PETALING JAYA, September 1 — Terengganu siblings Absarina Zakaria and Raudhah Zakaria started a crowdfunding initiative to purchase face masks for their poor school friends last month.
The siblings aged 14 and 16, managed to raise some RM600 from friends and family members to help their needy schoolmates buy reusable face masks.
Their initiative came to a halt when their school found out about their personal initiative and told them to stop the crowdfunding entirely.
And that was when they stumbled upon social enterprise HungerHurts Malaysia to help them continue their effort in helping the poor communities in Hulu Terengganu.
Established in 2016, HungerHurts Malaysia aims to end urban poverty in major cities in Malaysia by providing basic necessities, education and skills training, and shedding light on issues of poverty to those in need.
And one of its projects in light of the Covid-19 pandemic is the Mask Up Project that provides underprivileged communities with reusable face masks through a public crowdfunding campaign to purchase face masks priced at RM5 per piece from Malaysia’s Geutanyoe Foundation.
Hunger Hurts' new project - the Mask Up Project.— HungerHurts Malaysia 🇲🇾 #MaskUp (@HungerHurtsMY) August 17, 2020
Malaysia made wearing face masks compulsory from 1st August 2020.
To many B40 families, spending RM 1 per day on 1 disposable mask is unaffordable.
Hence the inspiration behind our project - REUSABLE MASKS!#MaskUp pic.twitter.com/KTSLkDbixg
Since Absarina and Raudhah teamed up with HungerHurts Malaysia to continue the crowdfunding project to purchase face masks for poor communities, they’ve managed to collect a total of RM1,000 till August 30.
“After collecting an initial RM600, we managed to collect RM200 more from the Hulu Terengganu Parliamentary office after they knew about what we were doing,” said Raudhah.
“And the other RM200 was through HungerHurts crowdfunding’s initiative.”
The total money received which was RM1,000 was then used to buy the reusable face masks made by Malaysia’s Geutanyoe Foundation.
“Yesterday on Merdeka Day, and also since it was a holiday, we distributed the face masks to 20 B40 families in Kampung Bukit Ara, Kampung Jak, Kampung Peroh and SMK Menerong.
“It was such a fulfilling experience seeing the Terengganu communities happy and delighted after receiving the face masks and it really touched our hearts.
“And what’s more enriching than to be able to help these families get face masks on Merdeka Day, so that they too can maintain their personal hygiene.”
The siblings will continue their crowdfunding initiative with HungerHurts to help more communities, and anyone keen on donating can click here.