November 13

The Soul


What do you do when you’re divorced, one of your kids is in college, the other is only 2 and you have no source of income nor support?

Like a lot of single mothers in her situation, Sally was lost and bewildered. Fortunately for Sally, she kept her wits about her and never lost her faith in God. After the divorce, Sally’s mind was on diapers, milk, baby clothes, housing and day to day living expenses. Undaunted, Sally wrestled with her emotions and financial challenges.

While married, Sally ran a successful technology based business. Having built it up from nothing, not even the knowledge of IT, Sally saw how a sudden shift in the business climate could bring down a thriving business overnight. Like a true entrepreneur, Sally knew that if she could do it once, she could do it again. All she wanted was a second chance. Driven by her entrepreneurial spirit,  she was one who knew she would rise again and knew she needed to be engaged with her community.

For two years Sally was busy. Not with making money but with surviving and of all things, with doing community work. Within the community, Sally encountered many single mothers who faced financial challenges. Yet they couldn’t get jobs because they had to be near their young children or did not have the qualification for work. Sally felt for them and felt a deep desire not just to make her life better but theirs as well.

Sally and the single mothers in training, at humble SURI centre at Sungai Udang, Klang

Two years after the divorce, Sally attended a workshop teaching how to recycle old jeans into something new and usable. It struck a chord with her. Fashion and design was a passion she had that was never fully expressed. Here was a second chance at making it happen. Sally started with designing handbags made from recycled jeans. It wasn’t easy at the start but Sally kept peddling her wares.

Part of SURI upcycle campaign, Sally with her supportive friends setting up various locations for “Drop-Off Old Jeans” campaign. This one at Karavan Steak Hub, TTDI.

As she built the business, Sally engaged single mothers to produce her designs from recycled jeans and paid them cash for it. Small as the business was, Sally felt a sense of fulfillment she never felt before. Not only was she generating income, she was also creating a small economy for other single mothers to generate income too. This was their second chance.

Today, Sally is looking to expand her business not just by scaling up production but also by recycling discarded jeans into handbags, school bags, and other usable items. There is always a second chance. An opportunity for a new lease of life. Just like Sally and the many other single mothers, for the jeans too, this is their second chance.

“2nd Chance” is SURI’s very own product brand. Let’s be a part of us and help impact others!


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