It is no secret that the daily struggle of single mother-led families in Malaysia has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 150,000 single mothers have registered for aid with the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.
A survey found that single mothers are the hardest hit group during the pandemic as they are the main breadwinner and the sole caregiver for their families. For financially stretched single mothers, the back-to-school season can be highly stressful as they need to provide for their children’s future on a tight budget.
Understanding the need of single mothers, the Cerahi Kehidupan Bersama TOP (Brighter Future with TOP) charity fund-raising campaign returns bigger and better in collaboration with Jabatan Kebajikan Malaysian (JKM), AEON and Shopee, with the goal of equipping students from single-mother led families with back-to-school essentials for the 2022 school year.
JKM had shortlisted current aid recipients including single mother-led families as well as those who are caregivers for bed-ridden or differently-abled family members, and priority was given to families with children starting Primary One in 2022. Meanwhile, TOP identified families who had experienced reduced or lost income during the pandemic through media reports.
TOP has contacted these single mothers to obtain details on the sizing for uniforms and other requirements for the 333 children involved.
A portion of sales from selected TOP detergent products across AEON stores and Shopee platform (via the official Southern Lion store) from the 25th of November till the 26th of December 2021 will be channelled to equipping these 333 primary school students.
The back-to-school essentials will include brand new school uniforms, school shoes, socks, a stationery set, pencil case, and colour pencils for each child. Besides that, each family will receive a 2.3kg pack of TOP powder detergent, while the children will receive a soft toy, and an exclusive illustrated book by multi-award-winning children’s picture book author and illustrator Emila Yusof, who has created more than 40 books for children such as the Dina series that includes My Mother’s Garden, My Mother’s Kitchen, My Father’s Farm and the latest, Dina’s Art Class.
TOP will deliver the personalised back-to-school packs to JKM offices in 12 states for distribution to single mother-led families in 2022, ahead of the new school term.
Since its inception in 2015, the Cerahi Kehidupan Bersama TOP campaign has benefited 2,880 children from 85 communities nationwide with back-to-school essentials, while contributing TOP detergent products to their families and caregivers.
Just in time for the back-to-school campaign, the brand has introduced TOP Gentle Care Advanced Micro-Clean Tech liquid detergent that can remove 99.9% of viruses (COVID-19 and Influenza A) and bacteria3.
TOP Gentle Care is formulated with Caring Touch Tech for an overall skin-nurturing experience. Powered by plant-based active ingredients which are free from the five most common allergens that trigger skin sensitivity, it is suitable for the wellbeing of the entire family’s skin. The skin-loving pH formula is dermatologically tested, with a lasting citrusy fresh and clean fragrance. This gentle, skin-friendly detergent uses 3X Stain Busting Tech to effectively remove even the toughest stains by penetrating deeply through fabric layers, pulling out stains and keeping dirt from redepositing onto laundry. TOP Gentle Care uses Fibre Care Tech to protect clothes by conditioning fabric at the fibre level to help clothes retain the look and feel of newness for longer.
During the pandemic, TOP has become a comforting presence for many, helping to ease the burden of Orang Asli students and their families, single mothers, frontliners, vaccinators and the homeless through product contributions totalling approximately RM600,000. The brand has also raised spirit with the rousing tribute song ‘Bebas Melangkah’.
“While the pandemic has been difficult for all of us, Malaysians are proving resilient and bouncing back by lifting up and supporting those who are most in need. TOP is proud to play our part as Keluarga Malaysia being here for you in good times, and tough times. The Cerahi Kehidupan Bersama TOP campaign is more needful than ever as it reduces the burden on single mother-led families, and encourages children to readjust to in-person school again. We understand that some children will face anxiety to return to school after spending a long time at home which is why we are including a soft toy and a beautifully illustrated limited edition book by famed artist, author and children’s book illustrator Emila Yusof to help educate them on the correct technique of handwashing in preparing them to get back to school,” said Ling Ai Li, Marketing Manager of Fabric Care Division at Southern Lion Sdn Bhd.
Commenting on the cooperation, JKM commended and lauded the noble efforts of TOP in organizing the Brighter Future with TOP initiative which can benefit those affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Emila Yusof the collaboration with TOP allows her to provide gentle guidance on health and hygiene to children who are still coping with life changes due to the pandemic through the story of Kiki that follows a young girl in a typical pandemic day with her mother’s frequent reminders to wash hands and to wash clothes. “Children remember the stories their mothers tell them at bedtime well into adulthood, and the illustrations act as a visual reminder of what they should do. I’m delighted that this collaboration with TOP can bring comfort and more closeness between single mothers and their children,” says Emila.
The limited edition book ‘Kiki Menentang Dunia Kuman’ by Emila Yusof will be gifted to all the Cerahi Kehidupan Bersama TOP recipients. The public can redeem this beautifully illustrated book by purchasing RM45 and above of TOP detergent or Kirei-Kirei hand wash products in a single receipt from AEON or Shopee via Southern Lion Official Store, Whatsapp 018-6688025 with their details and proof of purchase before answering one simple question. For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/TOPdetergentMY.
“This is the first year that we are working with Shopee for the campaign as we notice that consumers are increasingly purchasing our products on this platform. We hope that it will result in a higher collection and the opportunity to help even more children than the 333 that we have committed to aiding. Help us help more single mothers and their school-going children so they can enjoy a brighter future,” added Ling in closing.