Self-Empowerment of Recipients of Assistance from the Malaysian Social Welfare Department through Productive Welfare
The Productive Welfare Approach and the "2-Year Exit Policy" (2YEP) are introduced by the Department of Social Welfare Malaysia (JKM) to help recipients of welfare assistance (clients) towards living independently and provide the ability to survive without relying on indefinite assistance. This study aims to identify the empowerment of recipients after being involved in entrepreneurship programs through the Launching Grant provided by JKM. This study employs the survey method using questionnaires. A total of 234 respondents were involved in the study: 107 respondents from the Northern Zone, and a total of 127 respondents from the Eastern Zone from 17 Social Welfare District Offices (PKMD) in both zones. The data collection was done between September 2016 to February 2017. The results show that the majority of respondents are self-employed/sole proprietors (85%) with many involved in the food and beverage-type business (58.1%). In terms of self-enrichment/empowerment, respondents' levels are at moderate to high levels. They are responsible for the work, for what they do, and for the results of their actions. The Productive Welfare Approach and the 2YEP program have to some extent, helped in increasing revenue and reducing clients’ dependency on JKM’s assistance. However, better implementation of the program and continuous monitoring can help clients increase their motivation and thus, contribute to eradicating poverty among receivers of assistance.