KUALA LUMPUR – The mention of Chow Kit brings to mind dark and filthy alleys, being that prostitution, triads and drugs are some of the things that the place is negatively associated with.
However, such a scenario will soon be a thing of the past with efforts being made by a group of young people to change the life of dwellers at Chow Kit so that they can earn their own living, as well as support their families.
The group, led by Nik Sin Nik Man , 35, started the “Umie Aktif” programme three years ago, providing dwellers at Chow Kit, especially the women, to make and sell handicraft products, such as dolls and bag.
“The programme was introduced as a platform for the women to begin their first step to become entrepreneurs.
“Besides teaching them to make handicraft products, we also teach the women to communicate in English,” he said when contacted by Bernama recently.
Nik Sin, who is an an assistant surveyor, said the handicraft products produced by the women in Chow Kit were sold online and the money from the sale distributed back to the women.
“The programme receives encouraging response from the women in Chow Kit, and so far, we have nearly 30 participants,” he added.
Meanwhile, , Lawrance Abus, 30, a lecturer at a private college who is a volunteer in the programme, said the programme had helped provide some income for the participants.
One of the participants, Cek Rohani Talib, 44, said she was now able to supplement her husband’s income by selling handicraft products.
“We don’t have to come up with the capital, and even given two classes a week to learn sewing and English,” she said.
Cek Rohani said she had been able to earn between RM300 and RM350 a month by selling the handicraft products which she made herself.
Those keen to buy the handicraft products can make their order through “UmieAktif” Facebook account or instagram.