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)

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Getting the message across

If you see the following sign by the roadside…


…what is your interpretation of the message it is telling you?


A. KAWASAN KEMALANGAN: PANDU PERLAHAN


OR

B. KAWASAN BERHANTU: PANDU LAJU-LAJU!


No, this posting is not about road signs. No, it's not about ghosts either. This posting is about getting the message across. I just put the sign there to get your attention in case you are bored with my HIV stories. Too bad, this posting is STILL somehow related to my voluntary work. You’d better get used to it…


In carrying out our voluntary work, it is important to get the right message across to our target groups.

To the PLWHAs and their families, we need to assure them that life is not over just by getting infected with HIV. We need to encourage them to carry on with their lives. We need to educate them on the importance of compliance when it comes to taking the antiretroviral drugs.

To the high risk groups, we need to educate them about the risks involved and how to avoid or minimise the chances of getting infected.

To the public, we need to create awareness amongst them about HIV – how it spreads, how it does not spread, and we also need to highlight to them about the stigma and discrimination faced by the PLWHAs.

However, it is not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes we try to tell them a particular message, but they interpret it differently. We emphasize on one issue, they prefer to concentrate on another issue.

We tell them there is no cure for AIDS, they say then there's no point taking the antiretroviral drugs because they're going die anyway. Duh! As though those without AIDS won't die...

We tell them about condoms and safe sex, they say we are encouraging people to have free sex.

We tell them most HIV cases involve injecting drug users and those who practice unprotected sex, they think all PLWHAs are bad people who deserve what they got. What about the innocent wives/husbands who got infected? The children?

We tell them HIV spreads through shared infected needles, they spread rumours saying that infected needles are purposely left on cinema seats so more people will get infected. Oi! HIV doesn't spread as easily as that lah!

I guess we will just have to try harder to put the right message across in creating public awareness on HIV/AIDS.

I remember the talk I gave to a group of students from a girls school last year. They seemed an enthusiastic lot. At the end of it, when I asked them what they learned from the talk, one girl sitting in the front row answered with a cheeky smile, "SAY NO TO BOYS!" (Ooops... did I overdo things?)

When I attended a Resource Persons Workshop organised by MAC some time last year, my target was to create awareness amongst women. But so far I have not had the opportunity to give any talks meant for women. To date, only schools have called us requesting for talks on HIV/AIDS. It was made compulsory for the students to attend so they were "forced" to listen. But for a public talk, you can't force people to come.

I have an acquaintance who has been trying to get the staff at her workplace to organise such a talk. But they were just not interested. To them probably it's just a waste of time because they feel HIV does not affect their lives.

So guess what? I resorted to blogging instead to create awareness in my own little informal way.

I shall not go into all the nitty gritty details of HIV facts in my blog. You may get bored (and include my blog under your list of the 10 things that bore you to tears!). If you do want to read more on HIV facts, there are many websites you can check out. For a start, why not find out about HIV/AIDS myths versus facts? Just click here.


As for the road sign above, did you answer A or B? It can be both you know...

First you think it's A... kawasan kemalangan... pandu perlahan...

You slow down, and suddenly you remember, if it is kawasan kemalangan, many people may have died here...

Shriek!! It can also be kawasan berhantu!

PECUT!!!


Ooops, looks like I am also misinterpreting messages...


26 comments:

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Pi, i g e t t h e m e s s a g e!!


anyway, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!mqfm

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

pi,

sorry. my earlier comment ada "MQFM" at the end of my moher's day message. nothing sinister or obscene. i was typing the word verification, tak tahu macam mana ter-slip.. sorry.

Pi Bani said...

Phew... thank goodness! And I was trying to figure out the message you were trying to tell me... :)

J.T. said...

I agree with you that many people are still unaware about HIV. As much as you have tried to gather people together to spread awareness and with little success (except schools), I believe you may have reached more people through blogging when Daphne highlighted your work in the Star. You may not see the them reading about it (except ones like me who leave comments) but I bet you have your readers... and they are not "forced" to listen. :)
In Germany, whenever I see little crosses planted just off the side of the autobahn, that is an indication someone died there through some kind of accident. Though I have not seen any German ghosts, I am not willing to find out. Pecut! hehehe

Pi Bani said...

JT, I know of some people who won't attend talks on HIV/AIDS for fear of people saying, "Why is she/he attending talks on HIV? Ni mesti ada apa-apa ni!" - you get what I mean.

As for German ghosts, hmmm... make sure you check your rear mirror when you see those little crosses, ok? hehehe...

J.T. said...

Oh yes, I know exactly what you mean about it.
Hey Pi Bani, don't scare me la. Now that you have said that, I will be afraid to drive after dark. Luckily we are moving into summer. The sun goes down at 8:30pm these days. I am usually at home by that time :)

Pi Bani said...

JT, I was only kidding la! Never mind, if you have to drive after dark, just concentrate on the road, ok?

i-lyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J.T. said...

No la... Pi...I hardly drive after dark. Don't worry. I ada "semangat kuat". At least I tell myself. hahaha
Hope you had a good Sunday.

U.Lee said...

Hi Pi Bani, You're a very interesting lady, and your sense of humour is really infectious.
I really admire you with what you do, what you experience, what you see and at the end of the day you still cheer up.
And oh ya, I admire your eloquence.
Have a nice day, Pi Bani, UL.

Pi Bani said...

JT, semangat kuat, eh? Oh good, I wouldn't want you to go speeding over 180km per hour when you see those signs!

U.Lee, I can go nuts if I don't try to be cheerful. Eloquence? I thought that was one of my weaker department...

U.Lee said...

Hi Pi Bani....
were you by any chance at that famous elite school for Malay girls in Ipoh? I forgot the name...Tengku something? Lots of famous Malay personalities from there. Maybe Ruby Ahmad, Kak Teh too?
You know Pi Bani...I am so glad to know someone like you. What I mean is you are what you are, your beautiful posts, your expressions, your thoughts, your open mind and most of all your fantastic sense of humour.
One thing I will do before I balek kampong is get your phone number...call you up, "Hey Pi Bani...its me, uncle Lee, boleh saya belanjar you kopi"?
There's a lot of friends I look forward to meet, but you are foremost on my list, Pi Bani.
You have yourself a great day. UL.

Pi Bani said...

UL: School for Malay girls... yes. Tengku something... yes. But Ipoh? No. It's Tunku Kurshiah College and it's in Seremban. Same school with Kak Ruby, yes... but she had left by the time I got in. Oh, just wanted to tell the whole world she's much mature (read: more tua) than I am... hehehe...
Eh, you want to belanja me kopi only ka? Aiya... offer lah something more exotic... ;)

Mat Salo said...

Kelakar Pi... You not only write well but use HUMOR to get your message accross. It's a powerful tool Pi - use it!

U.Lee said...

Hi Pi Bani, alamak! Yes...that school in Seremban. Chehhh! All the time I thought was in Kuala Kangsar or Ipoh. Ahhh, I guess as much you went to that school. WOW! Bet your grades all above 96%, huh? Especially English! 100%!
Re belanjar you kopi only? Tidak Pi Bani, I want to belanjar you lunch or dinner....of course I will not have my Lincoln to go fetch you, so either meet you in town or you fetch us, my isteri too in your BMW or Mercedes, and you can take us to the best shop in Ipoh for Malay food.
I love Malay food.
My last trip balek kampong was in 2002 and my very good Malay friend and his isteri took us to Petronas Towers, I think 4th floor where we had ayam percik, rendang, rojak and some Trengganu dishes. Sedap betul! Burrrrp! Another Malay friend, took us up the KL tower for dinner. Very nice.
Old days I would be in KB or Trengganu almost twice a month and enjoyed the nasi dagang, ikan percik there. I prefer to eat at the food stalls on Friday nights pasar malam there.
But you know, to me the best nasi lemak I have eaten is or was in Alor Star, the shop opposite Merlin Hotel. 50 cents a packet!
"Macik, bagi saya tiga bungkus". Burrrrppp! Can you imagine after that 'tiga bungkus' I had to drive down to Grik, then across the E/W highway to Jeli and Kota Bahru. Terok betul...perut da kenyang, nak tidur, ha ha. Baik pun ta'masuk longkang! UL.
ps, Pi Bani, out of curiousity, what is your dream car?
Ruby Ahmad's is a Bentley Continental GT. I just ordered it for her in my blog, ha ha. UL.

Daphne Ling said...

Aiya...Sini ada hantu! Gua mau lari lintang-pukang jauh-jauh!

Pi Bani said...

Mat Salo, those who don't know me, one look at my face they'd think I'm the serious type. But those who know me well would probably tell you I'm the gila-gila type. I guess at times we do need to use humor to send across a serious message.

Pi Bani said...

UL: The school in Kuala Kangsar tu for boys lah! My brothers went there, definitely not me!
My grades all above 96%? Yeah, in my dreams, maybe...
Fetch you and Mrs Lee in my BMW or Mercedes? Yeah, in your dreams, maybe...
Aiyo Uncle Lee, I drive small car only lah. And no, I can't think of a dream car. As long as kereta boleh jalan, tak banyak ragam, good enough for me.
And you taking 3 bungkus nasi lemak at one go? Waa... your tummy also big cc laa... just like your dream cars...

Pi Bani said...

Daph, yeah run for your life!!!

J.T. said...

U.Lee talk about food, I get a craving. People blog about food, I get a craving. sigh.. I look down the street, no mamak shop, no nasi lemak stall. I am counting the days till my next trip... about 300 more.
If I have time ... and I will have to, I must come up to Ipoh and meet you and Daphne. The last time I was there - 1998. I bet many changes have taken place.

Queen Of The House said...

Or, as my 6-year-old son said, that sign means "People on the bone", whatever that means!!

I'd say blogging is a good way to get the message across, although it may not hit too many people. Yet. It's a good start, Pi.

Pi Bani said...

JT, cook your own nasi lemak lah... and then open up a nasi lemak stall in Germany. And yes, I'd be happy to welcome you to Ipoh. Red carpet some more...

QOTH, may not hit too many people pun tak apalah... at least it's a start. And hopefully the people who gets my message will pass the message to their family and friends.

Raden Galoh said...

Pi... Muahahaha...you ni kan kelakar gak weeehhh... Anak I yang kecik selalu kata kawasan tu hantu tak lalu sebab tu dia dipangkah...hehehehe

Pi Bani said...

Raden: Hantu tak lalu sebab dia dipangkah? Bunyi macam nak mengundi aje, siap kena pangkah. Ni baru betul pengundi hantu...

ruby ahmad said...

Woit Pi,

Sapa tengah mengumpat pasal I nih! Aduuuh, jangan lah discuss age here. We are ageless. Think young and we shall be..he he! As they say forget the chronological age, think the biological age.

Wow! Lee, tahu pasal Tunku Kurshiah College eh? Not bad, not bad at all!

Pi, Lee, ajak lah I juga join you guys ber-coffee. I pun nak gossip sama2...he he!

Now, in this day and age, I dunno if we are scared of hantu or hantu are scared of us!!! Argghhh!

Pi Bani said...

K.Ruby... hey, we're not discussing age lah. I just mentioned that you are "more tua" than me, that's all! So no matter how young you are, I am... ahem... YOUNGer... hehehe...
Wanna join us for Ipoh kopi? Caan... come in your Bentley ok?

And K.Ruby dear, nowadays the hantus can be in the form of humans.