SEREMBAN: Nor Zaidah Ab Rahman never thought that she would be able to restart her life after losing the ability to walk following an accident in 2010 and her two businesses a few years later.
The 42-year-old mother of five from Tanjung Ipoh, Kuala Pilah said after the accident, life dealt her with another blow when her restaurant and tailoring shop were destroyed in a fire in 2014, resulting in losses of more than RM200,000.
With her life turned upside down, she admitted that she was already on the verge of giving up.
But all that took a turn for the better when she was introduced to the Reach Independence and Sustainable Entrepreneurship (RISE) programme in 2016.
A flagship programme of Maybank Foundation, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of the Maybank Group, this programme aims to provide economic empowerment and financial independence for the disabled and disadvantaged communities.
Together with People Systems Consultancy Sdn Bhd, which provides entrepreneurship training modules, participants are trained for six months and have their income monitored on a weekly basis.
Nor Zaidah said she initially received RM250 and other assistance from the Social Welfare Department to restart her life.
“With school-going kids, a mother and younger siblings that I need to take care of, it wasn’t an easy journey for me. And when I was introduced to RISE and how it can help me to rebuild my businesses, I felt much stronger and more confidence.
“I participated in the programme and Alhamdulillah, not only that I managed to rebuild my businesses for better monthly income, the programme has helped me to become a more confident person besides paving the way to help others,” said Nor Zaidah, who now runs a restaurant and a tailoring shop with an average income of RM9,000 per month.
The Phase 1 & 2 of RISE which was held in 2014 and 2016 respectively had successfully reached out to over 2,100 persons with disabilities and the marginalised – in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Following success of the programme, Phase 3 was launched at Universiti Teknologi Mara Seremban 3 here today, by Tunku Besar Seri Menanti Tunku Ali Redhauddin Tuanku Muhriz.
Also present were the group president and chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, Maybank Foundation chief executive officer Shahril Azuar Jimin and People Systems Consultancy Sdn Bhd executive director Raymond D Gabriel.
Abdul Farid said the RISE programme has successfully allowed participants to achieve a significant growth in their income after undergoing an intensive training and mentorship programme.
“In Phase 1 of the programme, we saw 280 participants succeed in their businesses in which each participant achieved a remarkable 411.7 per cent income increase. In Phase 2, a total of 1,866 participants who were trained across Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines achieved an average income increase of 356.4 per cent, 351.8 per cent and 565 per cent in those countries respectively,” he said.
“Given the huge success of the programme, we believe that the time is right that we launch Phase 3, which will now reach out to 4,000 people in four countries, which are Malaysia with 800 participants, Indonesia (2,000), Philippines (1000) and Laos with 200 participants as pilots, of which 70 percent of them will comprise persons with disabilities.” he said.