“I’m a Christian, when I heard that this boy has some problem, I started to think what can I do?”
Teacher Leong specialise is children education, she has been in this field for 40 years already. The thing that lead her to care for children is her Christian identity, she saw the need, therefore she responded.
When she just settled down in Ipoh, on her way to Sunday School, she saw 3 teenage girls and a 10 years old boy, the little boy face had obvious wound, the teenage girls said that the boy will be send to orphanage. Teacher Leong started to care for the child.
Later, Teacher Leong found the school that the child went to, as she does not know the child, when she was being questioned by the headmaster, she just answered: “I’m a Christian, I heard that this boy has some difficulties, what can I do to help?”
This is how she started her children ministry in Ipoh, until today Teacher Leong still see many children’s needs.
Teacher Leong started Saturday Children Fellowship, Sunday School and tuition class. This group of children mostly are from poor families, under COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, their life became worse than ever. Again, Teacher Leong take initiative to care for these families.
Take initiative to care then you’ll see the needs
In the past, Teacher Leong had guided Xiao Zhi (Pseudonym) with his homework before, that’s how she came to know his family, she also encouraged him to attend children fellowship. During pandemic, Teacher Leong take initiative to care for this family, and found out that the boy’s father has no work for this period of time, thus they do not have income. In view of this, she helped them to apply for 7979 Manna Food Bank (MFB) special assistance program.
Before the second distribution of Manna Food Bag, Teacher Leong received a message from Xiao Zhi’s parent requesting them to send the Manna Food Bag to another address, only then Teacher Leong was aware that they moved out from their house to stay with his grandparents and uncle, because they can’t pay their house rental.
If Teacher Leong did not take initiative to care for this family, then others will not able to see their needs, and nobody will be able to help them. Now, that this family had received their 7979 COVID-19 special assistance, they no longer have to worry for being hungry for at least a short period of time.
See the needs of life, intervene with sincere care
Xiao Hao (Pseudonym) has three siblings, he is in Form 3 secondary school, his youngest brother is in standard 6 primary school. During pandemic, their mother found out that she has unplanned pregnancy, they are stunned and felt lost by this new member existence. The already burdensome family’s finance condition became tougher in this MCO period as they had no income.
Teacher Leong has been helping this family even before MCO started. At present, they are recipient of 7979 Manna Food Bank and Crisis Intervention special assistance program.
Teacher Leong constantly care for them, sometimes even curious about how they cook the dry food given to them. When she heard of Xiao Hao’s mom unplanned pregnancy and how lost they were, she helped them to analyse – Although Xiao Hao’s father is already 60 years old, he is not retire, he is still capable to work for few more years, their three children are growing up too, they can work to provide for the family when they graduated from school. Xiao Hao’s mother still can do some miscellaneous work from home while taking care of her baby. After this analysis, they find that their financial difficulties can be solve, they are capable to raise this child. Finally, Xiao Hao’s parents heartily accept the arrival of this baby.
Help without any guilt
Xiao Ai (pseudonym) is a mother of 5 children, due to pandemic, their household income is affected. Teacher Leong got to know them through a sister in Christ, intending to help them to apply for 7979 COVID-19 Special Assistance program. In the beginning, Xiao Ai’s husband refused to accept assistance, it became an issue between them.
Now that the government began to implement CMCO, her husband resumed work, however the company decided to enforce large percentile of salary cut in order to allow the company to go through this difficult time. This really worsen their already bad financial condition.
Teacher Leong understood the psychological tension that Xiao Ai’s husband has over receiving aid, therefore in the midst of helping them, in order to ease their feeling, she explained that the aid is from an NGO, it is unconditional, they do not owe anyone, so that they may receive the aid without any psychological burden.
After Xiao Ai accepted 7979’s assistance, she felt so thankful, because this is her first time receiving aid from others.
The sweet return from helping others
Teacher Leong started from her own tuition classes, she made calls from household to household, whenever she sees a need she’ll always use her own money to help others. However, due to the massive needs, she finds herself cannot cope with it.
Later on, she came to know of 7979 COVID-19 Special Assistance program through a sister’s sharing, she started to apply on behalf of the people in need. When we talked to her about 7979 COVID-19 Special Assistance program, Teacher Leong commented that “7979 indeed enable us to help more people”.
Helping others is not easy too, every household has different needs, some cases even stated down their food “requirement”, therefore Teacher Leong had to customize each Manna Food Bag’s content, so that the client’s need can be met. Adding to this, Teacher Leong occasionally needs to do life condition analysis with them too, so that they may make correct decision.
In the process of helping others, Teacher Leong also came across some cases that refuse to accept aid, due to worry of being exposed or feel like they owe someone. Thus, helper must be aware of client’s feeling too, make sure that they do not feel pressured when they received aid. Teacher Leong said it with relief: “Helping others through NGO allow recipients to feel honored and they will be encouraged to help others in future.”
“These children treat us (Teacher Leong and her husband) like their parents, I still remember a child said to me, “I have 2 fathers and 2 mothers, both of you are the other two!’”, Teacher Leong looks so pleased when she quoted what the child said. I think for a helper this is the biggest reward and comfort.
These stories are grateful dedication to all teachers
Happy Teachers’ Day