersed in conversation and laughter.
Nurul, like most of the women in Salaam Wanita is a very joyous woman who hardly seems to be drowning in her sorrows. In fact, she is quite opposite, an optimistic and cheerful personality who is grateful that her business sales are finally picking up. She is confident about her future prospects and is even devising a strategy for her business in the coming months. In fact, most of eHome’s women are the same. They are all grateful not only for the opportunity they have been given to improve their lives, but also for the family and camaraderie they have found in eHome. Surrounded and influenced by such optimism and hope was the perfect cure for a sleepy Saturday morning.
Posted By Ola Duru
Posted Aug 5th, 2008