Adrian Ong, single father and a former high flying fashion designer had with the help of JS opened a small vintage dress boutique at PJ Old Town early last year. There he also boosted his income by offering to teach others the art of sewing so that they can develop a skill to earn more money.
The snag was that too many of his potential and existing sewing students found it too taxing to travel from Subang to PJ Old town to attend classes at the Sewing Station due largely to the inevitable traffic jams.
PWP recognized this and offered half its storage space to him to set up the “Learning Station” where the poor, the marginalized and those who want to develop new skills can come for lessons ranging in arts & craft making, sewing classes as well mastering conversational English.
The Lions and Lioness Clubs of Subang Jaya learnt about the proposed establishment of the Learning Station and agreed to sponsor the renovation works that went into making this new project a reality.
Today was the official opening of the Learning Station and saw some 70 people turning up for the event which started at 4.30pm - some 20 or so were from Sysmex, the corporate entity that sponsored RM3,000 for the renovations while the Lion & Lioness Clubs of Subang Jaya had around 10 people and the rest comprised journalists and supporters of JS itself.
Many of those present were impressed by the creative use of recycled items for the shop while the Nyonya Wedding gown stole the show because it truly showcased Adrian's ability to design traditional costume while helping to preserve his cultural heritage.
Single parents who are poor and struggling to care for their growing brood, generally tend not to seek help unless they have absolutely no choice and are at their wits end. Those who do come to Jumble Station and Parents Without Partners Bhd (PWP) for assistance are offered opportunities to take on new roles that can make a dramatic difference in their lives. Some accept the challenge, others turn it down flat.
We cite three recent cases of those who opted to take on the challenge and will feature each as we go along…
Just after Chinese New Year this year single mother Irene Tong, 48, was told to leave by her restaurant boss who opted to hire a younger replacement and pay only half the salary Irene used to get each month. Irene a mother of two boys found it tough to get another job and settled for working nights at Jumble Station for only RM20 a night. Needless to say this was insufficient to pay even her rent of RM450 and JS stepped in to pay during these challenging months.
A long term solution had to be found and when there was a vacancy for someone to run the Brilliant Light Charity shop at Desa Mentari, she was offered that opportunity. Irene was told that the 2nd hand shop, set up by Jumble Station to front the DUMC’s Tamil Ministry’s Homework Centre for poor kids, would be hers to manage, develop and generate the income she will need to survive.
She accepted the challenge to be an entrepreneur and work towards paying off half the rent of the shop (RM500) as well as earn enough to feed her family with hopefully some left over next time, to someday buy her own flat. She is now a motivated business woman, determined to make this venture a success even if it means she has to travel by bus everyday and wait alone in the night for the bus to get home. Irene believes that she has been blessed with this great opportunity to own her own business and she relishes the idea of making a success of it.
All she needs now is to get the shop's flyer to the many residents there and a constant, regular supply of good items that her customers want. For now it appears the migrant and Malay buyers love to buy bags, clothes, toys, electrical items and shoes. Anyone out there with stuff to donate - SMS or call for collection at 016-2202958.