After her first marriage ended, Madam Hairina Abu Bakar decided to take steps to change her life experience into something positive.
One of those steps was to offer her services to a local children's home.
The bank executive had volunteered her time at Jamiyah Children's Home from 2010 to 2014, organising activities such as suppers or gatherings during Hari Raya.
She also spent her time talking to the children to motivate them both in their studies and lives.
Her experience as a volunteer showed her that she needed to be thankful for whatever she has in her life.
So when the 39-year-old recently got married to Mr Mar Yanto Ahmad, a 26-year-old personal driver, she decided to invite 18 children from Pertapis Children's Home to her wedding function last Sunday (May 15).
In an interview with The New Paper, she said her husband supported the idea.
"He encouraged the idea and thought it was a perfect way for him to get involved," she said.
The function was held at North Bridge Road in Warong Nasi Pariaman, which Madam Hairina said was kind enough to sponsor the food for the children.
"What I have personally gone through cannot be compared with what these children have experienced," she said in an interview with Berita Harian.
"My experience as a volunteer with the children's home opened my mind and I realised that I have a very lucky life," she added.
While she is not currently volunteering, she plans to volunteer with Pertapis in the near future.
The mother of two children, aged 10 and 12, said she hopes that everyone can do their bit to make these children feel a part of society and include them in whatever activities they can.
"If we can invite 1,000 people to our wedding function, there is no harm in inviting another 18 children who are less fortunate."
The head of the Pertapis Children's Home, Mr Sophian Kayat, who was also present at the wedding, said: "Madam Hairina's invitation allows these children to improve their social skills and enhance their confidence."
He said the children under his care do not get much chance to go sightseeing or go visiting during the weekends.
"I would like to thank Madam Hairina, her husband and her family for the opportunity," added Mr Sophian.
Among the children who attended were Siti, 13, and Hamid, 12, (not their real names).
"I am happy that I am able to go out and attend a wedding ceremony. It has been a while since I'm able to attend a wedding," said Siti.
Hamid said he was grateful for the chance to attend Madam Hairina's wedding.
"I feel honoured that I was invited and I am happy for the newly-married couple," he said.
This article was first published on May 20, 2016.
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