Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Closing down JS junior ….and opening a new chapter at Angsana

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...

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