I REALISE that it'll take more than RM1 a day to change people's lifes. But it's a start. At RM1 a day (that's RM30 a month), the 25 orphans getting the benefit of the generosity of friends and well-wishers have a bit more money to spend
They may want to buy a new pen, get a pair of new school shoes or maybe treat themselves to some story books. Heck, they may just want to enjoy the ABC (air batu campor) just outside the school gate.
Last weekend, many of the orphans came to collect the donations themselves, accompanied by their father or mother or guardian. One child said he's been wanting to buy the school T-shirt while another said he wants to use it to buy fuel for his mother's motorbike.
A widow who supports her three school-going children, including one in a boarding school in another state, spoke softly of her appreciation of donors. My son who is studying in another state says thank you to all donors for helping to ease the burden's family, she said.
But she has one child who is not schooling, and confided that she's grappling with discipline problems and this has caused her sleepless nights. She's troubled by her son's glue-sniffing habits. Just recently, she managed to send the boy to a pondok, a religious school, where she hoped the boy could turn over a new leaf.
The headmaster of the village school was also present when the donations were given out. I hoped that Cikgu Hanifah will rally behind these children and help them improve academically. His words have been very encouraging, and we are going to work closely to help make a difference.
I'm putting up a simple structure to get a tuition centre going. This will not be confined to the orphans, but to other children as well. Maybe the UPSI in nearby Tg Malim can lend a hand in this initiative. After all, the university produces teacher-graduates. What better to get acquainted with real-life situation than by getting in educating the community!
I hope to share with you some developments in a couple of weeks time. Meanwhile, the village folks are waiting for the fruit season to start because they are eager to invite donors to the kampong to enjoy the durians, rambutan and mangosteens. And maybe take a dip in the ice-cold water of the famous Sg Bill...