Malaysian NGO continues to help marginalised communities 25 years on
15 June 2023
Through sew X dignity, Anna was given the opportunity to hone her sewing skills and earn a living. 

When she was a child, Anna – born to a refugee from Myanmar – would always observe her mother sewing. There was no sewing machine and her mother hand-sewn everything for the family and to earn a living.

As she grew up, Anna would help her mother but her sewing skill was limited. Her one desire was to improve and perhaps, use her skill to support her family.

Today, 23-year-old Anna is the lead cutter and quality controller at sew X dignity, a transformational enterprise by Dignity for Children Foundation (Dignity), a Sentul, Kuala Lumpur-based NGO for refugees and the marginalised.

“I got to know about Dignity from my community leaders. I waited a long time to secure a place at the school and was very happy when I managed to get in.

“I was even happier when I found out that they have sewing classes. I signed up for that immediately because I want to better my sewing skills,” recalled Anna.

As she honed her sewing skills, Anna also worked on improving her English.

“I realised that if I want to take up sewing seriously, I need to be able to communicate well with my colleagues and maybe even customers. That is why I make it a point to really focus on my English,” she said.

Due to her perseverance, Anna excelled in her craft, to the point that she secured a place at a well-established local retail chain’s production centre under Dignity College’s Placement Programme. The key objective of the programme is to ensure the employability of its students.

“The exposure was tremendous. Besides sewing, I learned about quality control, the importance of a good cut, customer service and so much more. It was a priceless experience,” Anna enthused.

But her heart remained with sew X dignity. As her desire to give back and pass on her knowledge grew, Anna decided to resign and return to the organisation.

“I appreciated the foundation sew X dignity had given me. I want to share what I know and learnt with other refugees and single mothers so that they also can benefit. At sew X dignity, we are like a family. We value teamwork and truly care for and look out for each other,” she said.

Besides overseeing quality control and the cutting of the products, Anna is also working to improve pattern designs to expand the enterprise’s product range and offerings.

Perhaps most importantly, she trains new batches of students each term, imparting her practical knowledge and market experience. She also oversees a network of part-time tailors who are affiliated with sew X dignity and supports other women who work from home.

“The greatest challenge is dealing with customers, students and colleagues but I am glad that through experience, I realise the importance of give and take. Here at sew X dignity, we all want each other to succeed.”

To carry on its work at the grassroots level and change the lives of students like Anna, Dignity will be holding its 25th anniversary fundraising dinner on Sept 30, Saturday, at the HGH Convention Centre in Sentul.

“The dinner will be a celebration of the transformation stories of our students, alumni and our impact over the past 25 years.

“We hope to raise RM2.5mil that will go towards supporting 2,300 students in 2023 and 2,500 students in 2024,” said Rev Elisha Satvinder, co-founder of Dignity.

For more info, visit Dignity's website or email or call 03-4044 1397. All donations and ticket purchases are tax-deductible.

Article appeared on:
About Dignity for Children's 25th Anniversary

As we imagine the years ahead, our hearts are filled with a burning passion to meet the increasing need for quality education.

Celebrate with us at our fundraising dinner on 30 Sept 2023 and join us on this journey of making a lasting difference in the world!

About Dignity

Our work began in 1998 in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur with only 20 students then. Dignity is now a learning centre with more than 2,300 children ranging from 2-19 years old.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please do try again!
Your subscription has been successful!

Stay Updated!

Subscribe and get notified of our latest events and updates.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter!

Donations are exempted from income tax under subsection 44(6) Income Tax Act 1967. Tax exemption receipt is available upon request.
© 2023 Dignity for Children Foundation (200001003583 [506188-W])
Thank you :)
Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. You'll now be the first to find out exclusive news and updates!
Oh no :(
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again!
Generic Popup