Most parents dream of seeing their kids succeed in life. But for many living in poverty, this remains unattainable.
For Kak Noor, a mother of seven, her living standards have improved since working at Batik Boutique.
“My dream as a mother must be to see my kids succeed. She says to Our Better World, a storytelling initiative of the Singapore International Foundation. “Now that I have a job, I have my own income...I am able to help the family.”
Batik Boutique is a social enterprise that produces batik clothing, gifts, scarves and pouches. It aims to provide a fair and sustainable income for women living in poor, urban conditions in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. To date, they have trained around 29 seamstresses, 10 of whom are now earning a sustainable income.
“I knew to really have sustainability to make a social impact, needed longevity for the livelihood of women,” Amy Blair, mother of 3, an expat from the United States, and Founder of Batik Boutique.
Amy told Our Better World, that she was inspired to start Batik Boutique in 2013 when seeing her Bahasa Melayu teacher, Kak Ana, could sew fabric fabric into beautiful clothing and scarves.
Despite their cultural differences, the bond between Amy and the seamstresses runs deep. They also share something universal; motherhood.
As Amy puts it, “Maybe we don’t wear the same clothes, or eat the same food...but at the end of the day...I want what’s best for my children, and they equally want what’s best for their children.”
This mindset also inspires Amy to make Batik Boutique more family friendly. The Batik Boutique provides workplace childcare, allowing the women to work without worrying about their children or travel arrangements.
Munirah, is also one of the mothers, whose life has changed since joining Batik Boutique. But after training, she is one of the highest earners in the company.
She is also teaching her daughter to sew, and on a deeper level, her daughter is witnessing her success too.
Amy says, “When you impact the life of a mother, you are impacting the life of the next generation.”
A story by Our Better World – telling stories of good to inspire action.