SWEPA is indeed very privileged and honoured to have one of its founding members, former Miss Malaysia, Datin Jeanette Tambakau come forward to be named as one of the winners of the STAR GOLDEN HEARTS AWARD, presented in Kuala Lumpur on 7th November 2017.
Former beauty queen shines from within by finding beauty in helping others. Datin Jeanette attributes are driving force in immeasurable passion to her beloved late mother, her humble upbringing and her present loving husband who is a successful businessman and her supportive lovely children who see their mother as a living example of a true heroine who always puts the needs of the world people first to transform their lives for the better.
Datin Jeanette is the 11th of 12 siblings of her family. Her father left home one day when she was five years old and never returned, leaving her mother to single-handedly raise the children on her own. She describes her mother who is of Baba Nyonya and Thai heritage has a strong person who never gave up despite the hardships the family faced. They survived by daily selling Nyonya kuih from their tiny house in Ipoh.
As Datin Jeanette states,’ all this made me stronger and it was my mom who always taught us to be humble, strive for the best and help others whenever we can.’ This was a turning point in her life and with these instilled values of tenacity and inner strength, she fervours passionately with compassion and always smile to help others, especially women who do not have the opportunity to help themselves.
This award therefore is a symbol to celebrate Malaysians unsung heroes who help those in need to make a mark and improve themselves. Such is the case of three daring grandmother from two different villages who boldly took the step to change their lives, go to a new land, India, learn as students and trade with no literacy. SWEPA is humbled by the recognition achieved by our very own three solar mamas who have graduated successfully at the top of their class and have lit up over 200 houses using solar panels assembled by themselves benefiting more than 1000 villagers since this Barefoot Solar Project was first introduced in 2013.
As Organizing Chairperson of the Barefoot Solar Project, Datin Jeanette hopes the women’s achievements could help inspire others who are less fortunate to change their lives for the better. SWEPA plans to send two more grandmothers to train as ‘solar mamas’ next year from another 2 newly identified and adopted villages.
This is indeed a celebration and thank you kindly STAR for this award, as fate and destiny can be changed and there is nothing that cannot be achieved if the heart is in the right place, hands to ever help and the zest to make a difference.
Dr. Shelly Bhardwaj.