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)
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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The haze, clinic duties and this year’s Family Day

I just did my Taiping clinic duty during the first week of this month, so by right my next duty should be in August. However on Monday, a fellow volunteer called to ask if I could take over his duty on Tuesday, and he’d take over my next duty in August. I gladly agreed as first week of August will be during fasting month and during that month usually I’d be busy with my house visits.

So off I went to Taiping yesterday morning, only to be greeted with a Taiping without the view of its famous Bukit Larut. The hill completely disappeared in the haze!


Top pic: The usual view. Bottom pic: Yesterday’s view.

Only one new case was referred to me during my Taiping clinic duty. But since the lady was more comfortable speaking in Tamil, I promised her I’d assign a Tamil speaking volunteer for her. This family definitely needs help. Her husband had been unwell for the past few months and is no longer working, while she works as a cleaner, taking a take-home pay of roughly about RM500 month. With 6 children, 5 of them schooling, that’s barely enough.

Actually all 6 of her children are still of schooling age, but her 13 year old son no longer wants to go to school, and it had nothing to do with their poverty. He simply didn’t want to go to school anymore. He didn’t even sit for his UPSR last year. What a pity.

This morning I was on clinic duty again, this time in Ipoh. There were 3 new cases, 2 males and 1 female. The female case was from Hospital Bahagia, and she’s supposed to be discharged from that hospital soon, after getting the clearance from the doctor treating her. However, although her family is still around, they no longer accept her in the family because of her mental problem (they don’t even know she has HIV). So she needs a place to stay in and we need to arrange for a shelter home for her.

While waiting for cases to be referred today, I started texting my clients to inform them about our coming Family Day in September. During the Buddies meeting last night to discuss our clients progress report, I realised I had been assigned altogether 49 clients. After cancelling out the ones who are no longer in my active list (either died or moved out of Perak or changed numbers and no longer contactable), I am now left with 32. Still too many. A fellow volunteer resigned from Buddies because she felt she couldn’t cope with both work and keeping track of her clients’. And she had only been assigned 2 or 3 clients.

Anyway, although I gave my clients some time to inform me if they want to join our Family Day, within an hour after sending out the text messages, I started getting positive responses. Probably, just like previous years, most of the clients attending the Family Day will be my clients.

Let’s see how it goes…

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