When I received a text message from Mrs K on Wednesday informing me about the motor accident she & Mr K had 2 weeks earlier, I figured I should pay them a visit. With both Mr & Mrs K on MC, they should be at home even on a weekday. And since lately it has been raining almost every afternoon/evening, I decided to visit on Friday morning.
Right after I replied Mrs K’s SMS, a call came in from Imran. When he asked for my advise earlier about getting working capital to start employing extra workers in his small business, I advised him to seek MARA’s help. And so he went, and chances looked good. Only thing was, Imran said he needed a support letter from an NGO and thought we Buddies may be able to help. I on the other hand, thought my NGO wouldn’t be too relevant to support such applications. What if they asked what Buddies do? I wouldn’t want to expose Imran’s HIV status…
Anyway, since I was planning to visit the K’s, and Imran’s small workshop is just on the way, I told Imran I’d stop by on my way back from visiting the K’s.
So after loading my car with some groceries, off I went, first to visit the K’s. Their 2 younger girls greeted me at the gate, and one of them helped to unload the groceries. I asked the youngest girl (remember Baby K?) why she wasn’t at school (yep, she’s already in kindergarten – no more baby!). She quickly answered, “Motor takde nak hantar…”
Ah yes, usually either Mr or Mrs K would send the girls to school on their motorbike. But ever since the accident, the motor had been at a workshop, and repairs will only start once the go-ahead is obtained from the insurance company. So for the moment, they are, shall we say, “patah kaki” without their mode of transportation. Mrs K is already worried how she’s supposed to go to work next week, after her MC ends. Mr K’s MC has been extended due to a fractured bone.
With both Mr & Mrs K on MC, it only means less income for the family this month. Good thing their eldest son, Shah, works at a fast food restaurant nearby, so at least he does help out to get some income. I do pity the boy though… I was hoping after his SPM 2 years ago, he’d take up any short courses to enhance his skills (he showed keen interest in motor mechanics), but somehow the family always came up with various excuses why he couldn’t do so.
Anyway, despite all the problems, this time around, Mrs K, who had tried to borrow money from me many times before (despite myself never giving in), did not even hint of the subject. But after assessing their situation, I knew it would be tough for them at least for the short term. Mrs K seemed somewhat surprised when I handed over an envelope containing some money to her, and told her it was from Buddies (we now have our Clients Welfare Fund) as a one-off assistance. Mrs K was probably surprised because usually I never entertained any of her requests to borrow money, this time without even her asking for it, I gave her some. I hope she got the point that we’d give based on their situation, and not simply as and when they ask for it.
After leaving the K’s, I set my GPS to the address of Imran’s workshop. It was my first time going to his place. I had only met him twice before – once when his case was referred to me at the hospital, and the second time, together with his wife and kids when I brought them shopping for the children’s schooling needs.
The GPS brought me right to the front of Imran’s workshop. Both Imran & his wife were there. Since they couldn’t afford to hire any workers, they had to do everything themselves. And that’s the problem. Whenever Imran felt unwell, they’d have to close shop. Imran was hoping if he could get one or 2 workers, his workshop could still open even without him around.
After taking a look at the form to apply for the loan (which, btw, is a no-interest loan), I saw that what Imran needed was not a support letter, but the form needed to be signed by the chairman of either the Persatuan Penjaja or NGO. It didn’t specify if only certain NGOs are acceptable, but based on the requirements indicated in the form, it would be best if the application goes through a Persatuan Penjaja or a related NGO, not simply any NGOs.
I advised Imran to join the relevant association before getting them to sign the form in support of his application. No point getting a letter from Buddies for a subject matter that has nothing to do with Buddies activities.
Whatever it is, Imran said he’d be going to the hospital for his appointment on Wednesday next week, the day I’d be on clinic duty, so he’d meet me there after he has done all the necessary. Apparently they do have some additional schooling expenses for their children, so I told his wife to list everything down and get Imran to pass the list to me on Wednesday.