President, Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS)
Mdm Rahayu Mohamad, President, Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS), has a dream she would like to fulfil one day.
If she is given 5 million to be used in any way she wants, she would like to set up a foundation for girls. To her, it is really important that they are educated and equipped with skills and the confidence to thrive in this world. She believes young girls should be given a head-start in their training to be the next generation of leaders and change makers in their local and global community. They need to learn how they can draw on their values, personal qualities and skills to become effective leaders. This is because a woman is herself a circle of influence, especially in imparting robust values to the people around her. In the private sphere, if girls are duly educated in their personal growth from young, they would be able to later set a good family foundation by bringing up children who contribute meaningfully to the growth of the community.
Indeed, Mdm Rahayu’s firm belief in a worthwhile existence emerged way back from her childhood and family life. Since young, she volunteered with her family in the community, and saw first-hand the impact it brought to the people around her. Subsequently, she continued actively participating in voluntary efforts in school right up to her marriage, where she took a short break to build up her own family, before she returned to the sector. In fact her daughter is now proudly continuing in her footsteps in active volunteering in the community, and also coincidently studying in the same faculty (law), and in the same university she graduated (International Islamic University Malaysia). In completing the Governance Month programme, Mdm Rahayu understands how vital it is to ensure that the Code of Governance is carried out smoothly in day-to-day PPIS functions, from ethical decision-making to fraud detection and management, and learning about financial oversight to the legal essentials and so on. It is through all this understanding and implementation effort that PPIS is able to receive a Good Governance award.
Yet it is not just about knowing how to govern, but also of a people factor. For instance, the training in the NonProfit Directors Programme allows Mdm Rahayu to be able to get the board members to understand what they need to do to continue to be sustainable and relevant in the work they are doing for both PPIS and the community.
This is what she says:
“In playing the leadership role vis-à-vis my board members and management, there is a need for close interaction in terms of sharing the alignment of goals and direction of where we’re going.”
Thus, she has been talking to her friends and peers in the community, especially those sitting on a board, that the NonProfit Directors Programme is very useful and infomative course that they should participate in. “It’s not about the knowledge but the sharing that the other participants bring in, hearing the stories in terms of the experiences of other organisations and how they overcome the challenges.”
Out of her busy schedule in overseeing PPIS, Mdm Rahayu really likes to spend time alone, with a cup of coffee, and her own thoughts. Soul searching and reflection is something she firmly believes in, because one always needs to step back and do a reality check. To her, it is from this reality check that you would be able to know whether all the things you are doing: Is it for yourself? Or is it for the community?
And this is where this wonder woman gets her strength from, from creating meaningful value for herself, her family, PPIS and the whole community.