Wednesday, April 30, 2008
In the course of helping out Single Parents, we at Jumble Station have discovered there are two kinds of people – the kind that are so apologetic and embarrassed about their dire situation and need for financial assistance while the other kind is so used to getting handouts, they demand for it, take from all and sundry and demand to know why aid is stopped!
The first kind is where Prema our newest Single Mother belongs to. She is a mother of three children, abandoned some months back by her Chinese husband a drug addict and left to fend for herself and her kids.
Prema works as a tea lady cum cleaner at a manufacturing outfit in USJ 4 and earns only RM650 a month but after EPF deductions, her take home pay is only RM600. She earns an extra RM100 cleaning a house but even this is not enough. Prema was referred to JS by Shelter Home and she tells us that she has problems paying off the monthly rental for her low cost flat especially after the MPSJ raised her rental by RM100 just prior to the March 8 elections.
Her rental arrears amounts to RM1,600 and she’s forced to borrow RM800 from a friend to settle part of the arrears. JS donated RM100 and some groceries to her the first time we met her and then gave her a further RM800 to help her with her rental arrears. We’re now trying to see how best we can help her overcome her financial woes so that life will be much easier for this stoic Single Mother. Prema was quite overcome when we insisted she take the RM800 because she couldn’t quite believe that there are folks out there that care enough to want to help. It is folks like this that makes reaching out to real needs such a joy indeed….
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
You’ve heard the saying that one should teach another to fish so he can eat a lifetime rather than merely feed him a fish each day. Sometimes though, it is hard to teach someone to fish when the person does not want to fish!
We faced this situation at Desa Mentari when we set up JS Junior and a tuition centre there as part of our effort to reach out to the needs of the 20 Single Parents there. We did that upon the request of the folks there but the sad thing is that none of the Single Parents there with the exception of one, was willing to lend a helping hand to keep it going and ensure its success.
The sole person, Mary Dass initially started off very enthusiastically but soon lost steam when the response from the flat dwellers and the single parents there were pitifully poor. It seems that they were so used to receiving things for free, they couldn’t contemplate paying for anything or volunteering at JS unless they were paid a salary.
To make matters worse, the one month when JS Jr was placed in the care of a single mother who in turn outsourced it to her teenage daughter, whatever monies came in went into ‘feeding’ the teen’s insatiable handphone calls. Even the tuition fees, what little there was, suffered the same fate and the petty cash too were ‘borrowed’ by the teen who spun some very blatant lies to cover the loss of the cash.
In the end, we decided that it was more expedient to cut our losses and close down JS Jr and wonder of wonders, another church group was even then looking to rent a flat and we agreed to let them take over the tenancy of the place and collect our rental deposit.
Meanwhile at Angsana Flats itself, Jumble Station was invited by the Resident Committee to assist with activities for the spanking new multipurpose hall. We agreed to help start an English reading class beginning this coming Sat, May 3rd because this will help us to utilise some of the children’s books that were donated by kind donors. So watch out for more info on this…meanwhile here's the pix of the chairman, secretary and football captain of the Angasana Flats resident committee receiving their football club jersey during the meeting where JS co-founders were invited to attend. What we need now are committed volunteers to assist with the story telling, nursery rhymes and activities for the kiddies at Angsana...
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Come Thursday night April 24 at 9pm… catch the 3 minute segment on Jumble Station over on RTM 1 ‘s “Fitra Kasih” show where you will JS stars like Lim Lian See, Sanice Kam, Lillian, Jonathan and Rong Tau, Mala and Rainah all strutting their stuff…here’s your chance to catch them in action….and if you can’t …here are more pix of the RTM shoot…
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Being heard …on Bernama Radio 24
JS makes it to the radio… okay not many of you knew that JS made it to the radio waves last Sunday morning except for a few who tuned into 93.9FM belonging to Bernama radio channel 24.
Interestingly a quick check of the Internet prior to the actual interview showed that it’s a radio channel that was launched on Sept 3 2007 which makes it as young as Jumble Station itself. I also loved the fact that the station was born on the same day as myself, minus a couple of years… okay a few decades to be exact!
So anyway, for the last two Sundays, Feb 6th and Feb 13th, Jumble Station have had the unique chance to share its vision and mission on the air and via TV. Thanks to the write up by The Star Metro and the SJ Echo, the other local newshounds have pounced on JS as a good news bite and invited us to share something about what we’re doing with the Malaysian public.
Lian See and I woke up early for the Bernama Radio 24 live talk show on 93.9FM and brought along single mum Rainah Kinsang and Babu Chandran. We treked our way to the Bernama HQ at Jalan Gurney in KL and found not a single warong where e could have a quick bite but McDonalds came to there rescue...
So there we were interviewed live and in er.. fractured BM described to the listeners the plight of the poor single and how JS is trying its best to make life a little easier for them. It was a pretty indepth interview with some pretty incisive questions given during the 2 hour talk show while Rainah and Babu had a hard time overcoming their shyness and gave their replies in strangled voices…
Today, we come out from behind the microphone to stand in front of the camera for RTM’s charity show - Fitra Kasih - and the support from our JS supporters for JS’ television debut was great – almost everyone who cared, turned up to help us out from Lillian of Street Ministry who timed her arrival to deliver stuff and was caught on camera by the RTM crew to Azahar, Rong Tau and Jonathan who had rushed to borrow a van to deliver some teddy bears and electrical stuff… all these were captured by RTM’s eagle eyed cameraman…Then there was also the supporting ‘cast’ from volunteer Joyce Leong to CG leader Chee Leong and a couple of our regular JS customers.
After which the three of us, co-founders of JS… Lian See, Pingnan and little Antz, were asked to ‘act’ like we were in serious discussion before the camera zoomed in on us for a too close encounter of ‘why the focus on Single Parents and how the idea for JS came about.” The RTM team then zeroed in on Rainah and her four little heroes before zooming off to Desa Mentari to focus on single mum Shanti and her girls…meanwhile we let the pix do the talking…
Saturday, April 5, 2008
What do you do with 1,000 worth of food fair tickets that's been bought and paid for by someone else? One teacher of the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan in SS15 Subang Jaya was faced with this happy predicament when one person agreed to sponsor RM1,000 worth of tickets but could not make it to the food fair itself. The solution? Pass it to Jumble Station's single parents and let them have a shot at picking the 'meals' they'd rather eat.
Unfortunately, most of single parents were either too busy working to go to the school itself or they couldn't go because they lacked the transport to bring their kids along. Sabariah Hussin and her 3 kids were not able to go there because the kids had extra classes to attend and wouldn't get there on time, the Single Parents of Desa Mentari didn't have transport to get there and didnlt want to spend their money on taxis. This left Rainah and her four boisterious boys to take up the slack so they were escorted and driven to the school by JS volunteers Rong Tau and John with instructions to buy as many cookies, cakes and etc so that these in turn can be handed over to the single parents who could not make it today,,, All pix taken by Jonathan Khoo