THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Monday, 30 April 2007

You know what I did last Raya?

No, this is not a sequel to “I know what you did last raya”. It’s not about anything out of ordinary that I did either.

This posting is about the activity I planned for my PLWHAs for Raya last year. The main purpose was to get them together, let them get to know each other so that when they need to talk, they can talk to each other. Surely they’d feel more comfortable opening up to someone “in the same boat”.

Since it was our first such activity, I decided to start in a small group. So, the raya gathering was held only for the Malay ladies, most of whom were my own PLWHA clients, or the ones who weren’t, at least already knew me from previous meets.

Not all could make it to the gathering, for various reasons. One had to attend a kenduri, one was moving house that day, one couldn’t get permission from her father, one had to take care of her sickly husband and others had some other reasons including a few who were still not comfortable about the idea of exposing themselves to others, not even to fellow PLWHAs.

I finally managed to get 7 ladies and 5 of their children to attend. A small group, but good enough for a start. I was only there as organizer – arranging for all the food and transportation. The good thing was that, since they all already knew me and was already comfortable with me, my presence did not stop them from opening up to each other. They were talking as though I was one of them although they knew I was not!

I didn’t plan any special programs for the day. It was supposed to be an informal thing where I just wanted them to meet and talk to each other. They talked about each other’s experience and a pregnant PLWHA who attended the gathering had the opportunity to ask about the experience of another PLWHA who had gone through the whole thing.

The gathering was a success. At the end of the day, they exchanged phone numbers. It was a good sign. After this they’d probably be calling each other. Or so I thought…

After the gathering, whenever I visited or called them, I asked them if they had been contacting each other. They instead asked me how so and so is doing. When I asked them why they didn’t call each other, their standard answer…. “CREDIT HABIS”.

Ah well, knowing the kind of clients I have, I should have guessed… they can’t afford to sembang-sembang on the phone. They only use their phone when they need to.

While they are comfortable with each other, whenever they need anything, it’s still my number they’d call. Or if they run out of credit, they’d send me a message and they know I’d be calling them.

So I guess this year I will need to organize another gathering for them. I know they do want to meet up with each other again…

4 comments:

Raden Galoh said...

Wonderful act Pi... may Allah bless you for having a BIG heart...

Pi Bani said...

No big deal organising this kind of gatherings, Raden. I memang suka benda-benda macam ni...

Kak Teh said...

pi bani, habis kredit...sounds like my little niece. when i went home recently, she wanted a toy phone. I bought her one. but when i asked her to call her father, she said, kredit habissss!!!

Pi Bani said...

Ha, ha... I guess they hear it too often even these kids tell the same answer, tak kiralah toy phone pun. Now, now... you tak tolong top-up kan untuk dia ke??