Friday, September 3, 2010

Project Dignity

19 Aug

Today I interviewed some of the students for the school. Many thanks to Servehope for arranging the interviews.

The first interviewee is a boy or a 32 years old man called PH who suffers from fits. He came with his sister & the sister's godma. The interview starts with the introduction to Project Dignity. You can tell from the look of PH eyes that he is engrossed but sure whether he likes it or not. The sister explains the inabilty of the brother.

When she finished I turn to PH and asked 'Do u know what we are talking about?'
He shaked his head and the sister said answer the question and continued with the history of the brother and the concern of her Mom. (I have come to understand the predicament of the people or caregiver surrounding a disabled. As the caregiver be it the parents or sibling grow older, the disabled child grews as well. The worry comes when the caregiver cannot care any further).

Again I turn to ask the boy 'Do you know what we are talking about?'.

There was a long pause and he nodded and cried. 'I want to do this'. There was another paused as he wiped his tears with the back of his hand. 'Uncle Seng Choon, I cannot carburator'. He studded and his left hand pointing at his right palm. 'Uncle Seng Choon, I cannot carburator' He repeated earnestly. 'Oh' I exclaimed 'you mean' I paused without completing the last statement.

'Not to worry I get you a calculator'. At that moment, I emptied my wallet a two, five and a ten dollar note. I have to be sure. I cannot allow my passion to help cloud my objectivity of whether he can do the work. 'What is this plus this?' showing a five and a two dollars note. 'SEVEN' he shouted and a big smile spread across his face. I believe I can try to help him work in PD.
The next interviewee is more challenging - Blind man.

When Servehope spoke to me about a blind man wanting to learn the hawker trade, I told myself it will be quite challenging never heard of a blind man in the hawker trade.

His case involves the Mother as well. Mother care very much for her son and worried that the son will have a problem to look after him after she passed away. The worry is very real as the son do lacks skills to provide for himself and is just learning computer skill. I ponder the situation for several days without calling her. What can a blind man do as a hawker?

The idea comes to me (it is always good to talk to friends) when a friend show me the $2.00 Singapore note, there is a two dots on the top right hand corner- Braille on dollar note. Actually not many people know about this feature.

The interview was an emotional one. For a start I boot up my computer and explain to the Mother. The blind boy in the meantime kept touching the computer interrupting the Powerpoint Presentation. At the end, I decided to switch to a word software and allow him to do some typing. He typed.

'What can you do as a hawker?' I asked. He sway his head. 'Can u collect money?' I enquired further. He smile. I took out a $2, $5 and a $10 note. 'How much is this?' $2 dollars' he replied. Then the $5 and the $10. 'very good, 3 out of 3' I handled him a 4th dollar note.'this is not a Singapore dollar' I explained.

'Yes lt is a US$ 1 note'. You passed. The next gesture surprised me. He took out his hankerchief & wipe his tears. A blind man cried, the tears of eyes that cannot see.

Questions follows with more questions, not from the Mother but from the blind boy. Finally he said 'I want to do this' turning towards his Mother.

'I really don't know whether this will work. I am willing to try if you are willing to give it a try too. ' I explained. 'Yes' came the reply.

As we were walking out. He hold my hand and his face move towards my face making sure I heard what he is going to tell me. There was a pause and the word 'Hope' came out of his mouth. The word cause a shiver down my spine. I felt a sudden surge of emotion down my throat.

To be continued