Presentation to handicap centre
It was an audence of about of about 15, mainly stroke and amputee. There were also a Mother and a mentally challenged son, a wife with her husband on wheelchair and a couple of mentally challenged elderly person.
The presentation went quite well considering I was 30 mins late. My intention was to share with them the project and then invite them to visit the school. About half agree to visit the school and find out more and the other half were not too sure. I stressed to them that it is not a easy job being a hawker but if they are willing to learn we are willing to teach and find the opportunities for them.
That night when I drove back I was deeply disturbed. Something I called The Mother's Dilenma. Sitting in the audience was a Mother in her early early sixties and accompany her was a mentally challenged man in his late 30's. After the talk she ask me to recruit his son for the school. I looked at his son,all crumpled in his wheelchair and saliva dripping down the side of his mouth.
'Can you collect money?' I asked and show him a $2 note. 'Yes' came the immediate answer and I can see that he is trying to smile. 'But I cannot had' he injected. I thought for a while trying to understand what he mean by 'had'. After some thought, I replied. 'It OK, I will give you a calculator.'
As a mother, there must be many a time that they must have must look at the child and the situation they are in. I tried not to use the word predicament. They must have wondered when and how will it end. There was a beginning when they found out the condition of their baby and they made the decision to carry on, did they really think of the consequence and the responsibilities. There is the financial issues of raising a mentally challenged child and the emotional commitment of maintaining his or her daily needs.
Did they think of their own lives and the quality of their life. I believe the answer is NO. The love of the mother out reason all common sense. She wants to protect,to provide & to care for her child. In the years that follows, she will look back and reflect on her 'decision'. I never believe that the Mother look at this decision as right or wrong. Killing a life is wrong. It is a good and bad decision, for we do not know what the future holds and there will be time when the Mother looks back at her decision as better or worse decision. For I believe there will be period of joy and sorrow in the child's life. Hopefully there is more joy (good decision) and less sorrow (bad decision).
The way Project Dignity is conceived is hopefully to lesser the burden and address the Mother Dilemma. The idea for the management of the stall must be on a team basis, like the blind son and the Mother as a team. Hopefully the child can look after themselves long after the Mother is gone and the child will by them found someone to work with them as a team, maybe a disadvantaged like an ex-inmate.
I stood down to the boy and asked him to come down on Monday. If he and his Mother turn up, then we will have to find a solution.