Dungun, 28th March 2014 – East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) human capital development program empower ECER today celebrated the opening of a beauty centre by one of its participants, Khaizuran Ab. Lah Zawawi.

Dieya Beauty Care, is a dream-come-true for the 33-year old housewife-turned-entrepreneur, who completed an empower ECER’s beauty & bridal course in 2011. The mother of three is looking forward to building a better life for her family with her new beauty centre business.

Guest of Honor YB Roslee bin Daud, Terengganu State Executive Council Member, was at hand to officially launch the beauty centre at Pusat Komersial Jeli Sura, Dungun.

empower ECER is a twin-pronged human capital development initiative launched by ECERDC in 2010 to help reduce economic dicentrerities between rural and urban communities. It consists of the Academic Skills Program that conducts remedial classes for low achieving students from disadvantaged homes, sitting for their UPSR, PMR and SPM examinations. For adults, there is the Skills & Enterpreneurial Training program that offers vocational courses to single mothers, jobless youths and women from low income households.

The Skills & Entrepreneurial Training program offers courses that are in demand in the local community, and having bright prospects as small scale businesses. Course offered include cooking, 1Malaysia cookery, baking, sewing & design, cell-phone repair, plumbing, ICT, front desk service, plumbing and wiring courses.

In his congratulatory message to Pn Khaizuran, ECERDC Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said, “We need role models such as Puan Khaizuran to motivate other empower ECER participants. She is a fine example of someone who is willing to go the extra mile to realise her dreams.

“In 2013, we launched empower ECER in Dungun, and she has now enrolled to attend another course, 1Malaysia cooking. She has her heart set on having a catering business as well. This is testament of the effectiveness and popularity ofempower ECER courses.”

All empower ECER courses are conducted by certified trainers over a period of ten months. For the convenience of participants, many of whom are home-makers or people seeking to break free from low paid jobs, the courses are conducted on weekends, with each session lasting three to four hours. In addition to coursework, trainers conduct motivational sessions so that participants become confident of their skills and abilities.

To date, 80% of empower ECER participants in the ECER have started their own businesses upon completion of their courses, earning an extra RM500 month. Top performers are reported to earn RM10,000 to RM20,000 a month.

empower ECER was first launched in Bentong, Pahang in April 2010, and involved the participation of 400 students and 600 adults. The overwhelming success of the pilot program led to its rapid implementation across rural ECER. Designed as an inclusive human capital development program, empower ECER today reaches out to different communities in 17 locations; nine in Pahang, namely Bentong, Temerloh, Raub, Lipis, Cameron Highlands, Jerantut, Maran, Rompin and Kuala Pahang; three Kelantan, namely, Jeli, Bachok and Ketereh; four in Terengganu, namely, Kemaman, Dungun, Hulu Terengganu and Besut; and in the district of Mersing, Johor. Since 2010, the program has benefitted 34,113 participants, comprising 11,175 adults and 22,398 students.