Marking 10 years of friendship: Malaysian celebs start mentoring programme for single mums

The Celepets hand out duit raya to single mothers and their families during the launch of the mentoring programme. — Picture by Hari Anggara
The Celepets hand out duit raya to single mothers and their families during the launch of the mentoring programme. — Picture by Hari Anggara

PETALING JAYA, May 23 – A decade ago close-knitted celebrity friends Aishah Sinclair, Atilia Haron, Daphne Iking, Dynas Mokhtar, Sazzy Falak, Serena C and Yasmin Hani joined forces to help the community.

Known as the Celepets, which is short for Celebrating Pet Projects Together, the seven women recently launched their latest community project.

A mentoring programme to help single mums achieve financial independence.

The Power to Empower mentorship programme is a collaboration with Mompreneur Asia, a platform for mums and like-minded women who want to kick-off their own enterprises.

Singer Atilia Haron serenades guests at the launch of The Power to Empower. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Singer Atilia Haron serenades guests at the launch of The Power to Empower. — Picture by Hari Anggara

Launched on Tuesday during the Malam Amal & Iftar Bersama Celepets, the evening was saw 15 single mothers and 30 children from Kindness Malaysia attend it as well.

The three-month programme will see 10 single mums undergo a series of training once they are matched with a mentor from their respective industries.

“The idea sparked when we had our first meeting for our malam amal (charity night) and because this is the 10th year anniversary of our friendship, we wanted to do something different,” Sazzy told Malay Mail.

The Celepets’ previous community engagements included working with single mums living in poverty association, refugees, refugee children and orphanages.

The Celepets comprise Sazzy Falak (left), Aishah Sinclair and (not in picture) Atilia Haron, Daphne Iking, Dynas Mokhtar, Serena C and Yasmin Hani. — Picture by Hari Anggara
The Celepets comprise Sazzy Falak (left), Aishah Sinclair and (not in picture) Atilia Haron, Daphne Iking, Dynas Mokhtar, Serena C and Yasmin Hani. — Picture by Hari Anggara

“One after another everyone became mothers and we realised the nucleus of the family is the mum and a lot of mums are actually doing this alone,” said Aishah, who co-founded Mompreneur Asia with Niney Chong.

“They are not just raising children, they are the breadwinner of the family.”

Through its two pillars of nourish and equip, Mompreneur Asia provides a support system for women to share their challenges and brainstorm solutions as well as to establish a business networking platform to help them compete in the digital economy.

“The idea is also to channel them into the digital economy simple because mothers would like to have businesses that they can run from home,” Chong said.

Mompreneur Asia co-founder Niney Chong says the programme aims to help single mums start a business at home. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Mompreneur Asia co-founder Niney Chong says the programme aims to help single mums start a business at home. — Picture by Hari Anggara

On top of training, the programme will also include an aptitude test before the mums move on to a weekly training where they will be given challenges and assignments.

The single mothers are registered with Kindness Malaysia, a non-governmental organisation that promotes kindness regardless of background and skin colour.

Many of the mums and their families are classified as the urban poor from the hardcore poor housing programme who have lost their source of income because of spousal deaths, abandonment and divorce.

“Many of them are passionate about baking and sewing but don’t know how to turn their passion into sustainable income,” Chong said.

“We hope this mentoring programme would enable them to realise their dreams of attaining financial freedom.”

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