Her World Woman 2017 – Dr Hartini Zainudin

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Dr Hartini Zainudin won’t rest until every child in the world is protected, and has the right to love and be loved.

“I have this vision of myself at 85 on a Harley Davidson, chomping on a cigar, wearing jeans, and with a baseball bat – whacking anybody who tries to hurt kids.” These words are straight out of the mouth of Dr Hartini Zainudin. As the co-founder of Yayasan Chow Kit, a non-profit organisation that aims to give a safe space and opportunities to marginalised children, there are no guesses as to what she does for a living. Although, reducing her love for children to a mere ‘job’ would be to do her a great disservice.

Exuding a light-hearted and childlike buoyancy – from her voice to her mannerisms – Tini, as she likes to be called, attributes all that she is today to the way her parents had raised her. “My dad always told me that a measure of one’s worth is how you treat others. It was always about being good and helping people,” she reminisces, before chuckling at how it was much to her father’s chagrin when she followed his life teachings to a tee.

“My father had been on life support for about 10 hours when I wrote the proposal for Yayasan Chow Kit, because I knew I’d go mad if I did nothing but wait. Even though he knew it was a good thing, he asked, ‘What are you going to live on?’ And I swear this is what my parents taught me, so I said, ‘Everything will fall into place and God will provide. It’s crucial I do this because blessings are important.’ He was so angry and said, ‘Blessings? You can’t eat blessings! This is why I’m so worried about you. You’re going to be poor for the rest of your life – you’re not going to survive like this.”

Read more about Dr Hartini in our September issue of Her World magazine. 

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