Threads of Hope towards Sustainable Income 

Meet Mastura, a mother that we have been journeying with in Sabah, who aspires to establish a sustainable source of income. Her journey began in 2016 when she joined our Financial Literacy Programme (FLP), driven by the hope to alleviate her family's financial strain and ease her husband’s burden. In 2019, she started an income generation project, initiating a small grocery business from her home with a microloan from us. 

That hope, however, was tested as the world were faced with the pandemic. The following year, Mastura was blessed with her fifth child, demanding her full attention. She was unable to devote her time to the business as the need to focus on her newborn baby and family grew. Time passed, leaving her business aspirations on hold for more than a year.

Joanna (our staff from Pusat CARE Kota Kinabalu) with Mastura during one of our home visitations.

During our team’s visit in 2022, we noticed an adorable little crochet doll, yet to be completed. A surprise awaited us— Mastura revealed a collection of unfinished crochet dolls, all in a tucked away plastic bag. This seemingly forgotten hobby was a spark of possibility. 

Mastura shared how being cooped up at home caused her stress and at times led her mind to negative thoughts. She started to crochet as a therapeutic escape. Starting with a single doll, she improved through watching and learning from YouTube tutorials. Some completed dolls found new homes as gifts to her daughter’s friend. We encouraged her to make more for sale, that would enable her to complete her loan repayment. CARE promoted her crochet dolls to our partners, church members and friends alike, managing to help her sell them all. With the proceeds she made, Mastura achieved an impressive 90% repayment of her loan which can now be used to blessed other members of the community alike!

Some of Mastura's completed crochet doll key chains. 

Mastura hopes to continue crocheting even after completing her loan repayment. She aims to save the money she earns while also supporting her children’s educational needs. Though she may get tired at times, she believes that all of her hard work will be wonderfully rewarded with great results. Her story echoes the sentiment of embracing and exploring whatever we have in our hands, just like when God asked Moses, "What is in your hand?" (Exodus 4:2)