So what activities had we (Buddies) done for the first half of the year other than the usual clinic duties, outreach, taking care of the affected children’s educational needs and visiting/calling our HIV clients?
In March I gave a talk to a group of students from ITP, Ipoh. During the same week, we also put up an exhibition booth at Kinta City, Ipoh in conjunction with the International Women’s Day 2010 organised by the Perak Women for Women.
We put up another exhibition booth in May during a conference organised by the Perak Palliative Care Society. During the same weekend, I and 4 other volunteers also took part in a Charity Relay Run held at Ipoh Padang, where each of us had to run 2km.
Also in May, although Buddies were not directly involved, I was invited by virtue of representing Buddies as an NGO, to be in the committee to work together with a few other NGOs under the Sekretariat Pembangunan Wanita & Sosial Negeri, organising awareness campaigns on women and social issues. Our first event was a seminar on domestic violence. More campaigns will be organised, although the next event under this committee has yet to be decided.
So, what’s coming up in July?
I have been invited to give a talk at a university college in Negri Sembilan during a seminar on HIV/AIDS. I have given talks on HIV before, but this time it will be different. The talks that I had been giving so far were more on HIV in general – how it spreads etc. I’d usually just use the slides/powerpoint presentation already prepared by the Malaysian Aids Council (MAC). This time, the organisers have invited reps from the Institute of Medical Research to cover the medical aspects and reps from MAC will be showing their slides on HIV in general. I on the other hand, have been invited to share my experiences in dealing with the HIV infected/affected people. No prepared slides, so I’m in the process of preparing one. I want the audience to look at something else other than just my boring old face during the talk… :-)
The next day, I promised to have a Masters student from American University in Washington DC follow me for a day while I go round doing my voluntary work. She’s in KL for 2 months this summer, and as an independent study for her Uni on the impact of HIV/AIDS on Muslim women, she wants to do as much research as possible while she’s here in Malaysia.
The first Sunday of August, as usual, will be our Family Day (we will have to choose another date in future if the first Sunday of August coincides with fasting month). We have not made the final decision as to the venue of this year’s Family Day although we have shortlisted 3 places. We will have to decide by this month’s Board meeting as by July we will need to make all the necessary arrangements. Chances are in July the Family Day sub-committee will be meeting every week to make sure everything is in order.
We are also planning to start our support service during HIV clinic at Taiping Hospital beginning July. I’ve already got a few volunteers willing to take turns to go there, so we might as well start something soon.
So yeah, July will probably be quite a busy month for me. Never mind, one step at a time. I don’t want to stress myself out, do I? But not to worry, if I do get stressed, I’ve got the Stress Reduction Kit ready…