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)

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Dilemma of Boboy's new guardians

After a few attempts at getting in touch with the new guardians of Lily’s children, through Roy, the possessive and authoritative friend, yesterday Lily’s brother called me. FINALLY!

I had last week called Roy to ask about the children and also to ask for the new guardian’s IC and bank account number, to enable me to submit the necessary documents to MAC for the purpose of applying for Pediatric Aids Funds. Despite telling me that the kids are being taken care of by their uncle (Lily’s brother), Roy did ask if he could give his own IC and account number instead. I politely told him the new guardian must be a family member. Roy promised to call me back after he contacted the brother.

I was hoping and praying that Lily’s brother would insist he’d get in touch with me direct as he needed to pass me the photocopies of his IC and bank account. My prayers were answered.

Yesterday about 3 pm, I received a call from an unfamiliar number. The guy introduced himself as Lily’s brother. I recognized the voice – this was the same guy I met on the day of Lily’s funeral but I never had the chance to speak to him privately without Roy appearing in the picture.

Lily’s brother told me he had the photocopies of the necessary documents ready with him and since he was in town, he could just meet me somewhere to hand over the documents. I told him to come to my NGO center around 4pm. We never allow families of our clients to come to our house for various reasons. Some clients tend to be manipulative and if we get this kind stalking us at home, we volunteers may land in trouble. So, to be safe, we don’t allow any of them to come to our homes, regardless of whether they’re manipulative or not. I didn’t want to visit his home either, as I wasn’t sure yet how his wife was taking this.

He reached my NGO center around 4.15 pm, together with 2 other guys, whom I assume were his relatives. I asked about the children. He said they were doing fine but he was a bit worried about Boboy, the youngest.

I was thinking maybe Boboy had been crying, missing his mother. But no, that wasn’t the uncle’s worry. The uncle was worried because Boboy was HIV+, and he didn’t know heads or tails about how to take care of a HIV+ boy. He was worried because he too had children of his own. He was worried that somebody else in the family may get infected by having Boboy stay in the same house.

For someone who knows nuts about HIV, except for the fact that it is something people fear, I understand his concerns. I explained to him there was nothing for him to worry about by taking care of little Boboy. No need to worry about sharing things with the others in the family. He just needs to be a bit cautious about wounds but that’s about it.

I explained to him to make sure Boboy doesn’t miss his hospital appointments and if the doctor starts giving him medication, then the uncle must make sure the boy complies.

Of course, the short explanation I gave to Lily’s brother was not enough to get the worries off his mind. He said if there was anyone knowledgeable enough willing to take care of Boboy, he doesn’t mind giving the boy away. He’d still visit, he said. I asked if he didn’t pity the little boy being separated from his siblings. He said he does, but he’d rather have someone who can take good care of Boboy to look after him.

He’s just scared. I could tell. But it’s still too early to decide if Boboy needs to be sent elsewhere. While I’d prefer Boboy to be together with his siblings, I wouldn’t want him to get unfair treatment from his guardians – not because they hate him, but because they’re just scared. How would the little boy feel if he has to be “isolated” in his own home? He doesn’t even know he has been infected or what HIV is in the first place.

I told Lily’s brother to hang on first. Boboy’s next appointment is in August, so let’s see what the doctor says. If the boy needs to start medication, we may have problems if the guardians still feel scared.

I think the family needs a few more rounds of counseling. I must continue to talk to them. For the moment I have not met the wife. Talking to Lily’s brother alone may not be enough. His wife needs to understand as well.

I am hoping they will understand eventually. But if I fail to convince them, I may have no choice but to send Boboy to a home for HIV children. Hopefully I need not resort to that. He needs his sisters. Aaargh!! I can imagine his cute little pitiful looking face…

God, help me please…

23 comments:

kina said...

Kesiannya Boboy...

Ya Allah permudahkan lah urusan dia.

kak pi, tolong la Boboy ye.

Pi Bani said...

Kina,
InsyaAllah, will try to help him.

Hazia said...

Kesian, ada guardian yg responsible, takut pulak.

Roy tak nak jaga Boboy ke? Sibuk sangat.

Anonymous said...

In an earlier post you mentioned that the uncle was just getting by with his own children. How will he manage with 4 more? That is quite a burden to suddenly take on.

And his wife will also be under considerable pressure to take care of them, prepare them for school, etc.

InsyaAllah there is a way to keep them all together - they have had such a traumatic short life already - breaking them up would just pile more on top.

In the end perhaps if the uncle cannot adapt to the situation then it is better if they all went together somewhere else, e.g. orphanage.

loveujordan said...

About not letting your clients to meet you at your house , is absolutely good...I always thought that you let them coming freely to your house.. now I know...

Pity Boboy, yelah kalau penjaganya takut, tersiksa lah pulak boboy nanti, macam kena dera pulak.... dilemma betul...harap dipermudahkan urusan , InsyaAllah.

Daphne Ling said...

I think it's off to a good start...If Boboy's uncle is honest enough to address his fears and concerns, it means he means well but is only human...

After all, it's natural to fear something we don't know, right? So, with a little help and guidance, I think Boboy will remain with his uncle and fmaily and his sisters...I think this story will end on a good note...After all, Boboy's uncle didn't say "Eeyer, dia mungkin HIV+...Tak mau dia"...

He asked how to jaga him, which shows his concern...

All the more touching since the uncle himself isnt doing well financially...

Am I making any sense? Sorrylar, 2 am in the morning, orang gila ini merepek...

Pi Bani said...

Hazia,
Tak payah lah suruh Roy jaga Boboy. He will just complicate matters by asking for all the financial assistance to be given to him instead. Lagipun the children bukannya suka kat dia, ever since their mother was around. They were more "scared" of him. I could see Roy used the "military" style to teach the children.

Pi Bani said...

Anonymous,
Yes you are right, that's why I'm helping them to get the necessary financial assistance for Lily's children. The uncle also knows the children's educational needs are covered by my NGO. And since I already know where they stay, I can include them in my monthly house visits to see what kind of help they need.

The uncle did not mention anything about giving all the children away. Only Boboy. The issue now is not his financial status but Boboy's HIV status. It's easier to solve the financial problem than the emotional problem.

That's why I told him to hang on first. I will need a few rounds of visits to talk to both husband and wife to be able to assess the situation.

Pi Bani said...

LUJ,
The way I see it, the uncle is loving enough. Now, if only I can convince him there is no danger in taking care of Boboy...

Pi Bani said...

Dear Daphne
That's what I'm hoping. For someone who knows nuts about HIV, it is good enough he still took Boboy to stay with him despite his worries. Now I'm hoping to visit them at their home, meet the wife and talk things over. Hopefully things will end well.

Queen Of The House said...

Oh dear, what a dilemma! Although the uncle didn't say it, at the back of his mind, maybe subconsciously, he is hoping there'll be someone else to take care of Boboy. Maybe it's his concern for his own children. But I am sure his own sense of responsibility is telling him Boboy should be under his care.

Semoga dipermudahkan semua urusan ini. And you are right about that Roy fella .... sibuk nak bagi bank account dia pulak!

Raden Galoh said...

At least uncle dia voiced out his concern kan Pi...dari setengah orang tu ada concern tapi tak buka isi hati then make own assumption...pulaukan budak tu lagi kesian kan?

Hopefully mudah urusan Boboy ni...kesian budak kecil ini...

I do'a Allah mudahkan urusan you handle this case Pi... and hopefully dapatlah get rid of that roy tu...

Salam and take care Pi.

Pi Bani said...

QOTH,
It's not a maybe, the uncle did voice out his concern for his children. But I do understand his concerns. Unless and until he understands the whole scenario, he will still have his worries. It's my job now to make him understand. But you know how some people are, no matter what you say they won't listen. I'm hoping he's not that type. Hopefully with his sense of responsibility, he will be able to treat Boboy just like the other kids.

Pi Bani said...

RG,
Betul tu... at least he voiced his concern. Kalau jenis yang depan kita buat baik tapi belakang kita he mistreats the boy lagi haru dibuatnya!

J.T. said...

Poor Boboy. I hope it works out for him. I can understand the fear his uncle is having.

If this fear continues, Boboy might be isolated in his own home. In that case, I think it is more humane to place him with other children where he can enjoy a little freedom. It is sad, though, that he will miss his sisters and the comforts of home. Then again, what comfort is it if he is ostracised in his own home?

It is the same as how some people view adults as unloving children for putting their parents in nursing homes. Some parents are put there because they get better care - where there are nurses and a doctor around the clock. Not all elderly have the same medical problems. And not all nursing homes are deplorable.

Anyway, I digressed a little but this is my point... sometimes things have to be done for the sake of the patient, no matter how unpleasant it sounds.

I am glad the uncle admitted his concerns about the Boboy. He may be open to learning how to take extra care of the little one. I know you are doing your best to give Boboy the best. :)

Anonymous said...

My earlier post was not suggesting that the uncle should give them all away.

I just feel so bad for the boy that he might be separated from his sisters after losing his father and then his mother. My thought was - would it not be better for them all if the siblings were all together ... wherever that may be?

I know life is not always fair but insyaAllah you will find a way to convince the uncle (and aunt?) to at least give it a try. Maybe a "trial period" will result in a change of heart?

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Pi Bani,

No matter what is the outcome, what a lovely uncle to start off with. Oh boy, Boboy...thinking what is the middle path. Even though it is a question of being careful with potential wounds, children being children, quite tough that.

Pi Bani said...

JT,
What I like is that despite his concerns the uncle still took Boboy to stay with him. He could have given Boboy to Roy if he wanted to since Roy is not afraid to be with an HIV+ person. But no, even if he gives Boboy away, he wants to make sure it will be someone responsible enough who knows how to take care of an HIV person.

Pi Bani said...

Anonymous,
I understand what you meant. Only thing is, from what I've seen so far, I don't think the uncle would even consider giving the other children away, even if it's just for the purpose of being together with Boboy. His idea was to let somebody else responsible and knowledgeable enough, to take care of Boboy, while he will bring the sisters to visit from time to time.

You are right, maybe a trial period will result in a change of heart. And I want to use this trial period to convince them that there's not much risk involved in taking care of Boboy.

Pi Bani said...

K.Ruby,
Boboy is a good boy. Not the buas type. And even if he gets wounded, the virus can only infect another person if this other person ALSO has an open wound and both wounds are in DIRECT contact with each other. The chances of that happening is very slim, don't you think?

And oh yes, Boboy has a lovely uncle. At least he voiced out his concern.

Cik Kiah Kidman said...

Menitis air mata i membaca your entry kali ni.

Pi Bani said...

Alamak Cik Kiah, janganlah sedih sangat. Sama-samalah kita doakan Boboy's story will end well.

J.T. said...

Boboy's uncle does love Boboy and I hope a wise decision is made.