By Mei Kuan
In conjunction with the International Women’s Day, Ipoh Echo caught up with Sumathi Sivamany, President of Perak Women for Women Society (PWW) for updates on the recent outreach initiatives of the non-governmental organisation (NGO).
PWW is a registered, apolitical and non-profitable NGO set up in 2003 to enhance the status and lives of women in Perak irrespective of their race, religion and social background.
It is run by a group of dynamic women volunteers who aim to empower women to stand with dignity and be treated with respect.
The PWW Shop, its empowerment and social enterprise project located along Market Street, will reach its fourth-year milestone coming June.
“The PWW Shop has been a major source of connectivity for all our projects. This is the place where we make all the communications with our donors, volunteers and those who need any kind of assistance,” explained Sumathi, who is a lawyer by profession.
Besides organising multiple talks and empowering programmes, PWW has supported and helped women in crisis especially those caught in domestic violence. For instance, PWW has counselled and advised many women on legal matters pertaining to domestic violence.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, various outreach programmes to aid the needy have been initiated, ranging from food pantries, reading sessions for children and virtual talks to drives for sanitary pads.
According to Sumathi, the food pantry was a great success and the NGO has managed to feed almost 4,728 families: “We focused on groceries and cooked meals. We are glad that these small contributions helped ease the burden of many homemakers.”
“The reading sessions had some teething problems but we overcame them. It is an ongoing project with kids mainly below 12 years of age taking part. We have young volunteers who have joined us to support this project,” she shared with Ipoh Echo.
“We have learned to cope with the new norms in the last two years. The online teaching for kids is definitely keeping with the times and we look forward to young adults joining us to reach out to more school-going kids,” she expressed.
The generous support of donors has enabled the NGO to assist and reach out to the public during difficult times: “I believe we are on the right track and we certainly look forward to forge close working relationships with our donors and volunteers since we need them to help us reach our goals.”
Sumathi also unveiled an upcoming highlight for this year: “I am excited to announce our latest project in the planning – an exhibition with antiques and collections which will take your breath away. But for the time being, I can only volunteer so much information. The generous donor has been working closely with us and we are in the process of setting up the exhibition hall. I have been informed that some of the unique pieces of jewellery will be sold with proceeds to assist PWW in our projects.”
“PWW is always in need of volunteers and donors and we want them to work together with us. Come and join us and see what we can do to make a change in the lives of people,” she enthused.
Readers who would like to lend a helping hand can contact PWW via its Facebook page.
Meanwhile, the PWW Shop is open from 10am to 3pm daily. A treasure trove selling new and pre-loved items donated by friends and supporters, proceeds from the sale of items will be used to sustain the work of PWW. For enquiries, call 011 6556 9715.