I hate meetings. But we need to have meetings especially to get things organised and to ensure that plans are carried out.
Well, Buddies was invited to send a representative to a meeting called by Jabatan Kesihatan Negeri Perak to discuss the state level of the National Strategic Plans for HIV/AIDS – for Perak Departments & Agencies. It was important to know the latest updates on the issue, and since I was free this afternoon, I went.
It was quite a pleasant surprise to notice that quite a big number of government agencies were represented this time around. The last time I attended a similar meeting sometime mid-year, many agencies did not send any reps.
Good for me, the more agencies represented, the more networking I get. As a matter of fact, since the Welfare Department was also represented this time, and questions were raised as to whether they’d be setting up any shelter homes for HIV infected women and children in Perak, I took the opportunity to meet up with the lady personally after the meeting. I asked if there was a policy for existing shelter homes under the welfare department (like the ones for problematic teenagers) to reject HIV cases.
She told me there was no such policy and that the homes should still accept such cases as long as the criteria is met ie pregnant or problematic teenagers. So I told her about Sharifah’s case earlier this year. I told her that while initially the lady whom my colleague spoke to had no objections to accepting Sharifah, the moment my colleague told her Sharifah has HIV, the lady immediately said no. The officer I met told me by right Sharifah should have been accepted. Well then, she’d better disseminate the info to all their staff. Otherwise, we’d be getting different answers from different officers all the time.
And oh, an officer who sat beside me, a lady doctor representing one of the PKDs, when given my card, first kept quiet. But after a while, she asked about the pronunciation of my NGO. She was quiet at first thinking the society was a Buddhist association. I highlighted to her about the difference in the spelling between Buddies and Buddhist. Sigh… don’t people know of the word buddy, which would be buddies when it becomes plural? Thank goodness, the officer who presented the papers for today pronounced our name correctly. In fact he expressed his appreciation for our assistance in providing support to PLHIVs especially at the ID clinic.
Ah well, no meetings tomorrow, but I will instead be going shopping.
Oh, I used to hate shopping too – and I still hate shopping on weekends. But for the children of the poor families under my care, I will still go shopping but I will make myself hate it less by going on a weekday instead of a weekend.
Tomorrow it will be Sofie’s children. Then on Monday I will take Yati’s children.
Join me shopping, anyone?