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)

Saturday, 13 June 2015

The visits begin…

Having received cash contributions from friends and strangers (either blog readers or friends/relatives of friends) to be used for the benefit of the needy, I figured I might as well start my home visits before Ramadhan begins.

So after buying supplies of groceries for 2 families, plus some infant formula and baby food, I started off my grocery deliveries for 2 families first.

First up, a visit to Dahlia’s home. With 6 children and 1 grandchild to feed, to me Dahlia needs more ration than any of my other clients. All but one of them were home. Dahlia’s second child, a 14 year old boy, was attending a hafaz Quran class. Would you believe it, I’ve never had a chance to meet this boy, because being very active in all sorts of activities inside and outside of school, he always had some kind of activity to attend whenever I went to visit. Even when I brought them for their back-to-school shopping, he wasn’t able to join because of his activities. His mother had to choose the uniforms/shoes etc for him based on his size.

It is good to know that Dahlia’s children are doing considerably well in school, especially the 14 year old boy. Even her eldest daughter, Dilla, the young mother to Dahlia’s grandchild, is coping very well in the culinary college and being a teenage mother at the same time. Her little baby looks healthy too, despite the fact that her growth seems to be somewhat slow. The little girl has been given an appointment to see a specialist at the general hospital, just in case her slow growth is due to some other problems. Hopefully the girl is just fine.

Anyway, Dahlia was actually cooking for her kids when I arrived. Dilla took over to finish off the cooking. When I brought in the box consisting of all sorts of goodies including rice, milk, canned food, biscuits, infant formula, baby food etc, and placed the box on the table at their dining area, Dahlia’s 3 year old son kept climbing up the chair to see what was inside the box.

I will probably visit this family again next month before Raya.

My next destination was to a nearby town to meet up with a new client, Nur, assigned to me just recently. She’s working, so visiting at home was out of the question. But she agreed to meet up with me during lunch break and so I asked her to suggest me a place where we could have lunch together.

Nur was already waiting inside the restaurant when I arrived. A single mother of 2 young boys, Nur started working after her divorce, which took place just after her confinement. The younger son is already 4 years old now. Never having any work experience before, Nur was lucky when a friend told her about some vacancies at a particular company. She went for the interview and the very next week she started working with the company. While she’s at work, her children are taken care by the children’s grandmother at home.

Nur may still need help with her children’s education when they start going to school, but at least her situation is not as bad as some other families I know. I told Nur about the situation of a few of  my other clients (including Dahlia who I just visited earlier in the day), and Nur is well aware that she is one of the lucky ones to still have the support of her family.

I did ask Nur if she’d be interested to become a volunteer. She said she’s not too confident of the things she should say and do, but when I told her that during the early stages she’d just need to follow a senior volunteer around to observe and learn, she seemed quite receptive to the idea. I told her to join us first for this year’s Family Day so I could introduce her to the other volunteers and clients, and from there on we’ll see how it goes.

Despite it being our first meet, Nur seemed quite comfortable. I could already joke with her. Maybe one of these days I will try to visit her at home when she’s not at work. I’d love to meet her children.

I’m planning to visit at least one more family before fasting month begins, and continue my visits during the month of Ramadhan, hopefully to give the poor families, especially the children, some cheer before Raya.

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