I was offered a few free places for the children of poor families under my care to attend a youth camp organised by a club in Ipoh. The other youths are charged RM200 per pax, which the children of my clients wouldn’t be able to afford.
4 of the children attended the camp last year. So this year I was to look for other children, minimum 15 years of age. I didn’t ask the children who are staying far from Ipoh, as they’d have problems coming to Ipoh early in the morning, and I won’t be able to help them either as I’d be busy on the days when the youth camp will be held. I could only get hold of 2 of the children under our sponsorship programme. However, one said he couldn’t join as he’d be participating in a football tournament that weekend. In the end I only managed to get Lin’s youngest child who is in form 3. I offered the place to the older brother as well (he’s in form 5) but he has never been interested in such activities.
When I went to visit Lin at home on Monday to get her & her daughter to sign the form for the camp, the brother wasn’t even home. Although it is exam week at school, right after school, after lunch at home, off he went fishing at a nearby pond. That’s his favourite past-time. When Lin asked him if he wasn’t going to study, he just showed his mom the book he brought along. He was going to study while fishing!
His younger sister however, was the opposite. She loves joining activities like this camp, and was ecstatic when I told her we may have flying-fox activities during this year’s Family Day. Yeah, my kind of gal there… ;-)
Remember Shidah? The foreign lady married to a local and whose husband passed away recently? You may have read about her movements being constrained by her in-laws and since she didn’t want them to know about her HIV, she was having problems coming to the hospital on her own for her appointments. Her appointment was supposed to be last week, but she simply defaulted her appointment just like that. I told her to just inform them that she had an appointment at the hospital for whatever ailments without informing them of her HIV, but she simply didn’t have the guts.
I think probably last week the staff nurse called her after she missed her appointment and scolded her. 2 days ago, Shidah texted me, asking if she could meet me at the hospital on Wednesday. I thought she must have fixed an appointment with the nurse. I wasn’t on duty today, but since it’s difficult to meet up with Shidah, I decided to go to see her.
When I got to the hospital, I checked with the nurses, and they themselves weren’t aware that Shidah was planning to come today. Apparently the nurse herself didn’t want to fix an appointment for her as Shidah herself could not give an affirmative answer if she’d be able to come for her appointment. So the nurse just told her to make sure she comes on a Wednesday, not on any other days. And that was why Shidah decided to come today.
I was actually wondering what excuse Shidah gave to her in-laws to come to the hospital. Did she finally tell them the truth? Or did she come up with any other stories?
So yes, I finally got to see Shidah today, the first time ever since her husband passed away. She had told her mother-in-law she needed to go to the hospital for some back pains she was having.
Initially Shidah gave me the impression that her in-laws wouldn’t let her go back to her home country to be with her family, but today when I asked her straight in the face, she admitted she herself doesn’t want to go back to her country. In fact, she wants to go on living in Malaysia, but she doesn’t want to stay with her in-laws as her movements are constrained, and she doesn’t want them to find out about her HIV.
Now she says, her in-laws just want her around so they could get her late husband’s EPF & Socso. I told Shidah that under the faraid, her mother-in-law does have a right to her late husband’s properties even if Shidah had any children. According to Shidah, her sister-in-law told her that if she doesn’t want to stay with the family, they will not support her. Hmmm… earlier on Shidah said they wouldn’t let her stay on her own, now she says they won’t support her if she stays on her own. So it’s all about money after all eh?
Anyway, she wanted to stay on her own, but when I asked how she was going to pay for all the rental etc, she couldn’t answer me. She didn’t have any savings of her own. I gave her another option – that she stays at a shelter home temporarily until she settles all her problem and until she can get herself a job to support herself.
Shidah seemed interested. Her only concern was if she could still renew her visa once it expires later this year. When her husband was still around, he’d bring her to renew her visa every year, as she still did not qualify to apply for PR. I’m not well versed with all the visa applications and renewals, so I didn’t dare answer her question on that matter. However, I told her I could help her if she wanted to stay at the shelter home but she must be sure of herself and that she mustn’t give me too short a notice if and when she decides to go to the shelter home.
Whatever it is, the next move is hers, not mine…
While I was getting ready to go to the hospital this morning, a text message came in from Mrs K. About 2 weeks ago Mr & Mrs K met with an accident (they were on their motorbike) with another motorist. The other fellow involved in the accident is still in coma, while Mr & Mrs K, although back home, are on MC. With their salary being based on day to day basis, being on MC only means less or no income for them this month. No, this time Mrs K didn’t mention anything about the need for money, but although I may be a bit tough on them, when they really need help, I will try my best to help.
Am trying to slot in a visit to their home soon to assess their situation before deciding on the next course of action.