Poverty affects a lot of people, leading many parents to sacrifice their own comfort just to make sure their children have food in their stomachs and clothes on their backs.
Aisha Othman would do anything and everything for her 7-year-old daughter, Paymitra Abdullah – even if that meant eating just ice cubes so she can still have some money left for her daughter to have some bread.
The family lives at Desa Rejang PPR (People’s Public Housing), a low-cost housing project in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Aisha’s husband works as security guard at a nearby district.
But because Aisha’s husband only earns RM 1,500 ($360) a month, most of the money goes to pay the rent at their house, plus the back-rent for his mother’s unit. This leaves the family very little money left for food.
The couple would buy bread, but most of it is reserved for their daughter. Most of the time, Aisha would simply buy some ice cubes so she can have something to eat. The ice cubes offer no nutrition and would often make her feel so hungry, but this mom wants to make sure her daughter won’t feel hungry like she does.
Photo credit: Malaysia Kini / Freedom Film Festival
At times when they have some extra money to buy rice, she eats it uncooked because she’s afraid that ‘spending too much money’ on cooking gas will leave her daughter hungry.
Their sad plight came to national attention after film director Azreen Madzlan made a documentary about their difficult life. Taking pity on the family, Azreen helped them out.
As their story went viral, the local government stepped in to provide the family with some welfare assistance. The local officials also helped Aisha find a job at Wangsa Maju grocery store so she could finally have some money to buy real food.
Thanks to social media, this mom no longer has to eat ice cubes just so her daughter can have some money for bread!