Lending a voice

Yasmin Hani is actively helping single mothers, the homeless and those coping with depression

20 May 2020 / 09:57 H.

DESCRIBING the situation around the movement control order (MCO) as “crazy unpredictable”, TV presenter Yasmin Hani, who was juggling various activities at the time of our interview with her, told us she was still actively involved in Mompreneur Asia, an organisation that helps single mothers.

“It is so hard to go and train them because of the MCO, but now they have created a platform where all these businesswomen can promote their own businesses for five minutes every day.”

Yasmin and her celebrity friends with pet projects (collectively known as Celepets) have been actively helping Mompreneur with its fundraising activities, alongside their own personal causes, ever since the Covid-19 pandemic caused the MCO to be imposed.

“We did not know the MCO was going to happen. We thought we would have a normal buka puasa event and ask for donations. This year we were supposed to get a huge amount of donations. I managed to get someone to donate a large sum and we were so happy that we could get to help many more people.

“Then this (MCO) happened and the potential donors went quiet. I don’t know what is [happening] on their side.”

She spoke openly about post partum depression last year. – Courtesy of Yasmin Hani
She spoke openly about post partum depression last year. – Courtesy of Yasmin Hani

Yasmin said that she and her friends had promised the single mums last year that they were going to do more to help them start their own businesses.

“Instead of giving them fish, we teach them how to fish.”

To keep their promise, the Celepets have invited these budding female entrepreneurs to go live on selected times and dates on the Celepets Facebook page where they are given five minutes to promote their business.

Speaking about other causes close to her heart, Yasmin said she doesn’t choose or select her causes, instead she has been involved in everything that has come her way.

“I do a lot for homeless people, children, anything and everything. I don’t work closely with any organisation but I do a lot on my own expense.”

She often helps out certain parties provided her efforts are not taken advantage of. “Some companies say they want you to promote a charity, but it is for their own mileage and I don’t like that one bit. I pick and choose now.”

She was once involved with an organisation to help homeless people in Chow Kit.

Yasmin (far right) at the Malam Amal Bersama Celepets 2019. – Courtesy of Hakim Ngainan Photography
Yasmin (far right) at the Malam Amal Bersama Celepets 2019. – Courtesy of Hakim Ngainan Photography

“Now there are many people asking me for help on Instagram. A lot of people are facing hard times now. I do help a group of people who are helping other people.”

She herself donates money, helps collects funds and even collect items like clothes for the needy.

Last year, Yasmin spoke openly about post-partum depression in a video sponsored by an insurance company. The topic is something you rarely see being talked about, especially by a local celebrity, and her message hit home for many people.

Especially more so now, as depression is a hot topic due to the MCO.

“I know what it is like, and it was super hard for me ... though I can’t really share it exactly with the public. I need my privacy.”

Yasmin was initially scared to discuss her problem when she was approached, due to her father’s passing and several personal issues that happened to her.

“I have somewhat of an education on the subject. I am in contact with doctors. So if my video could make them step forward and start sharing, and not be embarrassed, I would be helping people.”

Her advice to those dealing with someone suffering from depression is: “Just listen. Listen first, and don’t give any solutions. Listen with empathy and meet the other person to ‘empty the cup’. Tell him or her that they are not alone, and together you can find a solution.”

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