3-minute read

Four Friendships, Four Ways of Doing Good


Zahirah Taha

Coincidentally, most of the things important to Zah starts with a 'c': coffee, chocolates, cakes, cats, and conversations! An optimist at heart, she believes that conversations (and stories) can change the world, and hopes to use her skills to do just that.

This International Day of Friendship, we celebrate eight individuals and their four beautiful friendships. They may come from different walks of life but they are brought together by a common love for something greater than themselves.

For the love of empowering women and mothers

Photo of Amy and Nor

While shopping for clothes for her infant in a boutique in Kuala Lumpur, Amy met a woman who then introduced her to a lady who could sew and was looking for extra income. That was how Amy met Nor, and they immediately hit it off.

As mothers, Amy and Nor both want the best for their children. As friends, they love food and fashion. Together, they’ve married both passions at The Batik Boutique, where Nor now works for Amy.

Nor’s determination to thread a better life for her children makes her a role model for the other women employed at The Batik Boutique. When asked about her decision to evolve the boutique from a charity to a sustainable business, Amy shared, “It was my friendship with Kak Nor that inspired me.”

Check out the full story to find out more about their beautiful friendship and how The Batik Boutique is empowering mothers like Nor to sew a better life.

For the love of tribal life and culture

Photo of Amala and Kesavan

Amala is a Singaporean who lived abroad most of her life, while Kesavan had only lived in Wayanad, Kerala. Despite coming from different walks of life, the two share a love for tribal culture and the environment.

Amala’s love for the tribal life was sparked when she discovered how people in Wayanad “eat the healthiest and freshest of food, and breathe in the purest of air”. Inspired to share this beautiful experience with more people and help preserve their way of life, she started SaveAGram.

That was how she met Kesavan, who shares her desire to preserve the Wayanad way of life, while at the same time creating economic opportunities for the villagers.

Get the full story to find out more about SaveAGram and how your next getaway can help save villages.

For the love of children and giving them a better future

Photo of Thomas and Maria

Curious as to why his former helper often asked him to send over food and clothing, Thomas and his family decided to make the trip from Singapore to the Philippines to visit Maria’s home. That was how he found out that Maria had been using the items he had sent to help impoverished children in her hometown.

Thomas was inspired by Maria’s generosity and together they co-founded Willing Hearts Orphanage. He continues to support and fund the orphanage through the thrift shop he runs in Singapore.

Check out the full story to find out more about Thomas and Maria, and how you can help Willing Hearts Orphanage.

For the love of nature and the environment

Photo of Joshua and Wilhelmus

Joshua met Wilhelmus whom he affectionately calls ‘Bapak Willem’, while interning for Biogas Rumah in Indonesia.

It was from Bapak Willem that Joshua learned purpose, and it was through him that he understood the urgency of addressing environmental needs. When asked how it all happened, Joshua says, “Because of one thing: he said I was good.”

Meanwhile, through Joshua, Wilhelmus realised that there are many simple ways in which one can reduce harmful impact on the the environment, such as opting for a reusable straw instead of a disposable one.

Even though Joshua’s internship has ended and he is now back in the Netherlands, the two are connected by the love that they share for the environment, and continue to keep in touch.

Watch the full story and find out more about how Biogas Rumah can be good for businesses and the environment too.

These four friendships teach us that no matter our circumstances, culture or experiences in life, a shared passion or interest has the power to bring us together. Through this beautiful thing called friendship, we find the strength and motivation to chase our dreams, and to fulfill our purpose in life.

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