TAPAH: Ten senior citizens aged 60 to 71 participated in a soap-making workshop using recycled materials through the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programme organised by the Pusat Aspirasi Anak Perak (PASAK).

The workshop, held in collaboration with the Universiti Teknologi Mara Faculty of Applied Sciences, took place at the UiTM Perak Branch, Tapah Campus, over five days starting Wednesday.

Project director Adibatul Husna Fadzil said the workshop aims to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to create soap from recycled materials in a scientific and safe manner.

The senior lecturer from the Faculty of Applied Sciences said senior citizens often lack activities post-retirement, and by participating in such workshops, they can acquire new knowledge and potentially generate income by selling the soap they produce.

“This is the first time such a programme has been conducted, with PASAK providing a grant of RM12,000 to the Faculty of Applied Sciences to implement it, and each participant received an allowance of RM200.

“The participants were taught to make several types of liquid dishwashing soap and laundry detergent from recycled materials such as used oil, expired powdered milk, coffee grounds, oat powder or any other household items,” she told reporters.

Adibatul Husna said the programme’s modules included safety ethics, methods for making dishwashing and laundry soap and techniques for producing soap from powdered milk, used oil or organic materials.

Participants were also introduced to modules related to product marketing strategies and calculating material costs and profits if they decide to start a business after completing the workshop.

“PASAK will monitor the participants to see whether they will sell the soap they produce themselves or utilise the knowledge they have gained from this workshop,” she said.

A participant, Rafidah Mohd Idris, 66, from Ayer Kuning here, said she has been making soap from recycled materials for the past two years but was interested in joining the workshop to gain knowledge about producing various types of soap.

“I used to make dish soap, but by attending this workshop, I’ve learned so many things, such as how the ingredients for bath soap and cleaning soap differ, although the basic process is the same.

“God willing, if I have the opportunity, I will sell the soap I make on a small scale. After retirement, it’s essential to find activities to keep the mind and body active and healthy,” said the government pensioner.

For retired teacher Mohd Daud Arsad, 66, from Jalan Damai here, the soap-making workshop is very suitable for retirees like him.

“The modules taught are detailed, showing how to make soap from recycled materials found at home. There’s a high chance that I will start a business after becoming skilled at making soap,” he said.