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)

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Sponsorship assessment: 2 done, 1 to go!

Having weddings to attend next week, I decided I need to finish off the sponsorship assessment visits this week. Done with one on Thursday, and saving the one furthest to be done on Sunday, today I went to visit Rajan’s family, who stays in Ipoh.

Rajan’s buddy had promised to pick me up at the NGO center and drive me to Rajan’s home, so by 2.45 pm I was already at the center. By the time my colleague came, it had already started to rain but it wasn’t too bad. After transferring some groceries meant for the family from my car to my colleague’s car, off we headed to Rajan’s place. The rain got heavier and heavier. So heavy that my colleague who was driving had to be extra careful while driving. We had already promised Rajan we’d come today, so might as well just go ahead with our plan.

It was still raining heavily when we got to the low cost flats, so we decided to leave the groceries in the car first. The family stays on the third floor, no lifts, and so we had to use the staircase. Rajan wasn’t home, but 3 bright and cheerful girls opened the door for us. 2 of the girls are Rajan’s children, while the other one is his niece.

The flat looks quite comfortable. Or maybe it looked rather big because they didn’t have much furniture. Some of my colleagues however did contribute some old stuff including clothes, pillows, and a cupboard.

6 of them stay at the flat – Rajan, his elderly parents, his 2 daughters and his niece. Rajan wasn’t home as he was at the hospital visiting his father who was hospitalised after a bad fall at home recently. So we just spoke to Rajan’s mother and the 3 chirpy girls – Rajan’s daughters aged 11 and 9, while his niece is 7 I think.

Rajan’s girls lost their mother 6 years ago, while their young cousin, although not an orphan, lives like one. Her mother left the family while her father, according to Rajan’s mother, is a bad hat. So the girl had been taken care by her grandparents.

Rajan himself is not in a position to work due to his condition. The 6 survive on monthly welfare aid of RM200 for Rajan’s 2 girls (bantuan kanak-kanak) and another RM155 for Rajan’s dad (bantuan warga tua). That’s their source of income to pay for their rental (of RM120), utilities and food. Rajan’s sister, who stays elsewhere, does help from time to time, but not much.

Luckily for the girls, their school has exempted them from fees, and in fact they got free workbooks as well from the school. Oh how I wish all schools have more teachers who take the effort to help the students… unlike some of the children from other families I know, whose teachers kept pressuring them to pay up all the various fees.

We had already approved our CEF for them earlier, so my colleagues had already brought them out shopping 2 weeks ago and got them new uniforms, shoes, school bags and stationeries.

Their grandfather usually send the girls to school on his motorbike but that will be difficult when school reopens. You see, in addition to the bad fall causing him to be hospitalised, today we were told that his motorbike had also gone missing in his absence. So how are the girls going to school when it reopens next week?

We told the girl to arrange for a school van – we can cover the fares using our CEF. The girls also need and want tuition, but tuition fee is not covered by our CEF (our CEF only covers for basic schooling needs). So hopefully we can get sponsors to cover the girls under the Education Sponsorship for Children programme. At least not only are their basic needs covered, they will also be covered for tuition and monthly pocket money.

Hopefully I can get sponsors for them soon.

OK, 2 assessments done, 1 to go. And I’m going tomorrow to settle the last assessment visit, insyaAllah.

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