Still remember the K’s? It’s been quite a while since I last blogged about them. I had purposely distanced myself from the family because in addition to the fact that I am not the main buddy, (the main buddy is a male volunteer because the HIV infected is Mr K, while Mrs K had been tested negative) I also wanted them to know that I didn’t like their habit of trying to borrow money every time they needed any. I have so many other clients who are worse off than this family, yet they never complained about not having enough money.
The children’s basic educational needs were however still covered by our Children Education Fund and I still do get updates from time to time about them from their main buddy. However, from time to time, Mrs K would still send me text messages (in SMS lingo which forces me to think extra hard to decipher the message), although not directly asking for money, but implying that she’s so desperate already. And to think that she thinks “kak Afizah tu garang”. Imagine if she had the impression that I was a nice, kind-hearted, soft-spoken person… hehehe…
Well, recently while I was at the HIV clinic, she sent me another text message, telling me that they had to move to another house. She also said she was no longer getting the monthly financial help she used to be getting from the PAF. I don’t know, this family doesn’t seem to know how to manage their finances. Previously when they first got the monthly financial help, Mr K was rather too weak to work. So she was working alone. Now both of them are working, and although they aren’t earning that much, I am sure Mr K’s salary alone is more than the monthly financial help they used to get. I simply don’t like it when my clients expect financial assistance to come their way all their life!
I just told her that the financial assistance from KL is not within our jurisdiction. We could just find out for them.
I am still however, very concerned, about the children’s well-being. When they say they don’t have anything to eat, they usually mean they don’t have anything to eat. And that’s usually because their parents have been spending their income on God knows what… very likely to pay off debts since they like to borrow money from every source they can find.
So when I finally got a message from Shah, their eldest son, instead of from Mrs K herself, saying that they ran out of food at home after moving to the new place, I knew he meant it. I had seen the same situation a few years back, when I went to visit, Shah and his sister were just about to have lunch at 3 pm – a cup of instant noodles, shared. And once when I brought along some groceries, their younger sister would say, “Hari ni adik nak makan nasii!” They hadn’t had any rice for a few days.
This morning I decided to go and visit them. I knew Mr and Mrs K would be at work, but Shah and his youngest sister would be home. Loaded my car with rice, sugar, flour, cooking oil, canned sardines, anchovies, eggs, biscuits, milk etc and off I went to look for the house, based on the description given by Shah in his SMS. True to the description given, the house was quite easy to find. I didn’t have to use my GPS.
The moment I honked, it was Shah’s little sister who came to the door first. Yep, remember Baby K? She’s 4 years old now. The moment I mentioned the word IJN (I was asking Shah if the girl still needed to go for follow-ups in IJN), she immediately showed me the scar on her chest, from the surgery done more than a year ago. Glad to note the girl seemed to be doing fine.
Anyway, I asked Shah if he had any plans for his future. I had been coaxing since after his SPM (his results weren’t too good) to take up one of the short courses offered by Giat Mara. I could see he had the interest for stuff like automotive or electrical, so I had advised him to acquire those skills further in Giat Mara. But he wasn’t keen back then. He said he wanted to work to help with the family’s financial needs. His parents weren’t too encouraging either, always giving the “dia tak nak” excuse.
Shah did go to a southern state for a while, supposedly to work, but after just 2 months, he came back and stayed home, and all he did since then was to take care of Baby K at home while his parents were out. What kind of a future do you think he has if he continues doing the same?
Thank goodness when I asked him today, Shah said he will start his short course in June, doing electrical wiring. He’d better not change his mind before June comes…