On Saturday I had the opportunity to help kids buy their Raya cloth. It was an experience of a lifetime and it’s worth repeating.
Firstly I have to thank Kak Jie for giving me the opportunity to replace her. I have to say, this is the most convenient orphanage, it was close to my old house, somewhere in between Desa Pandan and Kampung Pandan.
The day started with a speech by the Head of Baitul Ehsan. He told the story how the house started, that he gave away all his fortune to help these kids. There are 60 of them all together, boys and girls. First, they started renting a house (and still renting) with just 5 kids. Soon the size grew, as more parents seeking refuge, largely due to financial constraints. Space became limited, the place was swarmed with kids. They eventually expanded to Gombak (for boys). Now they have 2 homes. In this house, they were taught to recite and remember the Quran (creating tahfiz).
The kids came from various backgrounds, origin and age. There was once a 10 day-old twins, which they raised to 9 years old today. They were unwanted kids, nobody wanted to take them in but Baitul Ehsan did. I lost it the minute I reflected it to myself. Where was I all this while? How could I help? What needs helping? What’s stopping me from helping?
I couldn’t help but feel saddened as the story unfolds. I’m sure it sparked a few to continue helping these kids, I know I am.
Anyway, our task as volunteer was to take these kids shopping at Tesco Ampang (about 10 minutes drive). We were given RM150 per kids, help them pick their raya cloth and other necessities. Aisyah and me were given 2 kids, Fadli and Aiman. Fadli has a twin brother in the same house, Aiman has a little brother too.
We created a shopping list before we head to Tesco.
Our ride was flashy, my dad’s BMW 6-series. We wanted to change the day before, but I had Negaraku dinner and we made our move from Shah Alam, it doesn’t make sense to replace our car early morning. Thankfully our kids were tiny, easy to fit at the back. Their reaction to the car was like WOW! They were looking at every aspect of the car, window, seats, even my dad’s golf hat.
The shopping list was long, it means longer walks, but we’re up for it!
They were both clear on getting a robe (jubah) for Raya. After strolling for half hour, we couldn’t find a place that sells a robe for 12 year olds. They were all for adults. Our kids was ok with another option, a Kuta (Pakistani shirt, and I have no idea how to spell that). It proved to be a challenged as well. They were at the age with odd size, can’t fit kids nor adults size.
Eventually we got one for each though it was bigger than expected and I’ve tried reasoning with them to get a Baju Melayu instead. They loved it and I couldn’t refuse. I can now understand how hard was it for mom to pick baju raya for us.
Shoes for Aiman was easy, he wanted a North Star, which is dead on cool. As for Fadli, he wasn’t sure what he wanted. His timid personality made it harder to understand his words but we eventually got one for him. We got perfume at Watson, and we were lucky enough to qualify for a free back pack!
The watch was straight forward. Aisyah decided to pay for them instead. Aiman got one with some super lighting display, meanwhile Fadli got a G-Shock-ish watch. Aiman has a boyish-teeny personality, Fadli was at that age, an adult-to-be teen. Hence why his taste were all over the place. (I went through similar phase at 16-17!) We all know how teens are, confusing era!
Video of the event that took place by Projek Iqra
We finally got back at Baitul Ehsan about 12.30 pm. We did manage to loiter for a while in the hall, it was very spacious, unfortunately, I forgot my camera. No photos were taken. We bid good bye and sort of forced the kids to pray for us. Haha (Doa anak yatim makbul yooo)
As soon as we got home, we went flat in the living room for hours.
It was worth it. It’s what I missed doing and should’ve done often, these little random act of kindness. No amount of money can buy that. The feeling of free from all this misery and the joy of helping others, is truly remarkable.