Single mothers struggle in housecleaning jobs, seek aid for equipment

Donations help, but not enough

07 Feb 2024 09:33am

SHAH ALAM - Single mothers juggling cleaning jobs alongside raising families face financial constraints that limit their ability to purchase modern cleaning equipment.

Facing this struggle are Zawanis Idris, a mother of four who works multiple jobs, Siti Norizan, a heart patient working at a community centre, and Nor Halyna, who relies on occasional equipment donations.

Zawanis Idris, 34, juggles part-time cleaning and her seafood restaurant job.

She's a recipient of aid from the Social Welfare Department, facing the challenge of managing four school-aged children.

Zawanis stressed the necessity of modern equipment to ease her workload, citing the need for high-powered water sprayers and machines worth RM3,000 to RM5,000.

"Usually for washing, if you use equipment such as a broom or anything else, it will cause more effort, plus the condition of the house now is bigger and different than before.

"I had to do many jobs that required special equipment such as high-powered water sprayers and modern machines worth RM3,000 to RM5,000 to lighten the washing workload," she told Sinar recently.

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From left: Zawanis, Nor Halyna and Siti Norizan.
From left: Zawanis, Nor Halyna and Siti Norizan.

Similarly, Siti Norizan Hussin, 42, shared her story of working as an assistant at a Community Rehabilitation Centre (PDK) while earning a monthly income of RM1,000.

She takes on cleaning jobs to supplement her income.

As a heart patient, Siti Norizan said she needs equipment such as vacuum cleaner to help her clean the house in addition capital to hire workers.

"House cleaning wages are usually only around RM100 to RM300, also we have to pay workers' wages. That's what I still can't afford.

"I also need capital to buy equipment and detergents for cleaning work. Moreover, the cost is quite high, and all items are quite expensive," she said.

Nor Halyna uses a vacuum cleaner.
Nor Halyna uses a vacuum cleaner.

Meanwhile, another cleaner, Nor Halyna Hanafi, 35, admitted using her own capital to buy washing equipment and soap to use when she was paid to do cleaning work.

She said there are times when the host sympathises and generously gives items such as vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers.

"There are items given that are slightly damaged. I will repair them, and they can be used.

"I once received a new lawn mower donated by the landlord while not being able to afford cleaning equipment such as water sprayers and floor cleaners," she said.

Calls for Capital and Equipment Assistance:

In Kota Bharu, capital assistance or equipment is very much needed to ease the burden of single mothers who have to do various jobs, including washing and cleaning the house.

House cleaning service entrepreneur Idayu Supianminasauri, 32, said that the field has great potential to increase income even if it is done in this state rather than big cities.

"Times have changed; those in Kelantan are also busy working just like in Kuala Lumpur, and don't have time to wash or clean the house.

"So, house cleaning services by single mothers can be further enhanced such as providing financing to buy equipment or employ workers," she said when contacted.

Another owner of a washing company, Rohaiza Shamsudin, 28, said the capital injection is essential to enable those who carry out house washing work to buy cleaning equipment such as water sprayers or cleaners of better quality.

"This item, if it is durable, costs between RM3,000 and RM5,000 per unit.

"I myself have had difficulty getting help to buy this equipment and it should not have happened," she said.