I haven’t updated my blog after last week’s post on Aida, the unwed mother of 7. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have any voluntary-work-related activities.
Within the past one week, I went to visit 2 clients at their respective homes; I went for a 2nd trip to the Immigrations Detention Depot in Belantik, and I went for clinic duty at HRPB Ipoh.
On Thursday, I went to visit Ana. While I have some other clients who earns more and yet still like to ask for money for any and every reason they can think of, Ana, whose current job is to help bathe an elderly bed-ridden person with a pay of RM10 each time, is not that type. To her, Buddies helping her out with her children’s educational needs is a blessing enough. She was so appreciative of the help she’s getting, the moment she found out I was coming last Thursday, she prepared some durians and rambutans for me to bring home. To me, I am happy enough that she and her children see the importance of education.
On Friday, together with a few other volunteers calling ourselves Wanita Prihatin Perak, went for a follow up visit to the Immigrations Detention Depot in Belantik, Kedah. We brought along a few boxes of educational materials for the Rohingya children. We totally forgot that Friday’s a public holiday in Kedah, but the officer was kind enough to entertain us.
On Monday, I went for my clinic duty at HRPB, Ipoh. The moment I got there, I was told that there were no new cases to be referred to me, so I ended up discussing a few cases with Sister Zaitun. And since Aida, the unwed pregnant lady, was at the hospital for her appointment, we decided to meet up. When I brought her shopping for her baby’s needs the previous week, she told me she wanted to bring the baby balik kampong to see her mother (who still doesn’t know she’s pregnant) and she’s hoping her mother can help take care of the baby. This time, when I met her, her story has changed. It seems her foster mother (the one she’s staying with now) is interested to adopt the baby, and so Aida thought that would be a better idea. She’s thinking she doesn’t have to break the news to her own mother. The only problem is, her foster mother doesn’t know she has HIV and so she doesn’t know that the baby, even if not infected, will need to be brought for follow up appointments as precautionary measures. Aida doesn’t intend to tell her foster mother about her HIV.
I told Aida to rethink her decision. Whatever she decides, whoever is going to take care of the baby needs to know the real situation.
Yesterday, I went to visit one more family, this time a new case. A guy, Din, called me last week seeking help. He got my number from Sister Zaitun. It was rather difficult for me to assess his situation via a phone call, and so I sought his permission to visit his family at home this week. Meanwhile I took the opportunity to get more info about him from Sister Zaitun during Monday’s clinic duty.
The moment I got to the house, I noticed the doors and windows were all closed and the gate was locked. It looked as though nobody was home, but I had already informed Din I was coming and he said ok. So I decided to call, to be sure I got to the right house. Indeed it was the right house, and they were inside. Even after the call, it took quite a while before Din opened the door. I was initially wondering why it took him so long, but the moment I saw him walking to unlock the gate, I immediately understood. He couldn’t properly control his movements, even when he walks, he’d sway left and right like a drunk person. I guess his inability to control his movements had something to do with the infection to his brains.
Thank goodness, his wife was tested negative. The wife doesn’t mind going to work in place of her husband, but given Din’s present condition, she didn’t feel good leaving him at home alone with their 2 young children either. So they are thinking of setting up a small stall near their home, and maybe sell stuff like pisang goreng and the likes. They have even applied for help from e-kasih to get some starting capital to start off the business. They were also happy when I told them Buddies may be able to help out with their children’s schooling expenses. Both boys are not in school yet, but the older boy will start pre-school next year. I also offered to lend Din the donated wheelchair we have at the centre, and they both felt it was a good idea especially to use when they need to go out somewhere (at home at least he can grab on to the chairs/walls etc). I promised to deliver them the wheelchair after Hari Raya.
And that wraps up my visits this Ramadhan. My next visit will probably be after I complete my puasa enam.
To all my blog readers (if there are any), Selamat Hari Raya. Maaf Zahir Batin. Hope you’ve had a blessed Ramadhan and wishing you a blessed Syawal ahead.