THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Another house visit

During my clinic duty last week, other than the 2 cases referred to me during clinic hours, the staff nurse also sought my help to follow up on another case needing attention.

You see, we only send volunteers to help out at the ID clinic of Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun Ipoh on Mondays. While the ID clinic usually sets up the appointments for new cases on Mondays, sometimes there may be a few new cases scheduled for appointment on other days when none of our volunteers are at the hospital.

So there was this particular case of an Indonesian lady married to a Malaysian. Husband passed away recently, and she has a 3 year old daughter (who has been confirmed negative). With no specific income of her own, the staff nurse thought the lady would need some assistance.

After calling the lady immediately after my clinic duty was over, and getting the go ahead from the lady to visit her at home, I went to visit her last Wednesday. Her address however, was not listed in my GPS, and I couldn’t find it on google maps either. So the next option was to ask her for nearby landmarks, and I’d call her once I reached the said landmark.

As it turned out, her house was not that far from the given landmark, and when I called her from the said landmark, the directions she gave was quite clear. In fact, she came out of her house to wait by the roadside and asked me to look for her. Well no, I had never met her before that, but it wasn’t so difficult trying to figure that out…. just look for someone holding a handphone and looking like she’s looking out for someone trying to look out for her. Open-mouthed smile

The lady, Elvira, is at least lucky enough that she doesn’t have to pay any house rental. She and her daughter stays at her late husband’s family home. Both parents-in-law had passed away, and the husband’s siblings are all staying elsewhere. So they let her stay at the family house.

But she still has to pay for utilities… and not forgetting food, of course! Thank goodness her eldest sis-in-law, who doesn’t have children of her own, does help out giving her about RM200 per month.

Still, RM200 is not much. But guess what? Unlike some other cases that I’ve handled before, when clients usually complain about not having enough of this and that, Elvira doesn’t complain. She is thankful with what she has. In fact, she feels it will be better for her daughter to grow up here rather than bringing her back home to her hometown back in Indonesia where life is harder.

And probably because of her positive attitude as well, even her neighbours help them out, always giving them food from time to time.

Of course I am not saying that Elvira doesn’t need our help at all. In fact when I went to visit, I brought her some groceries as well. It’s just that at least I don’t really have to worry about Elvira and her daughter not having anything to eat at home. We will still probably send her some groceries from time to time, but more importantly, once her daughter starts going to school, we can surely step in to help out with the girl’s education expenses.

Monday, 19 May 2014

The usual routine

It has been more than a month since I last updated my blog. Not that I have stopped doing my voluntary work, but I guess things were beginning to get routine that I didn’t really have anything new to update.

Things went on as usual… clinic duties in Ipoh and Taiping. Making sure the education sponsorship money is disbursed to the respective families on time… updating the sponsorship account… attending meetings… you get the drift.

I have to admit I don’t do house visits as often as I used to. Firstly, because I seldom get new clients anymore (I already have more than enough clients so my fellow volunteers don’t assign me to new clients unless they really have to). Secondly, our policy is to help our clients become independent. So, my style is, while I do visit the needy clients quite often during the initial stages, once I feel they can be independent enough, I’d slowly distant myself from them, although I don’t totally stay away. I still do monitor their progress, and help will still be rendered if they really need it.

From time to time, the staff nurse at the HIV clinic in Ipoh would call me and seek my help to follow up on certain cases, particularly if the cases involved patients with hospital appointments on the days other than Mondays (we only have volunteers helping out at the HIV clinic in Ipoh on Mondays).

Today for example, although I was on clinic duty, and 2 new cases were referred to me during clinic, the staff nurse also requested that I look into another case of a single mom with a 3 year old child. The lady’s appointment at the clinic was on a Thursday. While the nurse did give the Buddies brochure to the lady and told her she could call us for help, it is not surprising that she hasn’t. Usually it is us Buddies who’d have to take that first step.

And so I did call this lady today and after speaking to her on the phone, she did seem quite receptive to the idea of having me visit her at home. I’m planning to visit her this week. It has been quite a while since my last visit to an unfamiliar territory. I do hope the lady will be able to give clear directions on how to get to her house.