For five long years Muhammad Faizul Karim laboured on the five-foot way to earn a living mending shoes for his customers. Today he operates from a rented shop lot in Pekan Razaki, Sungai Rokam, Ipoh. Although he is shielded from the elements, it is still not enough. “What I really need is a shoe-stitching machine which will help improve my efficiency,” he told Ipoh Echo when met recently.
The economy of skill that comes with the machine is the underlining factor. Faizul could heave a sigh of relief, as his application for a micro-credit loan was approved by Yayasan Bina Upaya Darul Ridzuan sometime ago. He received the RM6,000 loan in late July, just before the fasting month. “I’ve placed an order for the said machine from its manufacturer in Taiwan and am awaiting its arrival,” he said.
Faizul is appreciative of YBU’s efforts in lifting the living standards of the poor and the marginalised in Perak. “I wonder what would’ve happened if there’s no such scheme in place?” he enjoined.
With a shoe-stitching machine, Faizul can double his efforts at repairing shoes. He has a steady stream of customers who use his services and despite his shortcomings, keep coming again and again. “I charge them accordingly. I guess their repeat appearance is testimony of the quality of service I render,” he said.
All said and done, YBU has one satisfied customer on hand who appreciates what the foundation does for people like him. Faizul has started repaying his loan. The low interest rate charged is a plus factor. “Paying RM170 a month is not a burden to me,” he added.