GOMBAK DISTRICT, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
LDS Charities recently had the opportunity to partner with the Association of Social Service and Community Development (PSPK), a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Malaysia that works with the poor in the Gombak District near Kuala Lumpur. The mission of PSPK is to empower single mothers and to help them gain skills so that they can better provide for their families. PSPK brings many cultures together at the centers, including Malay, Chinese, and East Indian. In this way, the NGO not only offers greater opportunities to single women and children but also strengthens the community by creating connections between individuals across cultural boundaries.
LDS Charities representatives Sidney and Linda Thatcher commented that Henry Sandanam, the president of PSPK, is “bringing the community together in remarkable ways” and is “a creative, committed, honest champion of the poor.”
In order to help individuals in need, PSPK offers many resources, including vocational training in sewing, tailoring, and baking, as well as English classes, computer classes, motivational empowerment talks, health services, and therapy and counseling services.
PSPK not only helps mothers progress but also offers help to children through art, music, motivational talks, career guidance, life skills training, and sports and other outdoor activities. The center has become a gathering place for local youth where they can participate in a variety of activities and where their parents know they are safe while the parents are working.
Recently, PSPK’s buttonhole machine broke and was irreparable, which made it impossible to train women in sewing buttons and also caused PSPK to lose sewing contracts from companies that had offered jobs to help the underprivileged women. Recognizing the critical need for a new machine, LDS Charities donated one buttonhole machine and one button machine to support PSPK in helping individuals to its best ability. This donation will enable the organization to obtain sewing contracts with local manufacturers, expand training opportunities, and provide income for future equipment needs and equipment repairs. The donation has also created an opportunity for LDS volunteers to offer community service at the center, including teaching English classes, painting areas around the center, and volunteering at various events hosted by PSPK.
One woman shared that because of the sewing training she gained from the center, she was able to open a tailoring shop and can now provide more for her three children. She wrote, “I am so grateful to PSPK Sewing Centre for the help they provided by having this tailoring training and empowerment talks through PSPK Women Development Center, which changed my life.”
Many other individuals involved in the program share similar gratitude for their increased opportunities and the greater hope they feel in their futures because of the education they received from PSPK.
LDS Charities volunteers were pleased to play a small role in helping PSPK perform its important community work and found it to be a rewarding experience to work with PSPK.