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Pesta WAO: Celebrating 30 Years of Empowering Women

Posted on 09 October 2012

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30 years of empowering women




MORE than 300 people turned up at the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) Carnival held in an open field at Jalan 14/28 recently. The event was to celebrate the organisation’s 30th anniversary.

30 years

WAO executive director Ivy Josiah (standing second from left) with staff members and volunteers.

PETALING JAYA: WAO executive director Ivy Josiah said the objective of the event was to provide an avenue for its supporters and members of the public to meet each other and have a fun time while creating awareness of its cause to provide counselling and shelter for abused women and their children.

“The carnival is our way of saying ‘Thank you’ to Malaysians for believing in us to help them for the past three decades,” she said. She emphasised that the anniversary marks an achievement for WAO, the organisation that has broken the silence on domestic violence in the country.

WAO volunteer and plastic surgeon at UKM Medical Centre, Dr Farrah Hani Imran, said she decided to work in the evening so that she could be at the carnival to show her support.

Dr Farrah, who was manning a pre-loved clothes booth, said she was overwhelmed by the support from the public.

“Although I have to spend the entire day on my feet and still go to the hospital in the evening, I feel that the time spent here was worth its every minute.”

About 15 booths were set up to sell a variety of goods, manned by WAO volunteers and staff members of companies selling their goods.

Janagi Vijaya Kumar, who used to be a resident at WAO shelter, was also at the carnival with her two children and a younger sister.

“I am here to celebrate WAO’s 30th anniversary and to show support for women who are abused”.

Janagi said with WAO’s support, she had won the the custody of her children and walked out of domestic violence.

“I am thankful that social worker Jessie Ang was there to help and give support to me and my kids,” she said.

Another visitor, Mohd Haiqal Hermanshah Rahman, said that the carnival was a good opportunity for the public to know that there were NGOs which supported women who were going through tough times.

“As a husband, I am glad that there are organisations that provide shelter to these helpless women,” he said, adding that he had also found some items being sold at the carnival interesting.

“I found a booth selling vintage tin toys interesting because it’s difficult to find such toys these days,” said Haiqal.

Apart from browsing through the array of items sold at the booths, the crowd were also entertained with performances by singer-songwriter Elvira Arul and drums performances by the PJ Drum Circle and KL Streets Drummers.

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