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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Friday, 01 May 2015 17:06

Jing Si Multi-purpose Folding Bed – My Precious Treasure

Written by  Tan Kim Hion, Temerloh / Translated by Jacqueline Khoo

Mastura, a 17-year-old native girl, had never slept on a bed. When her brother-in-law brought a Tzu Chi’s multi-purpose folding bed home and let her sleep on it, she shared happily that it felt good and comfortable. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]

How does it feel to sleep on a bed for the first time in 17 years? Native girl, Mastura, finally experienced the comfort of sleeping on a proper bed when she received a Jing Si multi-purpose folding bed from Tzu Chi. This multi-purpose folding bed has become her favourite, and also the whole family’s precious treasure.


 
Never slept on a bed
 
“All this while, we had been sleeping on the cold floor. Although we have mattresses, we never had a bed, and we never expected one. I never imagined myself sleeping on a bed. Really, I never dared wish for such a good bed…”
 
Mastura sat on the Jing Si multi-purpose folding bed shyly, while speaking with smiles on her face. When the flood hit in December 2014, she escaped in a hurry with her sister and family. The floodwaters covered half of her house, and all mattresses were soaking wet.
 
Due to poverty, they could not afford to buy new mattresses; thus, they could only put them out to dry under the sun. However, the dried mattresses were still stained with traces of water and had a damp smell. They had no choice but to sleep on the mattresses rather than on the cold floor.
 
On January 11, 2015, and being an aid recipient, Mastura’s brother-in-law received a Jing Si multi-purpose folding bed from Tzu Chi. The family was overwhelmed as there had never been any furniture at home, other than a refrigerator, a gas stove and a television. Their living room is literally empty, even tables and chairs are considered luxury goods.
 
Mastura’s sister, Apah, informed that they would sit on the floor for their daily activities like watching television, slicing vegetables, peeling anchovies and even having their meals; and the kids would lay on the floor to do their homework or play.
 
The Jing Si multi-purpose folding bed has brought much joy to the family. When she realized it was a single bed, she gave it to her sister, Mastura, to use, while she and other children continue sleeping on the mattresses laid on the floor.
 
When Mastura tried on the bed for the first time in her life, she felt so peaceful and comfortable; unlike in the past, even though there were mattresses, she could still feel the coldness of the floor whenever she turned around.
 
Although she has a good sleep now, she did not keep it to herself. Upon learning that the bed could also be used as tables and chairs, she would take it to the living room after waking up each morning for use as tables and chairs. At night, she takes it back to her room.
 
Jing Si multi-purpose folding bed
 
“Although the bed is a little heavy, it is the most important furniture at home as everyone needs it,” said Mastura, who has been moving the bed in and out of her room daily without any complaints. To her, this bed is a precious treasure to everyone in the family, and every single member has the privilege to use it.
 
During the family’s television time, the bed is turned into a “sofa”. When Mastura and Apah cook, it becomes a “table” for cutting vegetables and peeling anchovies; when Apah’s nine-year-old daughter wants to do her homework, the bed becomes a “study desk”; Apah’s youngest son whom just turned one, uses the bed as his “playground”, rolling over, jumping on it, or climbing up and down. During meal times, they would all gather around the “bed”, dining and watching television.
 
To Apah and her family, the bed is magical, and they all appreciate it very much. They are very careful when moving it in and out so as not to spoil it.
 
On May 1, 2015, when Tzu Chi volunteers brought another Jing Si multi-purpose folding bed to Apah’s home, both Apah and Mastura were pleasantly surprised. When they collected the first bed, they understood from volunteers that Master Cheng Yen has empathized with the flood victims’ dire situation, thus decided to distribute another bed for each family. However, due to lack of stock, the second bed was only distributed when the second batch of stocks arrived.
 
At first, Apah thought that was just an empty promise so did not expect to actually receive the second bed after three months. With this second bed, Mastura no longer has to move her bed in and out of her room. The second bed would be left in the living room for use as their table and chairs.
 
When combining both the beds, it becomes a huge “sofa”. Apah and her family were fascinated while sitting on it. She was really grateful as Tzu Chi has kept its promise and presented them with such an amazing gift. She expressed, “(We are) very happy. Finally, there is a bed, table and chairs at home!”
 
Apah joyfully shared that, since the heavy flood hit their village end of last year, volunteers have walked into the Orang Asli (literally, “native”) village and brought them various surprises, from material aid to free clinic, multi-purpose folding bed and relief cash.
 
The most unforgettable event for Apah was the promotion of environmental protection by volunteers. Having learnt of the many things that could be recycled, she would no longer discard things that she thought were rubbish before.
 
After hearing volunteers’ sharing on recycling, Apah and her husband would now go around collecting aluminium cans and PET bottles, and stop treating resources as rubbish. Sometimes, when the lorry collecting recyclables comes by, she would sell them and earn some living expenses.
 
Volunteers then told Apah about Tzu Chi’s recycling centre at the Chinese primary school in town. The resources she collected can be sent there if the lorry does not come by but she would not be paid for her recyclables as all proceeds would be used for charitable purposes.
 
She said, “It’s okay, it’s okay not to get any money since it is used to help those in need. Actually, what I am happy about is that since I have learnt to collect recyclables, I realized that the surrounding of my house has become cleaner and there are less mosquitoes and insects. More importantly, the river is no longer blocked by rubbish and hopefully, flooding will not recur.”
 
Apah would discuss with her husband to bring the recyclables to Tzu Chi’s recycling centre. She sincerely hopes that the flood would never happen again and that they could have a peaceful life. This is also the biggest motivation behind her strong determination to continue recycling.
 
 
On May 1, volunteers again arrived at Kuala Krau to distribute the second bed to the flood victims. They were waiting for the coordinator, Chew Yee Leng, to arrange the areas for distribution. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]   The multi-purpose folding bed is a precious treasure for Apah (right) and her family. It was used as her sister’s bed at night; and in the day, it is converted into a table and chairs for the living room. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]

On May 1, volunteers again arrived at Kuala Krau to distribute the second bed to the flood victims. They were waiting for the coordinator, Chew Yee Leng, to arrange the areas for distribution. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]
 
The multi-purpose folding bed is a precious treasure for Apah (right) and her family. It was used as her sister’s bed at night; and in the day, it is converted into a table and chairs for the living room. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]
 
After learning about recycling, Apah has paid attention to her surroundings, and begun picking up recyclables, such as, aluminium cans and PET bottles. She realized that her living environment has become cleaner with lesser mosquitoes and insects. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]   The multi-purpose folding bed has become the family’s precious treasure. Mastura (front) is seen here sitting on the “bed” slicing vegetables, while Apah (back) was watching television on it; and her son was playing on it. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]

After learning about recycling, Apah has paid attention to her surroundings, and begun picking up recyclables, such as, aluminium cans and PET bottles. She realized that her living environment has become cleaner with lesser mosquitoes and insects. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]
 
 
The multi-purpose folding bed has become the family’s precious treasure. Mastura (front) is seen here sitting on the “bed” slicing vegetables, while Apah (back) was watching television on it; and her son was playing on it. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]
 
Photo showing Apah’s daughter (left) doing her homework on the bed-cum-study desk, accompanied by her family. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]   When two beds combine, a big “sofa” is formed. Apah, her sister and her children were fascinated with their precious gifts.  Apah was grateful for the second bed which meant that her sister does not have to move her bed to the living room every day anymore. The second bed is placed permanently in the living room as their table. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]

Photo showing Apah’s daughter (left) doing her homework on the bed-cum-study desk, accompanied by her family. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]
 
 
When two beds combine, a big “sofa” is formed. Apah, her sister and her children were fascinated with their precious gifts. Apah was grateful for the second bed which meant that her sister does not have to move her bed to the living room every day anymore. The second bed is placed permanently in the living room as their table. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]