When Fuzi’s daughter called to seek my advice about whether she should accept the offer to a matriculation college, I knew I’d have to pay them a visit. The decision whether to accept or not wasn’t the only problem they have. Financial problem would be the other.
I had advised the girl to accept the offer. The girl’s interest is in accounting and the matriculation offer was for accounting line. By the time I went to visit the family on Wednesday morning, she had accepted the offer online and printed out all the necessary. But nothing further was done. Quite a number of things were needed but they had yet to do anything because they needed money. They needed:
1. RM480 for registration, to be banked in before she registers on 27th May.
2. More baju kurung as the girls are only allowed to wear baju kurung in class at the college. This family seldom goes out for any functions or whatever, and so she only has a few pairs.
3. Transportation for them to go to the matriculation college to send the girl, and for her mother to travel back home.
4. Pocket money for the girl for the first month at least, before she starts getting her allowance.
5. A notebook/netbook computer for the girl to use for her studies. A second-hand one would do.
Somebody had donated RM200 to me to be given to any of my PLHIV families, and so I gave that money first to the girl to enable her to start buying whatever necessary. The moment I got home, I updated this info on my FB wall, and within a few hours I managed to collect RM755 to help them out. At least her registration fee and pocket money are covered. For the record, our Children Education Fund & Education Sponsorship programme only covers schooling expenses, not further education. And so I had to seek help for this girl using my personal capacity, not through Buddies.
This morning I went to visit Lin. It’s been quite a while since I last went to visit her at home. She was alone at home – none of her children were around. The eldest now works in KL, the second is in her final year overseas, the 3rd was at work, the 4th stays with his friends, the 5th now has a temporary job while waiting for the results of his application to IKM, and the 6th was in school, now in form 4.
With none of her children around, Lin could speak openly to me about her problems. No longer bothered by her ex-husband, Mr Darling, Lin’s problem now is her youngest daughter, the 16 year old. The girl seems to get more and more stubborn each day, and Lin’s main worry is that she likes to go out with boys. She’s supposed to go to school by bus, but since the bus picks them up at the end of the road instead of right in front of the house, Lin usually doesn’t go out to check. She took for granted her daughter would take the bus, otherwise how else was she supposed to get to school? But her brother once saw a boy picking her up on a motorbike to send her to school. There were a few other instances when the brother saw his younger sister in town on a motorbike with a boy. Every time Lin scolded her daughter, the girl always answered back.
I am however happy about the change in Lin’s 5th child, the boy who sat for his SPM last year. He was really never into the academic line, and so all he was interested to do after his SPM was to find a job. But his interest had always been in welding, and so I suggested to him to take up welding as a proper course at any of vocational training colleges/institute. At first he was a bit reluctant, but after his older sisters joined in to coax him, he now seems very determined to take up a proper course in welding, applied for a certificate programme, and already thinking about continuing up to diploma level after he completes his certificate level course. Now, that’s progress enough for me.
After Lin’s house, I headed to Aini’s house. Her eldest daughter so happens to be back home too. Long leave for the polytechnic where the girl is continuing her studies now. Aini had lost weight. She used to have about the same weight as mine, but this time she has gone down to only 45 kg. Even the doctor got worried about her weight loss.
The lady who used to pay Aini to take care of her son while she was at work, now has quit her job to be a stay-at-home mom, and so Aini no longer gets an income from taking care of the boy. She now is looking around for anything to do, just to enable her to get some extra income for her family in addition to the monthly welfare aid she gets. I asked her if she’d like to sew our Buddy Bears for a minimal payment. You see, the couple who had been making the bears for free all these years are getting older, and we haven’t got any contingency plans in case the couple decides to stop making the bears. So during our last Board meeting, we agreed to try and get any of our clients to sew the bears for us, for a minimal amount. That way not only do we get another source to get the Buddy Bears done, we also get to help our clients to earn some extra income for themselves.
Aini seemed very interested. She gets something to do, gets paid for it, and the best part is she doesn’t have to leave home to do so.
Let’s see how it goes.