I had promised Sofie I’d be visiting her on Friday to fetch her; and thereafter she’d show me the way to Fiza’s house. I needed to get more info on Fiza so I could pass the info to members of an alumni who had approached me to give them some leads as to where they could extend their charity funds.
Since Fiza is not one of our HIV clients (I just so happened to meet her when she was at Sofie’s house. Sofie’s her SIL), and I already have too many HIV cases to handle, I thought it would be best if another organization or individual took over her case. So when members of the particular alumni approached me, I thought it would be best if I recommended Fiza to them.
Anyway, when I got to Sofie’s house, another of Sofie’s sister (not the mulut becok one staying in the same housing area) was also there. I have met this sister a few times before. Although she stays in another state up north, she makes it a point to visit Sofie and her children whenever she could. Unlike the other sister staying nearby, this sister is very concerned about Sofie’s health and well-being.
Sofie herself wasn’t feeling too well. For the past 2 or 3 days, she had been going to a nearby town on her motorbike (she calls the bike “motosikal raja” – no road tax/insurance) looking for a house to rent so the family could move to a new place as soon as possible. So by the time I went to see her on Friday, she could hardly walk without being aided. It wasn’t advisable for me to bring Sofie with me to go to Fiza’s house.
But Sofie’s sister agreed to show me the way, and so along with Azman, Sofie’s son who was back from his school hostel, off we went to Fiza’s house. Good thing I didn’t attempt to look for the house by myself. You see, although the address shows the name of the main road, her house is actually somewhere at the back. We needed to go in through a narrow space between 2 houses to get to her house. Shouldn’t be a problem if you’re driving a Kancil or Viva, and although I think my Kenari would be able to go through too (albeit ngam-ngam), I decided to just park my car in front of the 2 houses. There weren’t any occupants in those houses anyway, in fact one of the houses were obviously not fit for anyone to live in.
Good thing Azman came along. He helped to carry the groceries which I had brought along with me.
Fiza was actually waiting for me. Sofie had earlier informed her that I would be coming on Friday. In fact on Friday morning, Fiza called Sofie to confirm if indeed I would be coming. She had seen the kind of help Sofie had been getting, and so she was hoping she could get some help for her family as well.
Only Fiza and her 15 year old daughter was home. The 2 younger children were at school. I asked Fiza for her MyKad and her children’s birth certs so I could write down the details in my log book. It was then that I realised her eldest daughter doesn’t share the same father with the 2 younger children. Then I remembered Sofie mentioning to me that Fiza had married twice, both times the husband died.
After taking down their details, I noticed that Fiza is only 31 years old. Which means she gave birth to her eldest daughter when she was only 16, the second child at 18 and the third at 20. I looked further and noticed the eldest daughter’s name came with “binti Abdullah”. My mind began to wonder, but since only her MyKad was shown to me, there were no details on the girl’s father. I didn’t want to ask further. It didn’t matter who the girl’s father was, the family still needed help.
Fiza’s second child, at 13, still doesn’t have a MyKad. I told Fiza not to wait too long as there may be complications later on, but Fiza was concerned that there may be a penalty which she may not be able to afford.
Those who had been following my blog, may remember my posting here about Fiza’s 15 year old girl who was expelled from school last year due to her absence from school without notifying the school. Fiza had to appeal to the Education Department to get her daughter back in school. Well, the letter came, her appeal was approved and the girl allowed to continue schooling at the same school. She’s supposed to sit for her PMR this year. Fiza showed me the letter on Friday. It was dated January, not long after the last time I met them at Sofie’s house.
Good news? Well, not so. Despite getting the letter, the girl simply refused to go to school. Her excuse was that her mother was unwell; but frankly, after meeting her, I think she simply doesn’t want to study any more. And so she had been staying home, helping her mother out as a rubber tapper. When Fiza’s unwell (she has heart problems) and doesn’t go out to work, the girl wouldn’t go either. It would be dangerous for the girl to go there early in the morning to such a lonely and secluded place – it’s not a proper rubber estate, just a piece of land with some rubber trees belonging to an individual, and whatever rubber Fiza sells, the proceeds would be shared 50-50 with the owner. And unlike some time ago when the price of rubber shot up, now the price is quite low.
I asked the girl what her interest was. I suggested to her that even if she doesn’t want to go to school, she could maybe consider going for a short kursus kemahiran or something so she’d at least have some skills she could use to generate income. I told her she’d need to think of her future.
But the girl didn’t say a word. She just looked down and kept quiet. I don’t really know what she wants in her life. Right now her future looks rather bleak. For all we know she’d also end up like her mother – get married at such an early age. She is after all, almost the same age as when her mother gave birth to her.
Well, I’ve already given the family’s info to members of the said alumni. Hopefully they can do something to help so that the 2 younger children will not end up like their eldest sister.
As for the house Sofie was looking for, she did find one near Fiza’s place, but the rental of RM200 per month was a bit to high for Sofie. So we’re still looking around. Sofie is now even willing to move all the way to the outskirts of Ipoh if we could find a house with a rental of below RM200. At least if she stays near Ipoh, it wouldn’t be too much of a problem going to the hospital for Saiful’s and her own appointments.
So yep, we’re still looking around for a suitable house.