It's already the 25th day of Ramadan this year. It has been quite a month. Home visits, deliveries, distribution of Raya contributions (donated by my wonderful friends), getting new clients, getting news of old clients, clients' children registering at higher learning institutions...
One of my clients, an Orang Asli lady whose story I highlighted here, passed away on the first day of Ramadan. I knew about it a few days later, after I banked in some Ramadan contributions into her bank account. As a matter of fact, by the time I banked in the contributions into her account, she had already passed on. I only knew about her death after I sent a message to a nurse at a nearby Klinik Kesihatan, who is my contact person for the OA lady since the lady didn't have a phone. I sought the nurse's help to inform the OA lady about the amount banked in. It was then that the nurse told me about the OA lady's death.
During my clinic duty last Monday, the nurse referred the case of a guy whose wife passed away last year. Apparently the guy needed help with his child's schooling expenses. He does odd jobs, without fixed income. When the guy came into the support service room, I thought he looked somewhat familiar. The nurse then mentioned the name of his late wife... she was a long lost client of mine! No wonder the guy looked familiar, I had met him once a few years ago, together with his wife, Ani. I lost contact with Ani because she kept on changing her phone number.
During this month, 3 of my client's children who sat for their SPM last year, also registered to further their studies either for diploma or pre-diploma courses. The 2 who registered at polytechnics, one girl and one boy, are both doing engineering courses. Again, my generous friends donated for the registration fees and other expenses needed for the children. I usually try to get help for the children for first time registration as I know that's the time when lots of expenses are incurred. A client of mine almost asked her son to turn down the offer as she couldn't afford the registration fees. I did however remind them that after the first time registration, they'd need to apply for PTPTN or whatever other loans or financial assistance available.
I also got a new client within this month. Although the client is a male, and his wife has been confirmed negative, contacts are basically through the wife, and so I'd be a more suitable buddy for the family. The guy used to be a lorry driver, but due to his health condition, had not been working for the past few months. Since then, they had been surviving on their savings. With 6 children, age ranging from 7 months to 16 years, their savings would certainly deplete quickly, especially since their 5 year old child, who had undergone a heart surgery, still needs to go for follow-up in Penang from time to time. This family certainly deserves assistance from our Children Education Fund.
Other than that, my visits and deliveries of Raya goodies involved my old clients whom I felt still needed assistance.
For those whom I didn't visit, I still did contact them to invite them for the Buddies Annual Family Day, to be held in early August this year. The response from my clients were overwhelming. The regulars confirmed straight away they'd be joining, and I also managed to coax a few newcomers to join as well. In total, 74 people (including 2 toddlers) from 16 different families among my clients alone, will be joining this year's Family Day. Given that usually my clients' families make up at least 50% of the total attendees, we can expect a turnout of over 100 pax again this year.
All that done, I am reserving the last few days of Ramadan for myself...