When Ana called me in November last year, I was initially confused. She said she got my number from the nurse at the Ipoh ID clinic during her daughter’s appointment there, then she told me that she and her daughters had been tested negative. So why did they have an appointment at Ipoh ID clinic? Well, you can read that part here. In that first posting about their story, I also highlighted the stigma and discrimination they had to face despite being confirmed HIV negative. The only reason for all the stigma and discrimination was that her late husband was HIV positive. Sigh…
But Ana and her kids didn’t even try to run away from all their problems. They faced everything that came their way and my visit to their home today confirmed that Ana and her daughters are motivated to improve their lives.
When I arrived at their house today, Ana’s relatives were helping out with some repair works to the house. Her daughters’ room at their wooden house was badly affected by termites. She couldn’t afford to buy all the materials needed for the repair works earlier on, but recently managed to get an assistance of RM1K from the welfare department for that purpose. At least she could use the money to buy the much needed materials, with free labour provided by her relatives.
The 2 girls (form 5 and form 3) were in school when I visited today. They are doing quite well in school in addition to being active in co-curricular activities. What I loved to hear from Ana was that the girls’ English wasn’t too bad either. I have to say that the major subject my clients’ children are generally weak in is English, but it is not so with Ana’s children. They are not only fluently conversant in Bahasa Malaysia and English, but also Arabic, all 3 subjects they learn in school. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the girls took the initiative to also learn Mandarin on their own! It is good that both of them have the same interest, so at least they could practice with each other at home. Ana told me that at times she has no clue what the girls say to each other because sometimes they speak in Arabic, sometimes they speak in Mandarin.
I love the initiative taken by the girls. I love the fact that they are motivated to have a better future.
Both the girls are under our Education Sponsorship program, and are entitled to claim anything pertaining to their schooling needs. But after taking them out for back-to-shopping late last year, Ana never asked for anything else. A few days ago I texted Ana to ask if her children had any additional payments for school, and her answer was, “Akak dah banyak sangat tolong. Saya segan.” Immediately I knew there must be other payments needed. Which was why I decided to give her a visit today. Indeed, the girls, both sitting for major exams this year, had fees that needed to be paid. And being active PBSM members, they also needed to buy PBSM uniforms. Ana had been postposing the payments, hoping to save some money bit by bit by doing odd jobs at various people’s homes.
I love helping families like this one. They don’t simply wait for help to come their way. They take the initiative to improve their own lives by working hard.
Such a vast contrast to a few of my other clients who tend to think that they can ask for anything just because we help them with their children’s educational needs. One client, when asked to list down the items needed for her children’s schooling, included “Motosikal RM2000” in her list. Another client included “Berkhatan RM200” and another requested for a handphone.
Schooling needs indeed…
DEPA INGAT BUDDIES CETAK DUIT SENDIRI KE APA??!!