For years, Siti Asiah Sueb’s life revolved around her husband and eight children. When leukemia claimed her husband’s life four years ago, the homemaker had to take on the role of breadwinner as well. Initially, she sold local kuih and nasi lemak as cooking was her only skill.
For her self-development, she attended a course on making handicraft from recycled materials last July. It was there that she realised the need for the community to preserve natural resources.
“The instructor taught me and the other participants how to weave baskets from old newspapers and magazines. It was a real eye-opener for as I never knew that beautiful things could be made from paper,” she says. The course exposed her to the need to preserve natural resources.
At the end of the 20-day course, she learnt the skill but lacked the confidence to start her own handicraft business. She felt her workmanship was not up to the mark.
Close friends persuaded her otherwise. They told her that with improvement, her workmanship would improve. They gave her the confidence to start creating and selling baskets and other decorative items from newspapers and magazines. Just as her friends had assured her, Siti Asiah’s workmanship improved. Her handicraft is now a source of much-needed income.
Her speciality is making egg baskets (bakul telur) for Malay weddings.
These days, whenever she sees old newspapers and magazines lying around, she visualises them as lovely baskets. “I can’t imagine the number of newspapers and magazines I have thrown away in the past. If only I had attended the course earlier,” she says wistfully. Her children, aged between six and 23, have also learnt from her that recyclable materials should not be discarded.
“I’m really proud to be able to do my bit to protect our environment and save trees,” says the loving mother who is from Kampung Sungei Kandis, near Shah Alam.
Siti Asiah Sueb is one of eight winners of our Green Moms Unite! Contest held last May. Click on the links below to read about the other winners.
Click here to read about the High Tea With "Green" Moms Event.