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)

Friday, 3 June 2011

My PLHIV families…

I was updating my Education Sponsorship for Children accounts when I realised that there were quite a number of my clients whom I had not visited for quite some time. Most of my clients I’d visit during the initial stages after being assigned to them, to assess their needs and to help out wherever necessary. Then once they are stable, I only check on them from time to time, either by visiting them, or just by calling them. Sometimes, for those outstation, I’d take the opportunity to meet them at the hospital when they come for their appointment, even if it’s not on the date of my appointment.

Last year, there were 2 families whom I’d visit regularly – Sofie and Lin. A club agreed to sponsor groceries for both families and my job was to get the supply of groceries from the minimarket and deliver them to these two families. When the club approached me and asked me to recommend 2 families I purposely recommended these 2.

Sofie was (and still is) too weak to work. Every time she felt a bit better she’d try to work but she’d end up getting sick. So her sister and I told her to just take jobs which she could do at home. Even at home if she walks around too much, she’d end up unable to get up for a few days. So now she takes orders to make kuih-muih and the customers will go to her house to get their orders.

Although the club is no longer sponsoring the groceries this year, I still do get supplies of groceries for Sofie’s family using the money donated by my friends. And I still do visit them on monthly basis due to Sofie’s condition. I need to make sure the children are not deprived of their basic needs.

As for Lin, it was such a problematic year for her last year and the monthly supply of groceries did help her a lot. But I did tell her the grocery supplies would only be for one year and told her to get prepared. And she did get herself prepared. Her condition wasn’t as bad as Sofie’s, in fact one look at her, she looks healthy. She took up a short course on sewing and by the final quarter of last year, she was already taking orders. Woot! And by Feb this year, her 3rd daughter completed her diploma and got a job immediately. The eldest daughter then completed her nursing course last month and now looking for a job. Her second daughter is taking medic, so she needs a longer time to get her degree. I can already see a brighter future for this family, insyaAllah.

Fuzi is another one whose family always had problems. With her Indonesian citizenship, and her marriage in southern Thailand which was never registered by her late husband, she had problems getting identity cards for her children. Alhamdulillah all those problems are settled – her 3 older children have already got their MyKad ready. Financially, her schooling children are under our Sponsorship programme while an anonymous blog reader of mine banks in a fixed amount into Fuzi’s bank account every month to support Fuzi’s family.

Yah too used to be giving me headaches. Solving her financial problems back then wasn’t so much of a problem, but when at one time after she went angau over Mr Darling (yes, Lin’s ex-hubby), the once-upon-a-time tough single mom, became so ridiculously childish – even more childish than her own children!! When Mr Darling ditched her, she even resorted to sleeping with one man after another, just to seek revenge – hoping they’d get infected with HIV. Duh! Betul bagi pening kepala la ini perempuan! She knew I was mad at her and after a while she called saying she “dah baik”. Hehehe. Now she works in a factory and alhamdulillah her children are all back with her instead of at an orphanage.

Another family with their never-ending financial problems, Mr & Mrs K, also gave me a surprise recently. When Mrs K called wanting to meet up with me at the hospital, initially I thought she wanted to come up with another sad story on why she desperately needed money. To my surprise, she just wanted to give me a tudung. She now sews and sells tudungs for extra income and so she wanted to give one to me as her appreciation for my help.

Then there’s Maria. She never needed financial help. But used to call me just because she really needed to talk to someone, and she simply couldn’t talk to her husband who refused to talk about her HIV. As a matter of fact, the first time she called me (before that we met at the HIV clinic when I happened to be on duty), she was crying and crying I couldn’t really understand what she was trying to say. And once she sent me a message at 2 am asking if I could find her a place to stay. She just had a fight with her husband and the husband told her to get out of the house. I was fast asleep when the message came in, and so I only read the message when I woke up for subuh. By the time I called her, her husband had already apologised and said he didn’t mean to chase her out of the house. Anyway, ever since she started working at a nursery, at least it kept her a bit busy and so she no longer calls to talk about her problems. Last year for the first time she joined our Family Day with her daughter.

My other clients? Nuri seemed to be doing okay after the initial help that we gave her. Not wanting to be too dependent on others, as far as she could, Nuri would avoid seeking help from others. As for Sha, her husband had been very supportive (this is her second husband, she got HIV from her first husband), and so unlike Maria, Sha didn’t really need to talk things out with me. She’d only call me if there were matters she needed clarification especially regarding HIV.

Hana too had not been giving me much problem of late. Likewise Murni, Rozi, Wani, Shila, Ifa and Liza.

Overall, while some of them did give me headaches 2 or 3 years ago, this year so far, there had not been too much drama in the lives of my clients, and so I didn’t really have much problem handling my clients’ cases this year. I think my regular blog followers would be able to see that too… compared to my postings in 2007, 2008 and 2009, this year’s postings had not been too dramatic… :)

I do hope I’m not speaking too soon though…

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