It’s been quite a while since my last sponsorship assessment visit. While there were one or two recommendations by my volunteers, since the recommended clients do not allow us to visit at home, we could only consider the children for their back-to-school expenses at the beginning of the year. For the Education Sponsorship for Children, one of the requirements is that at least 2 Buddies need to visit client’s home to assess the family’s situation. If we’re going to get individuals from the public to sponsor a particular child, the least we can do is to get a better picture of the family’s situation at home. Otherwise, anyone can come to us saying they need help with their children’s education, whereas their situation aren’t so bad.
There had been cases where we decided not to consider the family for sponsorship. While we do believe the family wasn’t well to do, but there were other cases needing the sponsorship more. They still do get help under our CEF to cover the back-to-school expenses, but we don’t cover for pocket money, tuition fees and other monthly expenses.
Anyway, this morning I went for a sponsorship assessment visit together with 2 other volunteers including a trainee volunteer. The area was the only place outside of Perak covered by Buddies because HIV cases from there are usually referred to HRPB Ipoh.
I had brought Jamilah and her children shopping for their back-to-school expenses late last year. School holidays were coming to an end then, but Jamilah had yet to buy her children’s schooling needs. Jamilah is a 56 year old HIV positive single mother, depending on welfare aid and her small food stall by the roadside to support her 3 children. Just enough to pay for her house rental, utilities and food for the family. But when the children come home asking for money to pay for various fees etc in school, she’d have to delay the payment until she could save enough money.
What I like about Jamilah is that she doesn’t simply rely on sympathy and financial aid. She never uses her HIV and her age as excuse for not being able to do this and that. As a matter of fact, she’s a lot more hardworking than many younger clients of mine. Based on the family’s present situation, the children do indeed qualify to be considered for sponsorship.
I got home and immediately approached a few friends who had earlier indicated their interest to sponsor the education of children from our PLHIV families. And the answer I got from them was positive.
So yes, all 3 children now have sponsors to cover for their schooling needs, including some monthly pocket money…
Thank you sponsors!