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)

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Another day at the clinic #2 and another house visit

Yesterday morning I was lucky. Very lucky indeed. As I was passing the specialist clinic building heading towards the open parking space at the padang behind, I saw ONE parking spot right beside the building. Yaayyy!!! No need to go around the hospital a few times… and better still the parking space I got couldn’t be any nearer to the HIV clinic! Needless to say, I got there early. Usually it would take me 20 minutes at least to find a parking space. Yesterday I got it in less than a minute after entering the hospital compounds.

Since I got there early, I had all the time to call the person from the theme park handling the booking of my NGO’s family day, and after confirming with him certain things, arranged to pay 50% deposit via internet banking; then sent him an email confirming the details of our booking. OK, so that’s settled.

When SN came over to the room, she said there was supposed to be a few new cases referred to Buddies yesterday, but most of them did not turn up. SN had purposely set the appointments for the problematic people to be during our clinic duty – but as always, they tend to miss their appointments. That was why in the first place they were classified as “problematic”…

The first case referred to us yesterday was a young Chinese lady. I was quite surprised when I was told she was 5 months pregnant. She didn’t look pregnant at all! SN had earlier told me that she was still single but when asked, she said she came with her “husband”. Not much problem with this young lady. Her “husband” who is also HIV+ is taking full responsibility and they seemed to be very supportive of each other.

After this Chinese lady left the room, SN requested me to see Zali again. Remember Zali? The guy whose wife left him and the 2 kids? Well, Zali isn’t working and SN was very concerned about his children’s well-being. So, she asked him to see me again for follow up. This time he brought along photocopies of his IC, children’s birth cert and bank book. We’ll see what we can do to apply for whatever available funds, particularly for the children. Zali’s problem is that his children are TOO attached to him. I asked if the children’s grandma (Zali’s mom) was willing to take care of the children so that Zali can find himself a job. According to Zali, while his mother was willing, his children were not. Zali’s mother stays in another town while Zali has to be in Ipoh for his daily methadone treatment. So if his mother is to take care of the children, Zali will not be able to see them every day. I have a feeling Zali himself is not willing to depart with the children; that’s why he was not even willing to try letting the children stay with their grandma.

What I don’t understand is how the children’s mother could leave the children a month ago and still has not even attempted to meet or call them. Doesn’t she miss the kids at all? Sigh…

After Zali left the room, Yah and her son came in. I told her to look for me at the hospital yesterday as I promised her I’d accompany her to the EPF office nearby. After filling up the necessary form and attaching the necessary supporting documents, I brought her to the EPF office, taught her where to go and who to see and then I left her there so I could go back to the clinic as there were supposed to be a few more cases. Besides, I don’t want to be seen to be lurking around the EPF office too often lest I be pulled aside for interrogation by the EPF officers! Just recently I brought Ani there for the same purpose; this time with a different person…

You see, a fellow volunteer told me that he was recently asked by EPF officers why he was bringing different people to EPF to submit their EPF withdrawal forms. Some people don’t seem to believe that we’re doing all these without getting paid. Apparently there had been cases where some unscrupulous people offered assistance to unsuspecting victims by saying they can help in the application with a fee of RM300 to RM500 for each successful application. The victims were made to believe that it was the standard fee and that without their service it won’t be easy to get the approval.

So, before I got into the EPF officers’ suspicious list, I left Yah there. She seemed confident enough on her own.

When I got back to the clinic, I took a peek outside and saw Asiah. Asiah was assigned to another volunteer, but we’ve met each other before and so I went over to sit beside her to have a chat. This time she introduced me to her husband. Asiah is a very beautiful woman and was actually infected by her first husband. After her first husband died and she was left with 4 kids to feed, she started to work as a shop assistant. Then she got to know a married man, quite elderly and they decided to get married. They were already planning to get married when Asiah found out she was positive. But she didn’t tell her then husband-to-be. They went ahead, got married, and finally Asiah told her husband about her HIV, but not the whole truth. She told him she only knew about it AFTER they got married. Oh dear… but no, we’re not going to get involved in their internal affairs… that’s between her and hubby.

One more case was referred to us later in the afternoon. This guy knew about his HIV earlier on when he was still in prison where he was given all the necessary counseling, so no, we didn’t have any problems explaining things to the guy.

By this time Yah was done with her EPF interview etc and was already back at the hospital. I told her to come back looking for me once she was done at EPF as I had some things to be passed to her. I took Yah and son for lunch first and then sent them to the bus station. I also handed over some milk powder for her baby and some presents to be given to her 2 daughters for getting 2nd in class recently.

Anyway, the day before I went to visit Fuzi to send over supplies of milk powder and groceries for the family. I was told that Wina, Fuzi’s eldest daughter will not be joining us for the family day as she’ll be joining a 3D/2N trip to KL that weekend. You see, she took part in an English essay competition and from that competition a few students from each school were selected to go for an educational trip to KL. Wina was one of those selected. I’m happy for her.

However, the other news did not please me at all. Fuzi’s welfare aid has not been coming in since May. According to Fuzi she called the welfare officer to enquire and was given all sorts of excuses.

*******************
Welfare officer: Nanti kami hantar surat, sekian sekian haribulan awak pergi ambil di xxxxxx. (Note: earlier on they were the ones who asked Fuzi to open up a separate bank account so the money could easily be banked in)
Fuzi: Tempat saya tu kadang-kadang surat tak sampai puan. Kadang-kadang sampai lambat, bila surat sampai tarikhnya dah lepas. Boleh tak kalau talipon saja?
Officer: Ada talipon?
Fuzi: Ada nombor talipon tangan.
Officer: Oh, kalau macam tu saya kena semak baliklah kes awak ni. Tak perlu bantuan dah kalau dah boleh pakai talipon tangan.
Fuzi: Aduh puan, talipon tangan tu pekerja sukarela hospital yang bagi agar mudah dia nak hubungi saya bila perlu! (I gave her an old phone I managed to get from a friend who was no longer using it. Yes, the whole purpose was to make it easier for me to contact Fuzi.)
Officer: Tengoklah nanti macam mana…
********************

All the above hassle Fuzi had to go through for a measly RM115 per month to feed 5 children. I don’t know what else to say….

All I can say for now is thank you again to the blog reader who was kind enough to bank in a certain amount every month into Fuzi’s bank account. Otherwise the family may not have enough to eat…

19 comments:

kina said...

Kak Pi,

kekadang kita rasa hidup kita ni susah, bila baca your acount, i feel so blessed. alhamdulillah with what I have now. Syukur pada Allah, moga limpahan rahmatnya berkekalan ke atas kita semua.

I am still sedih pasal Nuri (the helicopter)case, tak tahu lah pasai pa, tapi rasa sayu dia lain macam sket, asik la nak berumbai airmata bila time berita tu.

Kak Pi, thank you for being the strength for the ppl in need.

zaitgha said...

i just wonder why the people makes it so difficult for the needy to get their money...after all is not their money....sigh...

I dont have your patience...i thank God there are some people like you around...i can contribute with RM or goods but dont think i can be a good volunteer...

Pi Bani said...

Kina,
Indeed we don't realise how blessed we are until we see or hear of other people's miseries.

Pi Bani said...

Zaitgha,
It can be more difficult to handle other people's money than our own money - there are other people we have to answer to on what we do with the money. But of course, that's not an excuse to make life difficult for those in need. There is this thing called budibicara which they don't seem to be practising.

J.T. said...

I feel sad for Zali's children. It has been a month and their mother has not contacted or seen them. Like you, I just don't understand ...

And RM115 to feed 5 children is an impossible amount (Fuzi's case). Don't the authorities have some kind of guideline to follow e.g. one child is entitled to x amount of ringgit? I wonder how they decide who gets how much. *sigh*
God bless that blog reader who is helping with Fuzi’s expenses.

winniethepooh said...

People are so mean at times, such as like those who take advantage of other's suitation to earn 'undeserving' money (at the EPF office) and those who just have to make things difficult for people in need (in Fuzi's case)

Congrats to Wina and Yah's daughter who hv done so well in their studies inspite of their suitation

you have a great day Pi Bani!

Pi Bani said...

JT,
Actually they do have guidelines. There is such a thing called Bantuan Kanak-kanak where they can get about RM100 per child. But somehow for Fuzi's case, they approved her for Bantuan Am, which was why only RM115 was approved. I don't know how they decide.

Pi Bani said...

Winnie,
Some people do tend to take advantage of other people's situation... and they get away with it. And people like me who don't get anything of the situation gets questioned of our intentions...

But yeah, I do get the much needed boost when the children does well in their studies. It makes all the effort worth it.

loveujordan said...

salam,

kadang-kadang benda yang mudah jadi sulit disebabkan tiadanya ihsan pada yang memerlukan .... harap fuzi dapat bantuan am tu.

Pi Bani said...

LUJ,
Bila manusia tak dapat membayangkan keperitan orang lain, susahlah nak timbul rasa ihsan itu. Dalam kes Fuzi ni mungkin pegawai tu fikir senang-senang je Fuzi dapat bantuan kewangan tak payah kerja. Apa masalah sebenar Fuzi dia tak ambil kira.

Anonymous said...

if i am not mistaken i met you few years back during OGA back to college prgram.i was really inspired by your effort n really proud of you


shaine ali

Pi Bani said...

Shaine Ali,
I've joined quite a number of OGA's visit back to college, so I suppose yes, we may have met before. I guess me being the kaypoh type it is easier for people to remember me than it is for me to remember people.

Do introduce yourself the next time we meet, ok? And thanks for visiting my blog.

Monster Mom said...

I've seen how the staff at jab kebajikan acted...when i was at their office..doing some meeting years ago....

They treated the pakcik makcik like dirt.... rasa cam nak marah ja...

But i can only look and feel sorry for all those people....

Pi Bani said...

Monster Mom,
Ah there you go... you've seen for yourself...

They are paid to do the job and yet they're not giving these people the proper treatment.

I know my PLWHA clients. They are not the kurang ajar type. I doubt the welfare officers were provoked into reacting the way they did. Just because the applicants are poor doesn't mean they don't deserve some respect at least as fellow human beings.

Having said that, I have to mention that I do know a few (VERY few) officers who are really dedicated in their work. I wish there are more like these few.

Sharm said...

hey

you are chosen by sharm to represent your country in the first international blog
WUB (World United Bloggers)
the aim of this blog is to prove to the world that the difference in our languages and religions and colors doesn't make us hate each other and we can make this world better if we say our opinion with a respect to the opinion of the others
if you are agree to join us please send e-mail with your nick name , age , country and your blog address on sharm_lover@hotmail.com to send you activation mail which makes you read every thing about the WUB (World United Bloggers) and it's aims
thanks

Sharm

Pi Bani said...

Sharm,

Wow, I'm impressed!

Congratulations for coming up with the WUB blog and getting contributors from all over the world. Peace to the world!

Apandi Reviews said...

Letih Pi, baca cerita fuzi tu. Tu yang rasa nak bagi penampak je kat welfare officer tu... but then again, I suppose she is just doing her job, so kita kena bagi penampak kat bos dia kot or should it be the system ?

Pi Bani said...

Apandi,
I think it's a combination of all those that you mentioned. Even if the officer was just doing her job, gunalah budibicara sikit when dealing with people. Nama pun jabatan KEBAJIKAN kan? Janganlah tunggu big shot datang baru nak tunjuk prihatin.

mariannie said...

Salam PI Bani,
Ini kes biasa yang kita jumpa kat "pejabat" itu. Ketidakprihatinan pegawai-pegawainya memang menyakitkan hati. Teringat kembali kes allahyarham abah saya - dia pergi sendiri minta bantuan am memberitahu pegawai kami sekeluarga perlukan bantuan am sebab dia sudah tidak mampu bekerja(sambil menunjukkan parut pembedahan - allahyarham mengidap kanser perut) & beliau terpaksa memaklumkan yang beliau ada tanggungan anak OKU. Barulah pegawai tersebut prihatin. Kemudian dia bertanya pada kami - kenapa JKKK tidak memaklumkan padanya - JKKK??? sedang sibuk membantu "wakil"nya berpolitik.:)