Starbucks Live and Inspire: Dr Hartini Zainudin

This week on Live & Inspire: Dr Hartini Zainudin is a passionate advocate for children’s issues, with over 26 years in the field. She is currently managing director and founder of Rumah Jagaan Kanak Kanak NurSalam. Komunitikini asks the good doctor a few questions about what her work entails.

Komunitikini: How did you begin your journey?
Dr Hartini Zainudin: I started as a volunteer many, many moons ago and had the privilege of working with the cause that I was passionate about. I also had the opportunity to see what was needed and was able to use my skills and the opportunity to start a program under Yayasan Salam as a community volunteer project and it took off from there.

In your dictionary, what does “difficulty” and “failure” meant to you?
Difficulty to me is something that is part and parcel of everyday life-everyone faces it. Failure is when you give up without doing your best!

Which figure in your respective field has inspired you the most?
My ex-boss in New York who began pretty much the way I did, Madeleine Yong from PS The Children, and a few other child activists and child protectors.

What kind of impact can your respective field bring to community/people?
You can change entire communities by working with the children- it’s a social investment.

How has response been to your work?
People on the ground? Other NGOs  and comminuty leaders have been very receptive and supportive. We watch out for one another.

If you are the minister in your respective field, what would you do?
I could never enter politics. But as an advisor to the minister, I would advocate for better protection for all children in Malaysia, regardless of race, nationality or status and a more equal playing ground and opportunities for all!

What can we expect this coming Thursday?
(I am) hoping to inculcate the spirit of voluntarism, which I believe is still lacking because of the perception that it’s about a lot of money and time-it’s not and about I am one of many, many people who started small and started with an idea, and with a lot of support, creativity and determination, we’re doing our bit to help children who would have otherwise remained invisible and highlight children’s issues that should stay top priorities.