Wednesday, Aug 23rd

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 30 September 2012 00:00

The Story of Rasiman

Written by  By Yang Siew Lee, Melaka/ Translated by Hew Kwee Heong

Tzu Chi volunteers presented a secondhand laptop to the children. Picture shows Rasydan testing out the computer.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

Rasiman, Rasydan and Nor Hidayah are three very hardworking siblings under Tzu Chi's Scholarship Scheme. They work after school to earn money to lessen their mother's financial burden and also help out with all the household chores.


Thirty-eight year old Romiyati is a single mother with three children. She told the visiting volunteers that without Tzu Chi's aid that was extended to her when her husband fell ill in 2009, all her children would have stopped schooling then.

Warmth in a cold night

In June 2009, Romiyati's husband, Sarif, a rubber tapper, was diagnosed with terminal stage leukemia when he was admitted to Melaka General Hospital for appendicitis. The couple's eldest son, Rasiman, then 12 years old, decided to stop schooling and work so that his mother could take care of his father.

Realizing this family's financial difficulty, the Hospital referred the case to Tzu Chi Melaka. After assessment, Tzu Chi started subsidizing this family's living and medical expenses. At the same time, Rasiman's Headmaster, Mr. Harun, also recommended all three siblings to apply for Tzu Chi's Study Grant. This educational aid was a big relief for Romiyati because her children could continue their education.

On September 17, 2009, the eve of Aidilfitri Festival, Tzu Chi volunteer, Tai Kim Long visited the family with a hamper and found Sarif in a critical condition. He also learnt that he did not have the money to go to hospital. Tzu Chi then immediately issued an emergency cash handout to the family.

Sadly, Sarif passed away on October 1, 2009. To fulfill her husband's wish to repay the kindness received, Romiyati signed up as one of Tzu Chi's monthly donor.

Romiyati became a rubber tapper but her income was not sufficient to feed her three young children and cover her family's other expenses. For this reason, Tzu Chi continues to support this family.

As Sarif had always taught his children to be independent, all three of them work after school or during holidays to ease their mother's financial burden.

The virtue of perseverance

Rasiman was home-taught by his father and entered school only at 11, but he still did very well in his Primary 6 (UPSR) examinations. When his father fell ill, he started working for a cattle yard and picked up recyclables for sale after school.

Rasiman thought of not going to secondary school but his mother objected. Now he hopes to finish schooling and become a soldier as this job has many benefits, one of which was medical benefits for his mother.

Rasiman makes RM150/- monthly working at the cattle yard. His 14-year old sister, Nor Hidayah, gives tuition to their relative's children while his 13-year old brother, Rasydan, feeds the cattle, does painting jobs or plays the "gompang (Malay drum)" for weddings to make extra money for their family. The most admirable quality about these siblings is that they do not keep a single cent for themselves.

In view of the siblings' discipline and perseverance, Tzu Chi volunteer, Tai Kim Long and wife, Ng Siew Peng, recommended them for Tzu Chi's 2012 Scholarship Scheme.

Wonderful booklet

This year, the selection criteria for Tzu Chi Melaka's scholarship applicants were different from previous years. Besides being from low-income families, all applicants were also evaluated based on their attitude and academic results.

In February this year, Tzu Chi volunteers were briefed on this new scheme. In March, they visited 80 schools to introduce the scheme and invited the teachers to recommend candidates. Each candidate was then given a booklet to record their daily performance, to be checked by volunteers and teachers at the end of each month, with feedback provided accordingly. A final evaluation will be done in November and the scholarship will then be given out to the successful candidates in December.

Mother Romiyati was presently surprised by the transformation in her children after receiving the small booklet. She happily shared with the volunteers that her daughter, who has never cooked before, has started cooking dinner for the family! She also folds the laundry without being reminded. Her younger son has also put in extra effort in his studies.

Tai Kim Long and Ng Siew Peng said that although the new scheme requires long-term monitoring, it is worth the effort and the teachers are also showing more concern for their students.

15-year old Rasiman will sit for PMR examinations in October. On September 30, Tzu Chi volunteers invited Headmaster Harun to visit the family to give him some moral support. Headmaster Harun was very happy to see the improvement in this family. He reminded Rasiman to help others when he is able to do so in future.



Tzu Chi volunteers sincerely hope that through the scholarship scheme, and the joint-effort of teachers and parents, the younger generation will be a generation filled with love and care.

 

Romiyati (in black scarf) and children attending Tzu Chi's 2010 Year-end Distribution.【Photograph by Tan Lian Hee】 Rasiman works at the cattle yard after school.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

Romiyati (in black scarf) and children attending Tzu Chi's 2010 Year-end Distribution.【Photograph by Tan Lian Hee】

Rasiman works at the cattle yard after school.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】
Romiyati invited the volunteers to her house to celebrate Aidilfitri Festival.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】 Romiyati signed up as Tzu Chi's monthly donor after learning that the financial aid she received is accumulative love from many people.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

Romiyati invited the volunteers to her house to celebrate Aidilfitri Festival.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

Romiyati signed up as Tzu Chi's monthly donor after learning that the financial aid she received is accumulative love from many people.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】
Mr Harun (left) visiting Rasiman, who will be sitting for his PMR examination soon.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

Mr Harun (left) visiting Rasiman, who will be sitting for his PMR examination soon.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

 

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