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Salbiah Said - A Second Chance

Not all heroes wear capes. Some dress in simple T-shirts and jeans and have families and problems just like we do, if not more. Mdm Salbiah Said, a mother of five, is also an entrepreneur and an inspiration. She shared with us how her life was turned around when she needed it most.

For over 10 years, Mdm Salbiah had been afflicted with health problems to the point that she had been declared unfit to work. However, this did not stop her from building a livelihood adequate to support herself and her five children.

Her mother, Mdm Norhayati, was forced to stop working so that she could give her full attention at home. Aside from raising Salihah and her siblings, Mdm Norhayati has also been taking care of Salihah’s grandfather - currently 92 years old, as well as Salihah’s aunt, who is mute and blind.

She was diagnosed with rheumatism and spinal problems, which prevented her from walking long distances and standing for extended periods of time.

"If not a doctor, I’ve always wanted to become an astronaut," added Siti Aisyah, smiling as she shared her high aspirations.

Her problems became more challenging, as she also had to face these issues alone. In 2002, Mdm Salbiah underwent a divorce from her husband. Currently, she lives in a rental flat with her five children.

Following these tribulations, Mdm Salbiah found herself unable to financially support her children’s education or pay her own hospital bills.

"At times, my children did not attend school because we did not have enough money for their travel fares to school," said 42-year-old Mdm Salbiah.

As a result, Mdm Salbiah fell into depression and had to undergo treatment at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

Despite everything, Mdm Salbiah never gave up hope.

"No matter what, I wanted my children to have an education," she explained.

In 2012, after making an appeal, Mdm Salbiah successfully managed to receive the aid of Zakat from a nearby mosque.

"Alhamdulillah, I was able to use the money that I received, for my children’s schooling expenditures," she added.

With the encouragement of her adopted sister, Mdm Salbiah used a small amount of money from the distribution of the Ramadan Zakat Bonus to start a small business, selling snacks and Malay desserts under the brand name ‘Sal’s Snacks’.

“I’m grateful that I’m finally able to become independent again,” she said.

It is heartening to know that Mdm Salbiah and her family are in a much better place in their lives than before! May they continue along the path of success.

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