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Sunday, 01 July 2012 00:00

Study Grant Home Visits in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur

Written by  By Lau Chew Leng & Low Hui Cheng, Kuala Lumpur/Translated by Peggy Lee

On their home visits at night, volunteers were fully equipped with torch lights and other essentials.【Photograph by Low Hui Cheng】

During a 43-day period from June to mid-July, Tzu Chi volunteers from Selangor and Kuala Lumpur completed 8,200 Study Grant home visits. They worked day and night with only one goal in mind, that is, assist low-income families to prepare their children for a new school year.


On July 1, 2012, more than one hundred volunteers gathered at Sri Damansara Office with a mission to complete 283 home visits in a day! This day also coincided with their Charity Day, a monthly routine activity.

Volunteer Li Ling Juan commented that the move to gather everyone together for the home visits would give an opportunity for fellow volunteers to share their experience with their families and friends. Through home visits, volunteers can witness with their own eyes the situation of the poor families, hence appreciate how blessed they are. It is also a chance to recruit more members.

A total of 1,259 Study Grant applications were received by Sri Damansara volunteers, and this means they had to make 1,259 home visits. Some volunteers were also assigned to make home visits in Rawang, a different zone. Team spirit had, indeed, been cultivated through this activity.

Render assistance to neighboring zone

Rawang is a simple and scenic town situated to the north of Kuala Lumpur, about an hour's drive from the Capital city. Quite a number of poor families are living in this town, as well as, nearby zones namely, Ulu Yam, Rawang Old Town and the border of Tanjung Malim. Volunteers had a hard time locating half of the applicants (677 applications) as some addresses were not found in the map, and some were either deep in the forest or in the estate. Of these 677 applications, 85% are from Indian families.

It was a huge challenge for the 30 local volunteers in Rawang to complete 677 home visits in 43 days. Chen Qiu Ying said that each local volunteer had to make at least 20 home visits during the weekends, with assistance from different zones' volunteers. She also mentioned that this year, volunteers were more willing to bear responsibilities and take their own initiative to group up for the home visits.

The only volunteer in Ulu Yam, Liu Rui Lan was very grateful to get assistance from Sister Ling Juan, a volunteer from a different zone, who partnered her to complete more than a hundred applications. The unfamiliar environment, language barrier, security and distance all posed a huge challenge and a great test on the volunteers' perseverance.

Home across the railway

Volunteers had to coordinate their home visit schedules through numerous phone calls with applicants. They had to work every weekend and some weekdays in groups of 3s or 4s to make the journeys through roads and streets, trek up some hills and mountains or cross railway tracks to get to the applicants' homes. The word 'dangerous' was never in their mind; instead, they could only think of the hundreds of poor families who needed assistance.

Despite the difficult journeys, their determination had remained strong. The volunteers worked very hard to locate the addresses with the help of GPS. In some remote areas, volunteers needed to search a few rounds before they could locate the address. On their night visits, volunteers were fully equipped with torch lights and other essentials.

Whenever there was a shortage of manpower, volunteer Chen Shao Qiu would drive for 20 minutes from his home in Kuala Kubu Baru to pick up another volunteer before returning to Kuala Kubu Baru again to carry out the home visit. He used all his free time to complete his mission, and was truly grateful to be given the opportunity to contribute.

Language barrier was not a problem for Taiwanese volunteer, Lin Xue Mei. She would get other volunteers to translate for her so that she could write her report in Chinese.

Home without furniture

On one of her home visits, Lin Li Yin was astonished to find an empty home without any furniture. There was only a mattress for the family of nine! She could not believe that such poor families still exist in this era. She really felt sorry for the family but at the same time felt grateful that she is blessed.



The home visits on Study Grant applicants had truly helped the volunteers in their spiritual cultivation.

 

A total of 1,259 Study Grant applications were received by Sri Damansara volunteers. The volunteers took the home visit activity as a good opportunity to recruit more volunteers.【Photograph by Low Hui Cheng】 The Rawang volunteer team received more than 600 applications. Every volunteer had at least 20 families to visit.【Photograph by Low Hui Cheng】

A total of 1,259 Study Grant applications were received by Sri Damansara volunteers. The volunteers took the home visit activity as a good opportunity to recruit more volunteers.【Photograph by Low Hui Cheng】

The Rawang volunteer team received more than 600 applications. Every volunteer had at least 20 families to visit.【Photograph by Low Hui Cheng】
Many applicants' homes were without complete address, but the volunteers never gave up locating them. 【Photograph by Low Get Lee】 In some remote areas, volunteers needed to search a few rounds before they could locate the address.【Photograph by Low Get Lee】

Many applicants' homes were without complete address, but the volunteers never gave up locating them. 【Photograph by Low Get Lee】

In some remote areas, volunteers needed to search a few rounds before they could locate the address.【Photograph by Low Get Lee】
Despite her recent cataract operation, Sister Yao Yu Lan still went for the home visits wearing a pair sunglasses.【Photograph by Low Get Lee】 The volunteers had to sit on the floor to do their interview as the house was empty!【Photograph by Low Get Lee】

Despite her recent cataract operation, Sister Yao Yu Lan still went for the home visits wearing a pair sunglasses.【Photograph by Low Get Lee】

The volunteers had to sit on the floor to do their interview as the house was empty!【Photograph by Low Get Lee】

 

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