While attending the launch of the Karnival Usahawan Wanita & S.H.E. Expo at Stadium Indera Mulia in Ipoh last Friday, I finally decided to confirm with a friend from another NGO, Perak Women for Women, to attend a talk they were organising the next day. It was rather short notice, I only got to know about the talk via SMS in the morning, and I had initially planned to use the weekend to have a good rest at home, but I figured the topic of the talk could be useful to me in carrying out my own voluntary work. The topic was “Parenting Teens on Sex : When to Start & What to Say”.
I may not be a parent myself, but I do deal with so many teenagers who are children of my clients. In addition, I have been assigned to handle a few unwed pregnancy cases as well. So yes, the topic was somewhat relevant.
And so on Saturday I did attend the talk. The turnout wasn’t too impressive initially, but slowly participants started trickling in. The speaker was Puan Jamilah Samian, (author of the book “Cool Moms, Super Dads”) and she was backed up by her husband, Encik Ahmad Fakhri. And yes, I probably could use some of the tips in my own approach to the teenagers I have to deal with even though they aren’t my own kids.
Monday morning… off I went to the hospital. No, I wasn’t on clinic duty; our clinic duties at Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun are on Wednesdays. I had been invited to give a talk introducing Buddies to some staff of Health Clinics in Kinta district on Tuesday 18/10, and the letter for me was sent to the HIV clinic at HRPB. So I went to get the letter to find out the full details of the “Kursus Pengurusan HIV” organised by the State Health Department. At the same time, I was hoping to meet up with Hasnah, a client from outstation who was supposed to come for her appointment on Monday. I wanted to help her apply for some financial assistance and there were some forms that needed to be signed.
But by the time I got to the HIV clinic, it was already 10.30 am, yet according to the nurse, Hasnah was nowhere to be seen. I tried calling, there was no answer. I sent a text message, there was no reply. At that moment, I thought she may have defaulted her appointment again, as she did once before.
Not wanting to waste time waiting for nothing, I decided to go home. At least I could get some work done on my computer. It was already 11.45 am when Hasnah finally called back to inform me that she had just reached the hospital. Apparently she couldn’t call me back earlier as her phone ran out of credit.
Off I headed to the hospital again, met up with Hasnah at the HIV clinic and got her to sign the necessary. She had not photostated the necessary documents yet though, thinking of getting them done at the hospital. But I needed a copy of her husband’s IC as well and he wasn’t around, so Hasnah promised to post the supporting documents to me later.
After lunch & zohor at home, off I went again… this time heading to Taman Meru, Jelapang. There is supposed to be an awareness programme there next week and Buddies will be setting up a booth, and the organisers, the State Health Department, called for a final meeting at the event venue. The event is actually a seminar on Kesedaran Pencegahan Penderaan Kanak-kanak & Keganasan Rumahtangga. Our booths will be in the hall where the seminar will be held, so yep, while manning the booth, I’d get to listen to the seminar as well.
The meeting ended at almost 4.30 pm. The next day I was to be one of the speakers for the other event organised by the State Health Department (different unit though), but since my slot was supposed to be from 12.45 – 1.15 pm, I only went after 11 am. Well, the talks before mine ran late due to a longer than anticipated opening ceremony, and so by the time I got to talk, it was already 1 pm. That too because they decided to postpone the slot for the speaker before me to after lunch. I was the only non-MOH staff amongst the lot and they decided to let me speak first so as not to waste my time.
Anyway, all I had to do was introduce Buddies to them. Knowing the participants were probably already hungry and noting the fact that during one of the forums during the National Aids Conference in Penang recently, each speaker at that forum were only given 10 minutes each to talk about their organisations, I only took about 15 minutes to complete my talk. So lunch was still on schedule.
Got home by about 2.15, and after a short rest, I had to prepare my notes for our board meeting later at 7.45 pm. Our board meetings are usually held on the last Tuesday of each month, but since this time the last Tuesday falls on Deepavali eve, we decided to have the meeting a week earlier.
Amongst others, the Board approved the purchase of exhibition display boards so at least we’d have a proper display for our posters during exhibitions especially when the organisers do not provide display boards. I had earlier enquired from a supplier in KL and was told that they’d charge an additional RM80 for delivery to Ipoh. Still cheaper than the one I checked out in Ipoh, so might as well order from this KL supplier. But after I confirmed the order, the invoice came… and it was mentioned in the invoice that delivery is FOC for community service. Yayyy!!
Another good news is we have also been chosen as a recipient of a project called the Little Christmas Hat Project where a certain amount of the proceeds from the sales of the hats will be channelled to our Education Fund. And we don’t even have to help out with the sales of those hats.
I think this year so far had been quite a good year for Buddies…