Laibie Braves the Food Business with Community Adoption Programme in Sabah
Laibie Anting is an inspirational, brave, and determined woman taking her entrepreneurial venture by the horns. The spirited Dusun tribe native who lives in a remote village in Sabah, East Malaysia, has not let her isolation stop her from dreaming big for her small food business.
Through sheer hard work and the support of a collaborative project between two organisations, Laibie may soon see her dream of expanding her traditional local food and snacks venture come true. She prepares and sells chips, fish pickles, Bambangan fruit pickles, and Tuhau (wild ginger) floss.
She dreams of promoting her indigenous culinary favourites to more people in the Kiulu sub-district, especially with the increasing number of tourists drawn to the region’s eco-tourism attractions.
“I joined the Women in Small Enterprises (WISE) project to learn how I can run my business better and introduce our delicacies to people from other places,” Laibie, 48, said about the programme introduced by NGO Good Shepherd Services (GSS).
RYTHM Foundation, the social impact arm of the QI Group, has partnered with GSS to support WISE – as well as an after-school academic programme and life skills training for youth.
The three-year collaboration through RYTHM’s Community Adoption Programme in Sabah (CAP Sabah) focuses on improving the lives of the people from three villages in the area – Kampung Lokub, Kampung Ratau, and Kampung Talantang.
Laibie’s aspirations for her undertaking are admirable. “I want to promote the traditional food of the Dusun tribe so that it becomes famous throughout Malaysia and eventually the world. Promoting these foods will also help us preserve things unique to our heritage.”
Among other aspects, the WISE programme is helping Laibie employ digital platforms to promote her business. “I was not well-versed in using technology, but I know it is essential today. I am confident that my friends and I can use the knowledge we gain to develop our businesses further,” Laibie added.
Over the course of RYTHM’s three-year pledge to improve livelihoods in the villages, CAP Sabah will expand to also include preschool support and social entrepreneurship skills by building upon the current efforts.
Tracy Soidi, a senior programme officer of GSS, has said of the collaboration, “We are excited and grateful because through this new collaboration with RYTHM, we have expanded the programme to other groups within these three villages.
“We hope it will open up more possibilities for collaboration with RYTHM and an exchange of expertise and knowledge that can benefit many more communities to reach out to here.”