A History of Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS)
SWWS is a non-governmental, non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of women’s equality and elimination of violence against women and children. The beginnings of the Society go back to 1984 when a group of concerned women got together. SWWS was officially registered in July 1985.
Among the pioneers were Hew Cheng Sim, Ling How Kee, Beverley Cox, Valerie Mashman, Margaret Bedus and Fiona Masing.
The then State Minister for Welfare, Datuk Hafsah Harun, helped the group in its registration as she shared the view that there was an urgent need for a women’s NGO to be formed to specifically look at and address women’s issues.
The group decided to open a crisis phoneline and prepare for this by organizing training but to do this we needed some cash, trainers and a place to hold a course. The headmistress of St. Teresa’s, Molly Chong, came to our rescue by offering us the use of a classroom in the evenings so we could hold our first training sessions.
Once again Datuk Hafsah Harun helped us by offering us the free, temporary use of an old school building built by her family at the back of their house near Satok Bridge. It became our first base for several years. It was here we congregated, had our meetings, planned SWWS programmes, developed our resource centre and organised our famous ‘pot lucks’.and it was here 1988, that the Women Crisis Phoneline (CPL) was launched. It became the first phoneline service run solely by volunteers to act as a listening ear for women in distress.
As the programmes and visions expanded, the group felt that we needed to move to a more central place. Therefore, in 1993, SWWS shifted to the 1st Floor of the Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) building in Rock Road. Later in the same year SWWS opened our Drop- in Centre who was launched by our guest of honour, Yang Berhormat Puan Rohani Bt Karim. Our new premises however proved to be a bit cramped, and also needed by STU, so in 1994 SWWS shifted a few blocks away to the present Centre at Lot 1610, 2nd Floor, Rock Road, Kuching.
Today we have gained the confidence of the State Government and receive funding from them to carry out most of our programmes which we greatly appreciated. We are extremely proud of our achievements yet we know we have much more work to do to be able to offer a consistent, active and effective service to women in need of our help.
SWWS 2016-2018 New Executive Committee
The Sarawak Women for Women Society (SWWS) elected its Executive Committee for 2016-2018 term during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 20th March 2016. The new line-up is as follows:
|Vice President:||Ann Teo|
|Assistant Secretary:||Noor Azizah bte Chali|
|Treasurer:||Ling Hui Yen|
|Assistant Treasurer:||Noelle Lily Morse|
|Committee Members:||Ita Ling, Gill Raja, Grace Sim,|
|Padi Chan, Jenny Sim|