With Monday’s visit to Lin’s house and Tuesday’s visit to Sofie’s house to deliver their sponsored monthly groceries, I have completed my Ramadhan visits for this year, alhamdulillah!
While I would have loved to include a few more clients into my schedule, I think I did well enough to cover the homes of 9 clients, meeting 2 other clients outside, and for a few others who stay a bit further, although I didn’t get to visit them, I did manage to disburse some of the money given to me by friends who sought my favour to distribute the money to deserving families. So yes, the few who deserved help but I wasn’t able to visit, I just transferred the money into their bank account to fulfill the requests of the donors.
So whom did I get to visit?
It’s still too early for me to observe much about these families, although I do have some basic idea on who should get what kind of help. For Jeff & Riz for example, we cannot help them with our Children Education Fund (CEF), and neither can we help them to apply for MAF’s Pediatric Aids Funds (PAF), as the couple don’t have any children. Helping them with cash or to help them apply for welfare aid may also be a problem, as Jeff is still on methadone. He may use the money for something else. So I just told them that if I do get contributions of groceries for example, I may consider distributing some to them, as I did during my last visit.
For Ina, the Orang Asli, I will definitely help her to apply for the PAF, but since none of her children are schooling, although 3 of them should (aged 14, 13 and 12). I did however, appeal to her to make sure her 6 year old goes to school next year. When that happens, then I may consider her for our CEF.
As for Rajan, well he does deserve help, and from what I gathered, so far he’s doing okay with all the help he’s getting including from Socso and welfare. In addition, he had already submitted applications to his children’s respective schools, asking for financial assistance. That doesn’t mean we will not help them. We will still help them to apply for PAF, and if need be, even our CEF.
The others I visited were old clients:
Fuzi: the Indonesian lady with 5 kids. She used to bother me with all sorts of problems, but although she is still not working (she has to renew her visa every year to ensure that she can stay here legally with her Malaysian children; maybe it will be easier when she can get her PR status), at least now she no longer complains. I gave her a piece of my mind when she started expecting me to help her with every single problem, giving the excuse that being a non-citizen, nobody would listen to her. Well, maybe so, but the least she could have done was to TRY! But anyway, Fuzi’s children are under our education sponsorship programme, and the 2 older girls seem to be doing quite well in school.
Mrs K: the one who’s always trying to borrow money, saying she’d repay by a certain month, but by the way things looked, chances are when the time comes to pay up, she’d be borrowing from someone else. Despite the fact that I never lend my money to her, she kept on trying. I just have to be firm for cases like these. When I visited, I just brought along some groceries, no cash. Besides, both Mr & Mrs K are working. They may not earn much, but if they manage their finances well, they should be okay. But with Mrs K suspecting that her husband is back into drugs, it’s a bit tough. As a matter of fact, the motorcycle they bought when Mr K managed to withdraw his EPF 2 years ago, had been sold by Mr K when Mrs K was in KL looking after her youngest daughter when the little girl had to undergo a heart surgery. Sigh…
Zainab: the sole breadwinner in her family although she’s not a single mother. Her husband, Zaki, is capable of working, and did manage to get jobs, but each time, he’d come up with all sorts to excuses to quit. Letihlah… jauhlah… work colleagues tak best lah… oh dear, so the whole family has to depend on Zainab’s meager income to survive. Zaki too had tried to borrow money from me before, saying he needed to pay for utilities etc. I think he did so without Zainab’s knowledge. I didn’t tell Zainab about it though.
Aini: she was somebody else’s client. But that volunteer had just left, and since Aini’s children are all under sponsorship, for the moment I’m keeping in touch with her. Aini’s eldest daughter is doing quite well in school, but the boys don’t seem to be doing as well, although they are rather active in sports.
Lin: Mr Darling’s ex wife. Although her ex did try to coax her into remarrying him, Lin was firm in her decision. Enough is enough. Her 3 older daughters had been very supportive of her (not financially though, they are all still studying in higher learning institutions). With 6 children to support, and an alimony of a measly RM300 from her ex, it is not easy for Lin, especially since she doesn’t have a job and there’s a house rental of RM200 to be paid. Her 2 youngest children are under our sponsorship programme, although academically they are not doing as well as the 3 older girls… probably affected by the circumstances involving their parents. Well, although Lin needs help now, I foresee a better future for the family. In 3 or 4 years time, her daughters will be working, insyaAllah. With one now doing nursing, the second one taking up medic, and the third doing business studies, I believe the girls will support their mother.
Sofie: who has improved by leaps and bounds from the time I was first introduced to her last year. Last year, she was too weak to even sit down when I went to visit her. Now, although she is getting financial help here and there, Sofie tries her very best to be as independent as possible. She’s still not fit to work outside, so she now sells kuih. At least she gets some self-earned income rather than simply waiting for financial aid to come in. That’s what I like about Sofie – despite getting financial aid, she doesn’t feel comfortable depending too much on it. Very unlike some people, who’d come out with every excuse they can think of, not to work…
Other than the above visits, I did get to meet Maria and Wani. I met Maria by chance at the hospital when I was on clinic duty. Her appointment with the doctor so happened to be on the same day. Maria is not one of those who need financial help. Her husband works, and her children are doing okay. Initially when I first met her, all she needed was moral and emotional support. In fact at one time, she cried so much and had even wanted to run away from home right in the middle of the night. But she seem to be a whole lot better now. Although she still has problems from time to time, she no longer sends me text messages in the middle of the night.
Wani, whose boys are also under our sponsorship programme, takes the opportunity to earn some extra income by helping out a friend/neighbor baking cookies for Raya. She earns RM10 a day, and in addition, gets a commission of RM2 per container for every order she gets. I helped her out by getting orders for 12 containers. Although she doesn’t earn much, she still felt guilty about taking the whole commission for herself when I was the one who got the orders for her. So she offered to share the commission 50:50 with me. I told her the only reason I took the orders was I wanted to help her. Otherwise, ‘sales’ is not my line! So I told her to keep the whole amount as she needs it more than I do.
For the other clients like Aza, who stays further up north, I just banked in the contribution by donors into her bank account. Likewise for another orang asli lady, Wan, and also Hana, whose area I was not able to cover during Ramadhan, so again, the best thing for me to do was to bank in the money into their account. Being the coordinator for the sponsorship account, I have the bank account numbers of all clients whose children are under the programme.
At least now I have got the contributions from donors distributed to as many clients as possible. On behalf of all the families, I would like to thank all donors for their contribution, whether in cash or in kind. God bless you all!