Ponderings on becoming an NGI

I scrolled my FB feed today and digested the usual ‘news’. Of syok sendiri viral issues, local crimes, nonsense politics, recipes that I can’t seem to find time to make and sales post and recruitment which is supposed to get you out of poverty or debt.

Then there was this little post by one of my favourite NGI’s; Syed Azmi. He was kind of ‘coaching’ a young NGI (Non Governmental Individual) wannabe, Imran, by asking a few basic questions that, in my opinion could help guide someone to the desired charitable purpose.

Some of the questions were;

  1. What is your skill?

  2. What is your passion?

  3. When is your free time you can volunteer?

  4. Do you drive?

  5. What is your strength/weakness? Your limitation?

I was stuck at No 3. I couldn’t really use my profession as my excuse because personally I do not think that it’s a formidable excuse. Like come on lah Minci… if you really want to do something – you would make time for it. Sampai bila nak harap pada pahala pasif kan? Which sadly seems to be the most popular thing nowadays. For instance, if someone wants to sell their product, it almost often ends with ‘share this post, you could get pahala for simply sharing” just how we love passive income? errr.. guilty as charged here. 

Hence I learnt something about this process. That we should give what we can with the capacity that we have. I may not have time (yet) to devote for my cause. But InsyaAllah, that intense push will come. yelah.. can you just imagine my husbands reaction? Dahlah already busy with oncall and on your free weekend you want to run for Africa? Not to mention those occasional but important days where you had to stay back at work because you had to?  Contoh je.. I just don’t want the topic of ‘anak kera di hutan disusukan‘ to rise in our daily couple conversation. Kah kah kah.  Until then, just do what you can. 

A kind word. A motivating speech/blog post/watsapp message.

A  mini donation/contribution here and there.

The ultimate act of charity is still about Time. I will get there.

 

Ramadhan 2016 : Yes we can

Some people need their whole life to change for the better. Or a series of unfortunate events.However, some very lucky people need only one Ramadhan to turn a new leaf.

Embracing Ramadhan is like celebrating a new year. It provides opportunities for a person to be the best version of themselves. Including myself. Just like my previous Ramadhans, I have goals I intend to achieve in this holy month.My preparations are now at 70% and I hope that everything would be done by tomorrow.

Some of my goals include;

Reading the Quran more and upgrading the quality of my Solat

My little pink Quran has been void of love recently. Although I have been telling myself to at least read Surah Al-Kahfi every Friday or a Yassin at least, on a Thursday.. it rarely materialise. So yep – hoping for a more consistent reading habit this month.

Perhaps I can learn more about #quranjournalling. As how my counterparts are doing for #biblejournalling. 

I will definitely be missing out on Tarawih again at the musolla this year. I used to feel ‘inadequate’ by not going to the masjid to perform Tarawih. But later I learnt that Tarawih is better done at home for the ladies. Come to think of it, I couldn’t agree more.

I could solat in my own pace. Nak rehat sekejap in between the rakaat to drink air tebu? GO ahead. Need to breastfeed the little one? NO problem. If my memory serve me right, we ladies can even perform Tarawih in a sitting position if we are dead tired – bearing in mind this ruhksah is only for sunat prayers and that the pahala for this deed will be halved.

“Those with the greatest power must protect those without.”

Charity. I envy full time social activists who get to focus solely on ‘giving’ their effort and time to help the less fortunate. But lets not be dismayed. In my case, some people of the general public still believe that they appear to help people more if they are doctors or policemen. Whereas, there are many ways or avenues as to how one could help another member of the society.

It helps to also not compare the scale of your personal charity to others. Tak bolehlah nak compare dengan Islamic Relief, Telekung Project et cetera… settling hutang 555 at your own kedai runcit is charity, providing drinking water is charity, helping to clean an old lady’s house is also charity. In fact, any form of action done with ikhlas and ends with some sort of benefit to others – is to me charity.

 Learn to give  – be it in money, time or kind. And teach your children to do the same. 

Looking at my past ‘records of charity’ – I find that I tend to get involved in those that required funds. I can work with that. Although I don’t have a cash cow, I still have a few money generating activities up my sleeve.

Cook better

I couldn’t stress this enough. I was looking at my work roster this month and I couldn’t help chuckling at my shift arrangement. Nih nak suro aku pandai masak ke apa.. byk syif pagi. Muekekeke. I cleared my pantry of expired items, cleaned the fridge, scrubbed the stove, stocked on spices and even rearranged my table tops. And now I am planning menus.

I was telling a few friends last month that if I am successful in making kuah kacang, I would invite them to my house for Raya meals. On second thought, perhaps I should be oncall during Eid. Hehehe..

Finally, try to enjoy Ramadhan. You would enjoy being an angel for the whole month. Insya-Allah.

Credits : Google Image

Tabung Minci in a selfless and New Year spirit

My items sold at the BSP Carboot Sale and Putrajaya Greencycle Carboot Sale raked in RM220.00 in total. A clean profit of RM 200.00 after deducting sewa tapak. Alhamdulilah … let’s channel it to goodness.

So while the medical fraternity is collectively bashing MB for her ignorance regarding the ‘jahit guni’ thing – I feel I should choose to not climb aboard the same boat of viral-ling her post and the response that comes with it. Yes, I am furious that she had accused my medical colleagues in Sungai Buloh for being irresponsible but the issue has been rectified and responded professionally by qualified orthopedic surgeons and specialists alike. I don’t see why we need to make a parody or a meme pertaining to herself. I am sure she gets the picture already. I am sure she feels ashamed already during ward rounds when sarcasm is dished out on a TDS/PRN basis.

If we keep attacking her out of hatred and with the intent of embarrassing her instead of educating – I don’t see how we are any different from the many keyboard warriors or cyber bully out there.

Anyway – again, inspired by local humanitarians in this country I have decided to put my car boot sale earnings and Tabung Minci fund to good use this month. Since I am not Canada whose heart is so big and wonderful to accept Syrian refugees – I think my local community needs all the help it can get too.

PTKM

The recipients include;

  1. Madrasah Tahfiz Wal Ulum Darul Yamani, Jasin – the school needed funding for a PA system which they could use to laungkan the azan, recite dua’s , zikir and other related activities.
  2. Islamic Relief Local Emergency Relief Pack  – on top of the Al- yateem programme, they also have seasonal appeals and this particular one is closely related to communities which are affected by the floods.
  3. Tabung Ehsani Srikandi (TES)  – it has come to my attention recently that the alumni has a particular fund which aims to assist the less fortunate young srikandi’s in school today in their studies and everyday needs. This is a collective effort made by our CM and I feel this is a chance in a way to give back to the school that has given me so much to start with.

I’m planning on a year end event in the next two weeks. I hope everything will come together and explode with joy and happiness.

Carboot Sale – What I learnt from the experience

Our car boot sale would not have materialized if my sister was not on board.

major players : my sister and her husband

major players : my sister and her husband

We read about carboot tips from experienced car booters online. We screened our items for any faults – even if one shirt has no button on it, it will not be included in the sale because kita bukan nak jual sampah, kita nak jual barang baik punya at a low price. If say after 3 attempts at selling it off, the item is not bought – the stash will go to charity for those in need. In Malaysia, there is always someone in need. We just have to know where to find them. Some are easily found through charity organizations. Others may be missed out due to location or other factors we have yet to discover.

We booked our spot early

We brought our floating money – those small change you give to buyers

We folded our recyclable plastic bags from home so buyers need not worry about how to bring back home their goods

We brought our breakfast to the site and shared it with our ‘neighbours’ – then we kept our food trash properly in our trash bag so we wouldn’t litter the area unnecessarily

We brought chairs for us to sit down and mini fans to combat the dry and hot weather

We labelled our things well and are open to negotiations

We followed every single advice we gathered through the world wide web to make our sale a success. Once our boot has been set up – there were only a few things to do

  • wait for customers
  • people watching and profiling

It seems that our area is heavily populated by generations like ourselves. Young parents with toddlers and preschool going kids. There were not many elderly parents nor were there many teenagers. Perhaps the latter were still in bed on a weekend which left us wondering where the younger uns are. It’s like if we  have to go to war, there will be a lot of widows and orphans left behind. So our baju nenek2 were not selling fast enough including my stickers and planner related items. I should just pack them and sell them online. Or have a try setting up a booth at a planner related event.

20151206_083852

Then I noticed that we have a lot of young foreigners working as domestic maids and contract workers looking for cheap clothing. The contractors were looking for worn out T-shirts they could use for their daily work whereas the maids were looking for fancy blouses. What we were not expecting was that the ladies were not looking for the sizes that we have – in fact even the locals were the same. They wanted bigger sized clothes. I almost forget Malaysia is an overweight and obese country as compared to the other ASEAN nations. So yeah.. my kurus clothes did not have as many buyers as opposed to my maternity clothes.

One thing stood out though on that day of how a foreign contract worker was looking for books to read. I love people who read and this particular man was looking for an English novel. I handed him a few to choose and he bought one off the shelves. It was a rare sight but I thought it was cute to have this big man in his safety helmet and boots, looking all rugged and bulky  – having in his hand a pink plastic bag with my book and 2 free owl bookmarks and a self-made calendar. I hope he finds the book interesting. I was a bit disappointed that no one wanted my older edition of Reader’s Digest – where are all the bookworms? It’s only RM5!!!

My sister and I were not there to make big bucks. It was more of an activity we can do together as sisters. Married with kids plak tuh..  At the same time decluttering our home. We felt like we achieved something at the end and now we are planning to do a Sarawak themed car boot sale. It would be interesting the next available weekend. Time to plan! Where is my washi and stickers!!

Later I will tell you what I did with the money I got. It’s got something to do with my Tabung Minci.

#projekbrailleslate

THE PROJECT

This time I decided to contribute to a project via the KL Braille blogsite. 

Projek Braille Slate_1

Using the money through my sales of the Sampul Raya, I am donating part of the moolah for the cause which amounts to a few braille slates which can benefit around 20 students. Allow me to share the reason why – when of all the people I can choose to make a contribution – I chose them.

When I was a house officer (HO) some time ago, I suffered from keratitis as a consequence of my poor habits when wearing contact lenses. Maybe I did not wash my hands properly upon handling the lenses or perhaps its was due to long hours of wearing them. Point is, on one fine morning of a work day at 530AM, I woke up with blurring of vision. At first it was painless but my eyes were watery – I then made the dangerous decision to drive myself to the Emergency Department (ED) of the hospital I was working in. ( I was staying alone by the way and it was too early to call my nearby cousin)

I was thinking if I could get my problem sorted out quickly, I can make it in time for work at 730AM. I took a quick shower, felt around for my clothes and tried to make out a presentable outfit for the day through the blurred eyes and drove at tortoise speed through the dark morning to the ED. I registered myself at the counter like any honest citizen and waited for my turn. Being a HO I was not sure if I had anyone I knew at ED who could sped me through the line. I haven’t done my ED posting yet to even know a single nurse or MA in the department who could help this poor soul.

Thank god, a colleague I knew from my previous ObsGyn posting saw me and helped me out. I was referred to the Ophthalmology Clinic on the same morning and I was diagnosed with keratitis. I was given MC until my next appointment due in 3 days, supplied with analgesic and loads of eye drops. My eyes were so painful and teary I had to wear an eye patch and hailed a cab back home. The taxi driver literally thought I was an OKU and was very kind to help me to my doorstep.

My next 3 days at home as a partially blind person was eye-opening. I was technically confined in the house – my meals were whatever leftovers I could rummage in my fridge or canned food in the pantry. I could not watch TV or surf the internet. I just lay there on the sofa like a dying goldfish listening to the radio. And of course getting paranoid and jumpy over every single sound I hear in the house.

My vision got better, the pain was reducing in trend within that 3 days. I abstained myself from wearing contact lenses for 6 months. I am still wearing them now, only that I know better having educated myself properly. That was me being grumpy for 3 days unable to see, unable to appreciate faces and colours and words on paper and books. Imagine an individual deprived of having eyesight for the rest of their lives!

So this is me doing my own small thing. I have another mini project coming soon over the weekend as a collaborative effort with my sister funded by my mini tabung kebajikan. *cross fingers*