My colleague who was on clinic duty last week called me to inform me that there was a lady needing our Children Education Fund (CEF) assistance. He promised her that one of us Buddies would be calling her within a week for that matter. However, as at yesterday when I went to the Buddies Centre, I couldn’t find the contact report for the lady. Neither had I received any text message from our HIV Clinic coordinator giving me the name and contact number of the lady. So I had to call up my colleague again and a few minutes later the clinic coordinator called me up and promised me to SMS me the name and number of the lady.
So finally this morning, exactly a week after my colleague informed her that somebody from Buddies would be calling within a week, I called the house number. A boy answered the phone, and when I asked for Selvi, I just heard the boy shouting to somebody. I waited for a while, until the boy came back to me and spoke to me in Tamil!
“Boleh cakap Melayu ka?” I asked.
He then passed me to another lady. I asked if she was Selvi, but nope, it was her “amma”. For some reason which I couldn’t understand, Selvi couldn’t come to the phone. I then asked for Mr Subra, Selvi’s father. According to Selvi’s amma, Mr Subra just went out. So I left my number asking her to get Mr Subra to call me back.
Within just 15 minutes, I got a call from Mr Subra. I explained that I called regarding financial assistance for his grandchildren’s education. After getting directions to get to his house, I told him I’d try to drop by after 3 pm to get all the necessary particulars and receipts. My colleague did tell me earlier that it wouldn’t be necessary to go to their home as Selvi’s father can bring her to our centre. But to me, I’d rather visit them so I could assess their real situation at home.
And so I did visit them at their rented terrace house. I got all the necessary receipts. Initially I thought if the total amount needed was between two to three hundred ringgit, I’d just use the cash in my purse first to reimburse them and then claim later. After all they were not claiming for purchases of uniforms, but more for workbooks and whatever fees. Fuhh! Seems that Tamil schools charge much higher fees. Each of them needed to pay at least RM200 to their respective schools for fees and workbooks. After calculating everything, the total came up close to RM700. So no, I couldn’t give them cash there and then. Instead I took down Selvi’s bank account number and told her that once payment is approved, I’d bank in the money into her account.
A particular charity club has agreed to sponsor groceries for 2 of my HIV families on a monthly basis. Beginning the end of this month, all I have to do is to get the supply of groceries from a minimarket near my office and deliver them monthly to Sofie and Lin. The total amount is definitely more than what I usually deliver during my previous visits. The bills will be paid direct by the charity club to the minimarket.
Now I can use the money donated by various donors to buy more necessities for other needy families.
I stopped by an ATM this morning on my way to work to withdraw some money. The bank was not open yet and there was also nobody else at the cubicle although I could see the bank’s guard inside the bank. Just as I was done withdrawing some cash, a Mat Bangla walked in, saw me, and asked, “Makcik, sini boleh masuk wang ka?” I said yes and showed him the cash deposit machine. “Makcik boleh tolong ka, saya tatau macam mana mau buat.” (ish, mamat sorang ni… I know la I no longer qualify to be called adik manis, tapi kalau ya pun nak mintak tolong, panggil la akak ke… bagi chan la sikit kat orang tua ni)
The guy then proceeded to give me RM400 in cash, so if anybody was to run away with somebody else’s money, it would have been me who ran away with his money! Anyway, nothing untoward happened. Saja nak cerita that a Mat Bangla called me makcik this morning… hehehe…