Papo and Mamo are two very kind human being. Almost half the population in Taiping know them and almost all of those people have gotten some kinda help from them. Papo has always 'support' the lottery guy just because he feels bad for him selling lottery for decades. Mamo will always help her friends, who are normally senior citizens, to run some small errands like banking and posting letters, etc. Hence, it is natural that their daughter, me, know the importance of helping people.
Honestly, compare to my parent, I am not always a very helpful person. With people I know I sometimes think reward is necessary when I help. Like you know how you always tell people:"hey now you owe me a meal' after you've helped them? And I always think when you are too nice, people will take advantage of you easily! But when it comes to people who are poorer and less fortunate, I normally have a softer heart for them. In many ways, I am thankful for having such parent for bringing us up in that way. The only other time I really did community work was at the John Curtin Weekend, which I enjoyed so much that I joined for three years in a row!
There was one very unforgettable incident that I would like to share with you. Deardo and I were at a steamboat restaurant having dinner when this unable person came on a wheelchair (or was it just a trolley?) came outside the restaurant singing Hokkien song, begging for donations. His voice was terrible, but I felt really bad, especially when it started to rain and he actually continued to sing for a little while more and everybody else were ignoring him. I told Deardo I wanted to help, and passed him 5 bucks as he ran out to chase that fellar (who had to finally stop because of the rain) and gave him the little money. He came back and told me that was like the first time he did such thing. That sudden moment, we both had tears in our eyes.
I'm not saying Deardo doesn't have sense of sympathy, but to me, he is the other way round. He helped his friends and family without complains. Just that he was not used to donating and stuff like that. Well I can see that changing now actually. :)
Okay, enough of the introduction. So I first had the idea of sponsoring a child when I was studying in Perth. It was May 2005 when I was forced to cover arts and cultural events as part of my Print News assignment. I went through some interesting journey to reach a school in Subiaco to see the Watoto Children Choir performed. Read my experience here and how excited I was when my article got published in The Western Independent, Curtin's own community paper here. Apart from the cuteness of the kids and how good their singing was, I learned about Watoto. They are actually sort of like a village set up in Uganda for unfortunate children and even mothers, who are mostly victims of war and AIDS. So behind the smiling faces, there are so many sad stories. Most of the children have lost one or both their parents to AIDS. I felt dearly for them but at that time, as an international student, I couldn't afford to sponsor them and I've decided that this year for my birthday I would do something meaningful by really helping the kids in Watoto.Pictures taken 6 years ago when the Watoto Children Choir performed in Perth.
Yes! My article!!!
So yea, this basically came a bit early since my birthday is only coming next month but oh well, there shouldn't be time limit for charity! I'm officially a sponsor of the Watoto Babies starting July and all I need to do is pay HKD250, which is just RM95 per month and that will enable the Watoto people to help orphaned babies, who are often dumped in rubbish bins, roadside and churches in Uganda. Unlike the children sponsorship, I don't sponsor one person but to all babies and I thought that is a good idea because honestly, I don't want the kid that I sponsor to be forced to write letter to me, you see what I mean? And I guess it is also extremely important to help these kids when there are younger, making sure they have enough to just grow up healthily. My very cool welcome pack! I'm part of Watoto now! :D
I was absolutely excited when I received the welcome pack from Watoto Hong Kong office. While as a trial, I picked to sponsor for a period of six months. But I don't see any reason to stop after that.
One of my favourite tracks sang by the Watoto Children Choir! :)
I am obviously not writing this to tell you how nice or how kind I am. I think I'm just very excited to share because it has been years I wanted to do this and to finally start doing it just made we feel really good! And plus, RM95 per month to help those who are in need? I believe you can also help them up! Check them out at the Watoto website now~! :)
The next thing I really hope to do is to see them perform live again. If I could I would really hope that I am powerful enough to get them to come to KL to perform! And next next thing? Perhaps a visit to the Watoto Village? That sounds great, right? ;)