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Local Entrepreneur Raised $10,000 To Get Raincoats For Migrant Workers

Credits: Rebecca Toh, litolabs

A fundraising initiative by a local entrepreneur to buy raincoats and shoes for foreign workers received overwhelming support from the public. 

Credits: Rebecca Toh, litolabs

Nabillah Jalal, owner and founder of NJ Studio set out to find preloved raincoats and shoes when the foreign workers she was liaising with requested it due to the current rainy season.

Credit: Instagram, nabillahjalal

While she expected donations of preloved items and small token amounts from the public, Nabillah was pleasantly surprised when she raised a total of $10000 for the initiative.

Credit: Instagram, nabillahjalal

With that amount of money, she along with a few friends were able to procure brand new heavy duty raincoats, footwear and 1.5 litre water bottles for the beneficiaries.

Credit: Instagram, nabillahjalal

“The money you spend on other people was never meant to be spent on you. It was just His favour upon you that He channelled someone else’s rizq(sustenance) through you so you can gain reward.”

In an exclusive interview with our reporter, Nabillah shared more on her drive behind the initiative.

Credits: Rebecca Toh, litolabs

What do you feel about the overwhelming support received from the public towards your project? Is kindness dead as assumed by society today?

My friends and I are grateful for the immense support received from the community. It started out last Tuesday when I saw a couple of construction workers near my flat, still toiling under the rain. I texted one of the forein workers I got in touch with through an organization, It’s Raining Raincoats. He mentioned that his company did not provide raincoats and that sparked the entire journey.

Credit: Instagram, nabillahjalal

I did an open call on my IGstory and Facebook posting. Initially I thought I would be receiving small amounts of donations but I was surprised to receive $20-400 via paynow from the public. It escalated due to the power of social media where people started to share my igstory. Strangers started DM-ing me for details as they too wanted to be a part of it.

Credits: Rebecca Toh, litolabs

Kindness is not dead, it just takes many different forms and we all contribute in ways that we can. A single drink or even a smile to our foreign worker friends is a kindness we can extend.

My friends and I, we are privileged enough to be able to spend a bit of time and effort to coordinate and use our platform to reach out. Through this, we enable others who have the means but may not have time or effort (physical or emotional) to contribute to such projects.

Credits: Rebecca Toh, litolabs

Did you hit your target and how many packs did you manage to distribute?

Yes, we manage to hit our initial target and even more due to the generous support from others. We received donations in other things including food other than raincoats. More important than the number of packs is what this highlights, which is how our foreign workers have not been adequately supported in terms of their well-being. 

Credits: Rebecca Toh, litolabs

With their income, they have to save every cent they get due to responsibilities they have back home to the point of not being able to afford essentials like raincoats and water bottles for them to continue their work.

The real success of a society is when foreign workers do not need to rely on donations to have their needs met.

Credits: Rebecca Toh, litolabs

What sparked you to start initiatives like these for foreign workers especially?

During fasting month this year, my friends and I wanted to do good in Ramadan so we initiated a small project to donate to foreign workers. Through the power of social media, we received many pre-loved clothing as well as dates that were kindly donated by mosques. We saw how many others came on board with us. We wanted to build upon that momentum and in this rainy season, it nudged us to do something.

Doing good should not just be on special occasions but it should be cultivated as a regular habit. It is more difficult this time but there was a sense of urgency for us this time because of the extreme weather conditions that was affecting them.

Credits: Rebecca Toh, litolabs

What have you learned from doing such drives?

Whatever rizq(sustenance) we have is to be shared with others.

My friends and I are not sure of the exact steps we are going to take in the future. We understand that different migrant workers have varied needs and we need to further educate ourselves on that.

We want to ensure that one day we can be part of a solution where gaps don’t exist. What everyone can do immediately is to start small like buying kopi for our cleaner uncles and aunties and if we can do more, we should.

Netizens applauded her for the integrity shown and her successful fundraiser.

What a wonderful initiative. Truly, the progression of a society is a society that is empathic towards the plight of others. 

Reporter’s Opinions: We should all aspire to be more giving. In our rizq there is rizq for others.

There are many ways we can contribute back to society, it doesn’t have to be grand gestures. A simple smile, food for a child who hasn’t had a meal, a cold drink offered to a cleaner during a hot day, snacks offered to riders, all these matter. 

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Kindness is free. May He bless these souls who are trying to make this world a better place for everyone to live in. 

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Chap Chai

Written by Chap Chai

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