Association for single mothers to be established

National 2 minutes, 5 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

AN association made up of single mothers in the sultanate is at its planning stage.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Vice President 1 of Brunei Darussalam Women’s Business Council (WBC) Hjh Mordiah Hj Jackia said that she is planning to set up an organisation named ‘Mawaddah’ for single mothers who are widowed or divorced.

“Through this association we hope to assist single mothers in their financial and economic development,” adding that the organisation will be encouraging the members to have ‘income-generating activities’.

Drawing from her experience in WBC, she explained that these business activities may range from home-based or group-based sharing business and products such as baking cakes, tailoring or even catering business for the future members of Mawaddah.

“Among the group’s objectives are generating business ideas, helping them (the members) to execute these plans and making them financially self-sufficient and independent so that they will not rely solely on government assistance,” said the retired government officer from the Community Development Department (JAPEM).

A term derived from the Arabic language, the name of the association loosely translated as either ‘affection, love or friendliness’ reflects its aim in empowering women through building solidarity among the members, said Hjh Mordiah.

“It is hoped that ‘Mawaddah’ will also help members in their personal development in regards to developing their strength and positive attitude towards living the (hard) life as a single mother,” said Hjh Mordiah who is a single mother herself.

She went on to say that she is currently waiting for the registration of ‘Mawaddah’ by the national Registry of Society.

“Once it (Mawaddah) is registered, then a new committee will be set up, followed by election processes with appointment of the President and other relevant posts,” she said, adding that all of the single mothers in Brunei are welcome to join once the new group is established.

Hjh Mordiah has been involved in the country’s social welfare since 1982 right down to her retirement in 2004 when she headed the Family Development Section in JAPEM, which was then named as Social Welfare Department.

She is also actively involved in non-governmental organizations and civil societies’ activities, marking some significant achievements such as establishing the Council of Social Welfare of Brunei Darussalam.

She also have held positions of President and Vice President in a number of organisations and recently completed her term as Brunei Commissioner of Women’s Rights of ASEAN Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children.

The Brunei Times