I had promised Sofie’s kids that I’d pick them up at home about 7 am to bring them along with me to the Men Against Violence campaign in Dewan Serbaguna Chendrong. This time I wasn’t in the organising committee of the district level campaign (I was involved in the state level launch last year), so I figured having the 3 kids helping me out was enough. After all, it was just a half day event.
We managed to reach the place at about 7.50 am. Drove up to unload the stuff from the car, then I left the kids there while I went to park my car elsewhere.
Earlier on (that was some time back), I was told that 2 NGOs/departments would be sharing one 20 x 20 feet tent. But this morning when we got there, we found out that 4 NGOs/departments had to share a tent. And we, Buddies, got a booth at a very unfavourable spot… somewhere at the back where most people wouldn’t walk by. Tough! I told the kids they’d have to go to people to distribute the leaflets/booklets instead of waiting for people to come to the booth.
After setting up the booth, I went over to the registration tent. There the organising chair of the campaign saw me and immediately roped me in to help out the committee. Although I told her I only have children to take care of the booth, she said it’d only be for a while then I could go back to the booth. She wanted the committee members who had been involved in the state level launch to participate as well.
So yep, I had to leave the kids to fend for themselves at the booth. In a way, it was good. To them, they were given more responsibility. I passed my camera to the eldest boy, so he was my photographer for the day. The other two did a good job going round distributing leaflets/booklets to the public, especially the school children who attended the MAV campaign launch. I did run back to the booth from time to time to check on them and while I was there, Saiful and Ika kept coming back to get more of the leaflets and booklets. “Kat depan sana tu ramai yang minta,” said Ika. And they did seem happy that they could distribute lots of those leaflets/booklets.
Anyway, Saiful who got quite a number of mak, bapak, kakak and abang angkat at the hospital where he stayed with this mother when she was warded for 2 weeks, earlier this year, called one of his kakak angkat while at the booth. His kakak angkat stays somewhere near the place. Apparently, his kakak angkat too was at the event, so yep, he told her where our booth was so she could find him there.
As for the MAV the launch, actually Dato’ Mukhriz Mahathir was initially supposed to launch the campaign. But somehow he could not make it, so he got a replacement… someone who’s more suitable for the event… an advocate for women’s rights. Who else but his very own sister… :)
I shall not talk much about the MAV campaign since I was actually there representing Buddies. After the campaign launch was done, I ran back to the booth. DP Marina Mahathir was to go round visiting the booths, and the kids got excited when they heard that. They had never met anyone “famous” before. So I decided to let Ika put on the red ribbon when DP Marina came to our booth. And so she did…
By about 1 pm or so, we packed up all the things. I then decided to bring them for lunch at a fast food restaurant in Batu Gajah before sending them home. On the way home, Ika, who had brought along her cup of drink from the restaurant, threw the cup out the window. Waaa! The moment I saw that from the side mirror, I immediately told her that THAT was a big NO NO! I reminded her that I don’t ever want to see her doing that again…
Overall, I think it was a good outing for the kids. They got to jalan-jalan…. they got exposure… and they did a marvellous job.