A mother’s love is selfless and unconditional, and she would go to the end of the world just to put food on the table, to have a roof over her children’s heads or to make sure her child gets the proper education that could secure a good future.
Such is particularly so with single mothers who are left to shoulder the responsibilities on their own. Common obstacles that single mothers face are work life balance, difficulties from lack of financial freedom and support and having the pressure to make decisions.
Seeing these struggles and challenges faced by single mothers, especially those with several children, Norliha binti Haji Besar was moved to assist single mothers to earn income and working to shake the stigma and misconception around single mothers in the society.
Norliha, along with a group of friends, founded Persatuan Gerakan Ibu Tunggal or Single Mothers Movement Association (PGIT), a community based organisation to provide supports for single mothers, enabling them to regain control over their lives for the empowerment of themselves and their children.
PGIT was registered as a socioeconomics association under the Registrar of Societies (ROS) on December 8 last year and currently has close to 100 members from across the country.
The association serves to unite single mothers to support the development, welfare and harmony of the nation and currently operates at the residence of its founding members.
To date, the association has conducted several activities including a field trip to Temburong District to learn about the process of making salted eggs and ambulong.
“We have also visited places of interests such as the hydroganic plantation and Bukit Teraja Longhouse at Kampong Labi in the Belait District,” Norliha added.
“PGIT members also organised charitable activities including presentation of donations to orphans and widows. The members also participated in the march past for the 38th National Day celebration in the capital last February.
Recently, PGIT members took part in Bangkit Bersama, a seminar on leadership and administration hosted by Itqan Group from the 32nd Executive Development Programme for Middle Management Officers.
The programme has made a huge impact on the members, particularly in instilling strong values and guide for the institutions’ direction in the future with the establishment of eight resolutions.
“These resolutions will be our guidelines in achieving our short-and long-term goals, with the hopes that it will be able to strengthen PGIT as a community that is strong, supportive and always moving ahead,” Norliha added.
The programme also provided participants with various skills and capabilities, while becoming more confident in turning their institutions into self-empowering and supportive communities.
“As a new organisation, it is our hope to unite members to continuously strive to improve our capabilities to become highly competitive, sustainable and accountable towards contributing to the community and the nation.
“PGIT welcomes the support and collaboration from public and private sectors to help our association grow including through skills and training development in various fields.
Norliha also noted encouraging response from members to participate in the capacity-building programmes and expressed her gratitude to organisations for their support.
Single mothers holding Bruneian citizenship or permanent residents, as well as former single mothers are welcome to join the association.
She called on PGIT members to support one another, stand together and build resilience towards empowerment and self-reliance.