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)

Friday, 4 December 2015

A busy first half of December

1st December 2015 – World AIDS Day. As had been the practice for the past few years, the ID Clinic of Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun would organise a public awareness event at the hospital, and Buddies were always invited to participate because the team felt that other than creating awareness among the public about HIV/AIDS, it was just as important for the public to know the existence of a support group, in case someone infected/affected with HIV/AIDS needed help.

So far I had never missed any of the WAD events held in HRPB. However this year I had to make an exception. Weeks before the ID clinic invited us for the event, one of the organising committee of the state level event had called to invite me to become a panellist for a forum they plan to organise in conjunction with the state level event on the very same day.

Since the event was held on a working day, we were short of volunteers. The exhibition at the HRPB would certainly need more volunteers to help out, so the few volunteers we could gather were to help out at HRPB. The state level event, on the other hand, needed only one rep to be in the forum, so I had to go alone.

Usually for whatever events we attend, I would end up being the photographer, to take photos to be included in our reports. However, being one of the panellists in the forum, it wasn’t possible for me to carry out the same task. And since the other volunteers available had to help out in Ipoh, there was nobody to tag along with me.

Then I remembered that Aini’s daughter, Erin, who had just completed her diploma studies, had indicated her interest to become a volunteer. She was still looking around for a job anyway, and so she was still free. She was so happy when I asked if she would like to tag along with me. When we got to the event venue, I passed her my camera, and I must say she’s got quite a good eye for photography. And on our way home, based on the topics she brought up, it was evident that she was really focussed on the forum discussion.

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2nd December 2015 – Back-to-school-shopping for 2015 began. I headed off to Taiping to pick-up Dahlia and her school-going children, including 2 who will be going to a kindergarten next year. With 2 kids aged 5 and 4 joining the shopping trip, I purposely took them out separately by themselves instead of combining them with other families. It would be much easier to control their actions (and their wants!), rather than losing sight of them in a bigger crowd.

After all the other school necessities were bought, we even went to a bicycle shop to buy a bicycle for Dahlia’s 14 year old boy. The moment I explained to the shop-owner that I was representing an NGO buying school necessities (including the bicycle) for poor families, I immediately got a huge discount. What a wonderful gesture by the shop-owner.

Tomorrow 5th December will be BTSS round 2, this time for the first Ipoh group. Next week, my schedule is almost full. Monday: Kuala Kangsar. Wednesday: Slim River. Thursday: Ipoh 2nd group. Friday: Batu Gajah.

After that I need to immediately submit my claims, and also start distributing to the various families the amount needed for the various fees, workbooks and other payments to the respective schools.

This had been my December routine for the past 8 or 9 years…

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