A fellow volunteer assigned to be the buddy to Wan, an Orang Asli lady, called me recently asking if there’d be any sort of financial assistance to Wan. The volunteer had just met up with Wan and found that her condition was so bad, she was begging for help. Without a job, staying in a real ulu kampong not accessible by car, and a 10 year old son depending on her, Wan was quite desperate.
Her son is already covered by our CEF for his educational needs. But CEF is paid based on claims – not on monthly basis. For our Sponsorship programme (which also includes monthly pocket money), our procedure is that at least 2 other buddies must visit the PLHIVs at their homes to assess their situation.
But if we follow that procedure strictly, I can’t be too sure when Wan’s son, Asri, can be considered for sponsorship. With a house in an ulu Orang Asli kampong that is not accessible by car, I figured in situations like these, “budibicara” needs to be used. After discussing the matter unofficially with my vice-chair, we decided to just proceed with the matter and rectify later at the next Board meeting.
So this time I used my FB account to highlight the matter and within a few days, I got a sponsor for Asri. Alhamdulillah.
Meanwhile, I got the volunteer to get all the necessary info on the boy. And today she called me up, not just with some info on the boy, but also with some good news. The good news is, Wan finally managed to get herself a job, at a kedai jahit, with a pay of RM16 a day. At least now she has some income to buy food for herself and her son. Only thing is, the shop where she works is in town. Although the kampong where she stays is in the same town, commuting from her ulu kampong to town is not easy unless she has a motorbike.
So Wan is renting a small house in town together with a few other Orang Asli ladies. Her son is left under the care of a relative and Wan would “balik kampong” during the weekends.
On another note, remember Fiza, Sofie’s sis-in-law who needed help? Since Fiza is not HIV infected/affected, I couldn’t apply any of the Buddies funds to help her out. Well, members of a certain alumni with their own charity fund had approached me recently to ask if I could give them some leads as to where they could expand their charity drive. I suggested Fiza’s family and they agreed. I have been asked to get more details on her. Only problem is, the last time I met Fiza, she couldn’t even tell me the exact address of her rented house (she couldn’t even remember her own MyKad number!). She did give me a phone number, but the last I heard, she was desperate for money, she sold her phone for RM20. So I couldn’t call her.
Coincidentally today Sofie called me up. She’s thinking of moving house earlier than she had initially planned. Her new neighbor (who’s also her landlord’s younger brother) has been making Sofie’s family feeling somewhat unwanted. He has been building all sorts of barriers between his house and the house Sofie is staying in. Maybe he heard about her HIV and so those barriers are to avoid the virus from spreading to his house???!!
Anyway, Sofie plans to move to the same town as Fiza. She wants to start her small business of selling kuih as soon as possible and she wants to start afresh at a new town. The town where Fiza is staying is perfect as it is not too far from the town where she is currently staying. In the event that she is not able to arrange for the transfer of her children’s schools that soon, they can at least still commute to their present school by bus.
When Sofie said she wants to look around for a house at that town within these next few days, I thought it would be a good opportunity to visit Fiza’s family. So I volunteered to fetch Sofie at her house and bring her around to find a suitable house, but after that Sofie will have to show me the way to Fiza’s house. Sofie agreed.
The earlier I can get details to be passed to the alumni wanting to help to Fiza’s family, the better. InsyaAllah we (Sofie & myself) will be visiting them this Friday afternoon. And I can bet Sofie’s children, Saiful and Ika will be tagging along as well…