Yesterday as I was on my way to the launch of the International Women's Day events at Kinta City Shopping Complex, MF (hai sayang... tee hee) called me up, asking, "Puan, esok macam mana puan?" Laaahai... dah janji nak datang, jadilah yeop! He then asked, "Pukul berapa puan?" He'eleh... your own letter stated that it's supposed to start at 9 am, follow that letter lah yeop... ish! ish! ish!
Anyway, another volunteer promised to tag along and since her office is at the same building as the college, we promised to meet up at the college lobby at 8.45 am. So this morning after making sure I had all the necessary materials in my bag, especially my external hard drive which stores all my files, off I headed to the college.
I got there quite early, and waaah, quite a few of the staff came to greet me. And oh by the way, MF is a staff, not a student as I thought! Well, quite a number of their staff are quite young, I must say. Or is it that I'm the one who's old? Hmmmm....
While waiting for my colleague to come, I was introduced to one of their senior management. The CEO conveyed his apologies for not being able to attend. Once my colleague arrived, we immediately headed to the library where the talk was to be held.
I then made sure my powerpoint presentation was ready before the function started off with one of the staff reciting the doa. The emcee then invited the senior staff to give a speech. He spoke to the students about voluntary work etc and it seemed at first to be quite a long speech, then he himself realised that it wasn't supposed to be his talk but mine... :-) so he stopped and the MC handed over the mike to me.
The talk went well, and I must say amongst the many talks I have given so far, the response this time was the best. Students and lecturers alike responded well and asked quite a lot of questions, to the extent that my throat was rather dry by the end of it. Oh yes, there was a bottle of mineral water and a glass at the rostrum, but I didn't feel comfortable about gulping the water down my throat with everybody else watching me... (I ni pemalu, jangan tak tau... hehehe...)
Questions asked range from matters pertaining to life-span of someone with HIV, what precautions to take when we have to handle someone with HIV, what sort of encouragement we should give to an HIV +ve person, etc.
So yes, I must say that the talk did in at least a small way open up their eyes and their minds to HIV/AIDS, especially with the real life examples I gave about my own clients.
Hopefully after this more colleges will organise such talks for their students. It is this age group that we need to target as more than 70% of HIV infected people in Malaysia consist of youths.
Coming up next: The discussion with the women's wing of a political party pertaining to problems faced by women. Yep, it is confirmed for 2 pm tomorrow.