After rounds and rounds of back-to-school shopping in December 2012, I still could not settle all the children’s schooling needs. Why? Because for many of the children, they had to wait until school reopens before they can get the full list of payments needed.
So yep, although we’re still within the first week of 2013, I have already visited 3 poor families with schooling children at their homes., and another one later today.
First up was Lin. Her son had completed his SPM, so this year only her youngest daughter is under sponsorship. She’s in form 4 this year and next year will be the final year of sponsorship for this family.
I went to visit them on Thursday afternoon. Lin was sewing when I got to her house. Her 3rd daughter will be getting engaged some time mid-January, and so there were quite some things for her to prepare. And yes, this is the first of her children to get hitched, although the girl is her 3rd daughter.
This family is doing not too bad now that the 3rd daughter has a permanent job, while the eldest is still looking around for a permanent job with her nursing diploma. The second daughter is in her final year in a university abroad and should be able to obtain her medical degree before the end of this year.
Yesterday, Saturday 5th January, I decided to visit Laila. Remember Laila, the one and only daughter of the late Shila? Well, the girl is already in form one this year. I had wanted to visit during the school holidays, but she was at her paternal grandparent’s kampong in another state. She’s still the same shy girl though, only came out to salam, then she went back in to get the details of her school payments etc, and then she went back in again. While I was chatting with her grandma, I heard her aunt telling her, “Keluar ajelah, nak segan apa?” Apparently Laila made a drink for me but was too shy to come out to serve me. She ended up passing the mug of iced milo to her 5 year old cousin to be handed over to me.
Anyway, Laila had improved a whole lot academically. She scored 3A 1B and 1C for her UPSR last year. For someone who had never got any A’s in her exams before this, that was quite an achievement. If Shila was still alive, she would have been very proud of her girl. I hope she will continue to strive to do better.
From Laila’s place, I headed over to the home of Jayanthi. This is not my client, but I had been to her house once with her originally assigned Buddy. The originally assigned volunteer is now no longer with Buddies, and my last call to Jayanthi’s number didn’t get thorough. But on Friday, Jayanthi herself called me up to ask if they could get assistance for her children’s education. And since on my way back from Laila’s place, I’d be passing her place, I figured I might as well visit her after visiting Laila.
The last time I went to visit, the volunteer who confidently told me finding Jayanthi’s house was easy, ended up confused, thus confusing as well. His excuse was that he usually went by motorbike and so when we went by car, he couldn’t remember which road to take. Huh?? What an excuse! The truth was, while he told me he used to visit this client every 2 months, in actual fact he had not been visiting them for almost 2 years.
Yesterday I went again, accompanied by Mrs G. That’s my GPS. Didn’t really give me accurate direction to Jayanthi’s house, asking me to u-turn when I didn’t have to, but good enough to bring me to the area which looked familiar enough and so I managed to get to Jayanthi’s house without getting lost. Her dog was barking away like mad when I got down from my car, and so I waited outside until Jayanthi’s son held the dog, telling it to keep quiet.
After calculating the fees etc that needed to be paid for Jayanthi’s 4 primary school sons, I handed over some cash to her.
“Terima kasih banyak puan. Dulu anam taun sama itu **** (the former Buddy), dia janji macam-macam bantuan sama saya tapi satu sen pun saya tada dapat.”
I will now need to assign her a new Buddy to follow up on her family.
That’s 3 families covered. I am scheduled to visit Sofie’s children later today. Will update on that later.