Like previous Ramadhans, this year quite a substantial amount of donations came in, to be distributed to the poor families I deal with. Some was even given to me before Ramadhan so that I could distribute the donations to the various families during the beginning of the month, either in cash, or, in some cases, I’d buy necessities and deliver them to their homes.
Ramadhan this year is coming to an end soon, yet I still do get some donations coming in, including a few Raya gifts (cookies/chocolates/cakes etc). And this being the final week of Ramadhan, I decided to go for a few visits to distribute the Raya gifts and money, while a few others, I just banked in some cash into their bank accounts so they could use the money for Raya.
The first I met yesterday was Wani, the one who sells Raya cookies and had for the past few years sought my help to get orders. Her children are under our sponsorship programme and her child’s sponsor had passed some money through me to be given to her. Wani had earlier promised to come to Ipoh in the morning to deliver the cookies, but she had some things to settle first and couldn’t make it then. When she found out that I’d be going to visit Fuzi in the afternoon, she asked if she could meet me at the town where Fuzi stays, since the town is located half way between Ipoh and the town where Wani stays.
So yes, we met up in front of a school in that town, she passed me the cookies, I passed her some money (to pay for the cookies and also the money from her child’s sponsor), invited her and her children to a sponsored Raya event in mid-Sept, hug hug, wish each other Selamat Hari Raya and off we went separate ways. She, back home, while I headed to Fuzi’s house.
I didn’t warn Fuzi I was coming, though. So when I honked, it was her youngest boy, 6 year old Iwan, who opened the door and upon seeing my car, shouted to his mom at the top of his voice, “MAMA!! MAKCIK FIZAH DATANG!!!”
Fuzi was actually on the phone. Apparently she had totally forgotten that she was supposed to bring her son Ijam to Ipoh GH for his appointment (note: Ijam is HIV positive), and so the doctor called her to find out what happened to the boy. I must commend that doctor, he’d go out of his way to make sure his paediatric patients get the necessary medical treatments.
Ijam was at school, the only children at home were Fuzi’s eldest, Wina, and the youngest boy, Iwan, who was happily showing off to me a RM10 note. “Budak-budak ni dah mula dapat duit raya, Kak. RM10 sini, RM10 sana… sekarang ni anak-anak yang sudah lebih kaya dari saya,” said Fuzi, laughing away. As I was about to leave, I took out 6 Raya packets from my bag, 5 smaller ones for Fuzi’s children, and 1 bigger one for Fuzi. When I told her about the Raya event, Fuzi immediately said yes. Her children always look forward to any events I invite them to, even if the event is held at the Buddies Centre. Surely her kids would be even more excited when they find out that this event will be held at a hotel.
From Fuzi’s house, I headed over to visit Sofie’s children, Saiful and Ika. I had contacted their aunt at work, and she told me that the children would be home after 2 pm. And true enough, the moment I reached the house, both Saiful & Ika came out. They were expecting me. They told me that their eldest brother, Azlan, would be coming back on Friday. As for their other brother, Azman, he hadn’t even been calling them to ask how they’re doing. Ever since he joined the culinary school, he had been befriending sons/daughters of rich people, and had been spending like one too. He did as he pleased and didn’t show any respect at all to his aunt. Let’s see how long he can last that way… the way he had been spending, I’m not sure how long the money from his Tabung Kemahiran loan can last.
Anyway, both Saiful and Ika are excited about joining the Raya event at the hotel. Even if their aunt can’t go (she usually works on Saturdays), these 2 siblings have no problem coming along with me or any assigned volunteer fetching them.
This morning, I decided to make one last visit before declaring my own Raya leave… :)
Remember Laila, Shila’s daughter? Ever since Shila passed away last year a few days before Ramadhan, I had been liaising more with the girl’s grandma or aunt. When my phone went kaput during my Kinabalu trip last month, I lost their number. And so I didn’t inform them about my visit this morning. I wasn’t sure if Laila herself was at home, but I figured her grandma would be home at least.
True enough, when I got to their house, Laila was at school. Today was the last day for her UPSR trial exams. But both Laila’s grandma and aunt were home. I was happy when they told me that Laila had shown some progress in school. From the usual C’s, D’s and E’s she used to get, for the recent exam at school, the girl managed to score 5B’s. Her teacher was impressed with the improvement, and encouraged her to try improve her grades even further for her UPSR.
Laila’s grandma also agreed to bring Laila for the Raya event in mid-September, which is immediately after the UPSR exams… so the timing is just nice. Since I couldn’t meet Laila today, hopefully I can meet her then.
And so that wrapped up this year’s Ramadhan and pre-Raya visits. I hereby declare that I am now officially on leave until after Raya. It’s now me-and-my-family time! :)