Today for the first time I took Aini and her children out shopping for their schooling needs. Another Malay volunteer used to be Aini’s buddy, but that volunteer has moved overseas and so I took over Aini’s case. I didn’t have any problems getting along with Aini. While my other clients call me Kak, Aini is my age. And same wavelength.
Aini has 3 children – the eldest a16 year old girl while the other 2 are boys – 13 and 11. However today the 13 year old was not around. He went to his aunt’s place in KL for the holidays and will only be back in 2 weeks time. I couldn’t wait for him to come back before taking them shopping, so Aini agreed to just bring along his measurements to enable us to buy his uniforms and shoes.
Aini had warned me earlier that none of her children knew she had HIV. Knowing that, I made sure whenever the children were around, I wouldn’t mention anything about HIV or AIDS. Today, Aini herself, whenever she wanted to tell me something about her ARV or anything to do with HIV, she’d make sure she’d come close to me while the children were quite far behind, pushing the trolley. Aini has kidney problems in addition to her HIV, so the children just thought her regular trips to the hospital were all related to her kidney problems.
The children did ask her before, what sort of NGO we were. They never fail to join us for our annual Family Day, and they are also getting their schooling needs sponsored on a yearly basis.
“Persatuan apa mak masuk ni? Persatuan ni banyak duit kan mak?” asked her daughter. Aini just told her we’re Persatuan Ibu Tunggal. Yeah right… we’re neither ibu tunggal nor banyak duit… ;-)
Well anyway, I had no problems whatsoever with Aini’s children today. Not too choosy, and as a matter of fact, whenever they got hold of something which suited them, they’d ask me first if it was within the budget. Very obedient, very disciplined. I like!
When we reached back at their home, I got in for a while to get their school exam results. The girl, who joined Sekolah Teknik after her PMR last year, is doing much better in school now that she is doing something she likes. She has applied to stay at the school hostel for next year. If approved, then there’s an even higher fee to pay, but there’s no need to pay for monthly bus fares.
The second boy hasn’t got his results yet, while the youngest boy, who will be sitting for his UPSR next year, does better in sports than studies. After looking at his results slip, I teased him, saying that he seemed to understand Chinese better than Malay… he actually scored better for his Bahasa Cina (pemahaman) than his Bahasa Melayu (penulisan)…
I’m taking a break from shopping over the weekend. Will continue next week. I’ve already made arrangements to bring Zainab’s 2 kids on Monday, then Nuri’s 3 children on Tuesday and then Fuzi’s 4 children on Thursday.
I hope the rest can buy the schooling needs on their own first before we reimburse them with either the Sponsorship amount or, for those not under sponsorship, will be covered by our Children Education Fund.