I just realised I haven't posted anything on this blog for this year. So here are some updates in my attempt to keep this blog alive...
A few clients have passed away within the first 2 months of this year. 2 of them used to be among the starring characters in my blog when blogs were the "in" thing back in 2007-2009.
Remember Zana? Her story was posted under the title "The Problematic Young Woman" which came in a few parts (at least 4 parts, but could be more). She was the first of my many clients who I had to send to shelter homes. In her case, she was pregnant (out of wedlock) and her family, especially her father could no longer accept her in the family. Her older daughter stayed with her grandparents (Zana's parents) while Zana later gave birth to a pair of twins, both boys. One of the twins died while they were still staying at the shelter home, while the other was later given up for adoption due to Zana's lack of responsibility. Zana eventually went back to stay with her family (and back with her daughter). The girl, whom Zana claimed had been tested for HIV earlier but the results were non-reactive, was never brought for follow up tests. By the time she was finally diagnosed, the girl's condition was so bad her CD4 was close to zero. She died at the age of 10. So, 2 of Zana's children died before Zana herself. Zana's turn came in January this year. Apparently, before she died, she asked to see her son (the one given up for adoption). Not sure if such a meeting took place. I don't think so.
Some time late January, the wife of a client, Andi (I don't recall posting any stories on him - not much drama), texted to ask if I could assist to get a wheelchair for Andi. His condition had deteriorated and he needed help to move around at home. I managed to get donors to contribute some cash and I went ahead to buy a brand new lightweight wheelchair for him (lightweight so that it wouldn't be too much of a problem if the wife needed to carry the wheelchair in and out of their old van). I sent the wheelchair to them on Friday. Just 3 days later, on Monday, the wife called to inform me that Andi passed away in the morning.
The very next day, I received a call from an unfamiliar number. The moment I answered the call, I heard the voice of a girl, calling me Makcik Fizah. Initially I thought it could be Andi's daughter, but then she identified herself as Yah's daughter (I think many of my blog readers would be very familiar with the name Yah). "Nak bagitau, mak dah meninggal semalam." Apparently both Andi & Yah, miles apart, died on the same day.
Both Andi's & Yah's children are still under the Buddies Education Sponsorship Program, so I shall still be monitoring their schooling needs. Andi's children will be getting their assistance through their mother, while Yah's children who now stays with their grandfather, will be getting their assistance through the eldest girl who just started working a few month's back.
Other updates? After a 4 year break, I am back as the Buddies Chairperson. Obviously we don't have enough people in the organisation, so we even had to recycle the chairperson.