empower ECER UPLIFTS THE LIVELIHOOD OF 400 B40 FAMILIES IN MARAN
90% of programme participants transform to become “Womenpreneur”

MARAN, PAHANG, 13 JANUARY 2018: empower ECER, a human capital development programme implemented by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) to transform and uplift the livelihood of the Rakyat in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), has successfully reached out to another 400 participants in Maran, of which over 90% are largely women from the B40 community.

The inclusive programme has provided participants with the opportunity to attend vocational classes including bakery, culinary, sewing, hospitality and makeup, as a platform to improve their livelihood by becoming entrepreneurs upon completion of their course. In fact, the participants from empower ECER Maran have successfully increased their income by up to an average of RM800 per month.

 empower ECER is one of ECERDC’s flagship human capital development programme with a two-pronged initiative, which consists of Academic Training and Skills for students who will be sitting for their examinations such as UPSR, PT3 and SPM; and Entrepreneurship Training for adults, aimed at uplifting the income levels of the participants from the urban and rural communities of the region.

Through the empower ECER Skills and Entrepreneurship Training Programme, more than 600 participants in Maran are given the opportunity to upskill and start their own businesses, while more than 1400 students from poor families in Maran are also provided with free tuition and motivational classes through the empower ECER Academic Training Programme.

Many have recorded improved academic results, paving a brighter future for the youths as they are able to further their studies to tertiary level. In Pahang alone, more than 240,000 households have benefitted directly and indirectly from this programme.

During the convocation and award presentation ceremony today, 4 of the entrepreneurs received the Usahawan Gemilang, Usahawan Transformasi, Usahawan Muda and Usahawan Mithali awards in recognition of their outstanding achievements in turning their lives around. Further to this, 15 UPSR and PT3 students also received the “Juara empower ECER Maran” award for their exceptional examination results.

The awards were presented by Yang Berhormat Dato’ Sri Hajjah Rohani Binti Abdul Karim, the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development in an event which was attended by more than 800 people. Yang Berhormat Dato’ Sri Haji Ismail Abd Muttalib, Deputy Minister of Human Resources and En. Zulkifli Ya’acob, ECERDC’s General Manager of Human Capital Development Division were also present at the event

“ECERDC’s human capital development programmes reflect the Government’s inclusive approach to improve the income, education and socio-economic levels of the B40 communities especially those in the rural areas. The empower ECER programme is designed to benefit the Rakyat by providing them with the necessary skills, education and opportunities to secure a better income,” said YBhg. Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John, Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC.

“To date, the empower ECER programme has been extended to 29 locations across ECER including Maran. The empower ECER programme engages the federal, state and local agencies, local universities, private sectors and strategic partners in ECER, pooling together their resources, experience and expertise. This inclusive approach is to ensure that no one is left behind in the Region’s socio-economic transformation, especially the B40 households,” he added.

One of the empower ECER Maran participants, Puan Marhaini binti Mohd Hasbollah, has successfully transformed her life and uplifted the livelihood of her family by earning a higher income of around RM3,500 per month. Before joining the programme, she was a housewife who runs a small business from home selling popiah. As a result of her commitment towards a better life, she is now producing various commercial products such as dodol, kerisik and banana chips and sells them in and outside of Maran. In addition, she is also able to provide job opportunities to locals as her business expands.

Meanwhile, Puan Marina binti Turiman, who was involved in an accident which left her disabled, did not allow her disability to stop her from achieving her dream of running her own business. After joining empower ECER, she not only managed to open her own bakery but also expanded the business premise to three shoplots to accommodate her growing number of customers.

On the academic front, two UPSR students, Nur Ijlah Nabihah binti Islah and Lim Yu Xuan, were awarded the “Juara empower ECER Maran” for scoring 5As last year. Neither of them had ever thought it was possible to achieve great success in their education given the challenges they faced in their daily lives. However, through the guidance and dedicated support by selected teachers from the empower ECER Academic Training Programme, both students have successfully improved their academic performance and passed their UPSR examinations with flying colours.

Apart from empower ECER, ECERDC has also implemented other human capital development programmes in Pahang such as entrepreneur ECER which seeks to develop micro, small and medium entrepreneurs, ECER Talent Enhancement Programme as well as Agropolitan to reach out to local graduates and the B40 communities.

“The inclusive and holistic human capital programmes introduced across ECER is focused solely on empowering the Rakyat here to actively embrace the opportunities from the socio-economic transformation in this region. Seeing the impact of the transformation agenda further fuels our passion to take these initiatives to the next level, consistent with the National Transformation Agenda,” concluded Datuk Seri Issace.