KUCHING: The Society for Kuching Urban Poor (SKUP) will help some 200 urban poor individuals build skills through 1Azam programme for self-employment.

The Welfare, Women and Family Development Ministry is targeting RM300 extra income per month to supplement the household income at the completion of training.

Work is the best route out of poverty and skills development vital for sustainable livelihood, its minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said yesterday.

“Many rural adults lacking basic skills have greater difficulty finding jobs in the city and are thus prevented from succeeding,” Fatimah said.

“So we aim to empower people from poor and weaker sections of society through time bound training to bring them above the poverty line,” she added.

The 1Azam programme, focussed on helping rural poor and those in remote areas prior to this, has expanded to urban areas after realising the need to make equal progress in fighting poverty.

“We hope to make migration work for poor people by helping them realise their dreams of a better livelihood for their families,” she added.

Earlier Fatimah witnessed the signing ceremony of a Tenancy Agreement, Management Agreement and Training Agreement for Kampung Kudei Training Centre at SKUP’s office in the Associations of Churches Sarawak’s Christian Ecumenical Centre at Jalan Stampin.

Fatimah said the collaboration was another milestone for her ministry in its effort to eradicate poverty.

SKUP was entrusted to implement this project with training to be conducted in the Kampung Kudei Training Centre at Jalan Nanas Barat.

They will continue to monitor and assess participants’ progress from time to time even after completion of training to ensure their income has improved.

The participants, most of them women selected from the eKasih list, will be trained in basic tailoring and baking skills.

“These two skills can provide good income in the long run, especially during festive seasons,” Fatimah said.

The first batch of 50 participants will start training this month while the rest taken in over the next few months.

Fatimah said effective implementation of the programme will require equal participation from the stakeholders concerned.

“As additional KPI for my ministry, improvements have been made to the 1Azam programme to ensure its effectiveness..

“Apart from the 16 appointed implementing agencies, we have included non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and corporate bodies to help run training programmes,” she said.

Fatimah advised participants to have the right attitude and perseverance to succeed.

“With the help from the government, take this opportunity to learn as much as possible and help yourself and your families escape from poverty with the skills and knowledge acquired,” she said.

In addition, participants will be provided with the tools they need and start-up funds to climb out of poverty.

Some 7,500 people registered under eKasih were picked for the 1Azam programme this year.

As of December last year, a total of 18,400 people have benefitted from the programme since its implementation in 2010.

As of March 8 this year, eKasih registered a total of 86,889 people, out of which 20,717 were from the hardcore poor, 26,616 poor and 15,382 vulnerable poor.

The federal government has allocated a total of RM111 million for the implementation and administration of the 1Azam programme in the state.

Also present were SKUP chairman Peter Wong, permanent secretary for Ministry of Welfare, Women and Family Development, Rodziah Morshidi and SUPP Batu Lintang branch chairman Sih Hua Tong.