“All I needed was an opportunity”
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When Ainatul was 10 years old she was adopted, not by another family but by a charitable foundation, and that changed her life forever. She can recall how life in her kampung in Perlis was simple and straitened as her lorry driver father earned a basic salary of just RM500 which he supplemented by working overtime and helping out in his family’s paddy fields.
She recounts how her family could only afford to give her and her elder sister one set of school uniform each and if it got dirty, they would race home to wash it and pray that it dried in time for school the next day. After the foundation “adopted” her, all her schooling needs were taken care of, lifting a considerable burden off the family.
The only condition the foundation ever imposed on Ainatul was that she do well in school, which she has. Today, the foundation is sponsoring her studies at the International Islamic University where she is reading law.
Ainatul credits her parents for not just being supportive but also for harbouring greater ambitions for their children. Ainatul’s sister is a nurse while her younger brother is being sponsored by another corporation. She says her mother always held her up as an example to her brother saying that if he proved himself, he too could have the same opportunities.