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, 18 March 2010

How to help?

Early Tuesday morning, after my subuh prayer, when I was busy reading my emails and text messages regarding Kak Ruby's demise, out of the blue came a text message from Mrs K. Again, she was trying to borrow money - for one last time, she said. Even if it came at the right time, I wouldn't entertain her request; what more it came when I was still in shock over the news of Kak Ruby's demise. So no, I didn't bother to reply, and as of today, she too has been quiet.

Later in the afternoon, just when I was about to reach the junction to arwah Kak Ruby's house, a call came in from SN - causing me to make the wrong turn to the right when by right I should turn in left. Didn't wander off too far though, just stopped by the roadside, and only after I finished my conversation with SN did I make a turn back heading the right way.

SN would usually only call me when there is a problem to discuss regarding any of the PLHIVs. I don't get her calls often. So why did she call me this time?

Remember Zali, the guy whose wife left him and their 2 kids? Well, at least that was what Zali made us believe. I could understand why his wife left him, but I could never understand why she left the 2 girls as well, especially with Zali not having any source of income and still on methadone treatment to add. I've tried asking Zali for the wife's phone number so I could personally speak to her and so that I could understand the situation better, but Zali always came up with all sorts of excuses not to give me the number.

My main concern is the children's well being. And that too, is the concern of SN and Dr Ker at the HIV clinic. Which was why SN called me on Tuesday. Dr Ker had asked her to find out if Zali is getting any help for the children. If Zali himself is not working, how and what does he feed his children? I remember one time he called me, begging for help as he and his children had not eaten for the day and when I met up with him in town to pass some foodstuff to him, he cried and told his 3 year old daughter, "Hari ni kita dapat makan, adik!"

At one time, I did wonder what kind of a mother Zali's wife was... but now, come to think of it, I am not too sure if Zali had told me the whole truth. He did tell me before that he is unwilling to part with his children. And from my sources, I was told that once in a while when he goes to the methadone clinic, his wife was seen as well. Maybe that was the only time the wife could see the children (unlike Zali's earlier story to me that his wife never came back for the children).

And why on earth wouldn't Zali give me the wife's phone number? My guess is he doesn't want me to find out his wife's version of the story.

I do want to help the children, but any financial help would have to go through their guardian; in this case, Zali. But frankly I'm not sure if I can trust Zali with cash. What if he uses the money for drugs and stop going for his methadone? Which was why the last help I gave, I gave them foodstuff.

Nevertheless we did try to arrange to get financial help for the children. I had even got him to sign up the form to apply for Pediatric Aids Fund (under the Malaysian Aids Foundation), but Zali did not give me the copies of supporting documents needed, like his children's birth cert, his IC and his bank account details. OK, so maybe he doesn't have a bank account. But his wife is working with a government agency, sure she has a bank account. I really need to at least speak to his wife but Zali had not been cooperative. I don't even know the wife's name, and neither does SN.

Zali too still has a mother, who stays in another town. Zali doesn't want to stay with his mother as it would be difficult for him to come every day to Ipoh for his methadone. He doesn't want to leave his children with his mother either, because according to him, his children are too attached to him already.

Hmmm... makes me wonder... is he actually using his children to get sympathy and financial help? Aargh!

I am really concerned about the children's well being, but it is difficult to help when you don't get full cooperation.

So how to help?


mamasita said...

Something smells somehow can sense theres more to it than meets the eye..better clear that doubt of yours for his children's sake kan..

Pi Bani said...

I really really need to speak to the wife la. But for the moment belum jumpa jalan lagi.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
Talk to the kids! Who knows, they may have info. purrr....meow!

Pi Bani said...

I wish I could... but Zali seems to control their every move.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Pi Bani, reading your many postings of your kind work helping people in need, and this posting of people calling you...
I can tell you, what I have gone thru my life is nothing compared to yours.

Your kind of life is very personal, I believe very often emotional, heartwarming as well maybe distressful too.
And I thought my life was tough.
As well, I chased 'Angels'....but you are an Angel helping people.

Pi Bani, it is not easy to walk in your shoes.
You are one of a kind.
Have a great week, stay young, stay beautiful and simpan satu lagu dalam hati....make sure if make wrong turnings signal first, ha ha. Lee.

Pi Bani said...

You'd better stop chasing angels, okay? Just take good care of your angel at home! ;)

And oh, I did use the signal when I took the wrong turn, don't worry... hehehe...

Naz said...

Salam Kak Pi,
You are smart, you'll find a way soon enough to get to the bottom of this.
My gutt feeling says that I don't think Zali is using the kids (but then again, I give EVERYBODY the benefit of a doubt!). Maybe he's just too attached to them and is afraid of losing them.
Who knows...

Pi Bani said...

Even if he is not using the kids, I'm sure he is fully aware that he is not capable to take care of the kids by himself. Kalau ya tak nak bagi the kids to his wife, at least let them stay with their grnadma. Imagine budak-budak membesar asyik ikut bapak gi methadone clinic every day...

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi Pi,

U r so right in your assessment.

If the father truly love & concern for the children, he should place them in the care of someone who is more stable so that the kids got a better environment to grow up. He should face up to the fact that he's incapable in his current state.

You take it easy & have a good weekend.


Pi Bani said...

That's the main concern lah - even the doctor at the HIV clinic is very concerned about the children's well being. I'm hoping that those at the HIV clinic will be able to "force" him to give us his wife's contact particulars. After all his wife has not beein tested for HIV. Myself in the NGO has no right to menyibuk to that extent.

Daphne Ling said...

HI Kak Pi,

I'm not even gonna comment about borrowing money, SN calling etc.

Just thought I'd give you a hug from here about Kak Ruby...

Glad one of us got to pay their last respects...


Pi Bani said...

Apparently even a few silent blog readers went to pay their last respects when they got her address from my blog. She may be gone from our lives, but memories of her will linger on I'm sure.

*Hugs* back to you.