Monday, June 9, 2008

Children Education Fund/Education Sponsorship for Children

The Children Education Fund (CEF) started off in 1999 when the Buddies of Ipoh were still under the Perak Family Planning Association.

The main and only objective of the CEF is to help lessen the burden of educating juvenile PLWHAs and children of PLWHAs who are our clients. It is not meant to be a total "take-over" of responsibility from the infected or affected family.

Expenses included under the CEF are the basic funding needed to get a child to school at the beginning of the year - various fees, workbooks, school uniforms, schoes, bags, stationeries and whatever that may be necessary. Bus fares may also be given on a case to case basis.

As The Buddies of Ipoh is determined to ensure that all the infected and affected children of our clients are not deprived of basic education, in 2007 we set up a Sponsorship Committee to come up with a programme called Education Sponsorship for Children where we hoped to get individual sponsors for each child needing financial assistance for schooling. After various meetings and branistorming sessions, the final set of guidelines, criteria and procedures for the programme was finally approved by the Board in October 2007. CEF will still be continued to cater for the children who need financial assistance at the beginning of each schooling year, while the Sponsorship is more for children who need financial assistance throughout their schooling years.

Responses from various individuals interested to sponsor were tremendous and to date we have 33 (updated 2012) children under the sponsorship programme.

If you wish to sponsor a child's educational needs until he/she leaves school, and wish to know more about the programme, please do contact us.

Or if you wish to give a one time donation, you can always contribute to our Children Education Fund.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Our outreach pr0gram aims to prevent HIV/AIDS coming home to loved ones. For this very reason, we reach out to female Sex Workers (SW) and Trans Sexual (TS) sex workers in the streets of Ipoh.

Our team walk the dark streets and the back lanes to seek and reach out to these sex workers. We distribute to them condoms and tubes of gels for free. We also do take the opportunity to talk to them about the importance of using the condoms and at the same time encouraging them to go for blood test. We do offer them our support services should any of them or their colleagues be tested HIV positive.

While we admit that we may need to do more of these outreach programs to create more awareness amongst the sex workers, due to limited number of volunteers, for the moment we are only able to carry out the outreach program once a month.

Monday, April 14, 2008

HIV Clinic

This is our support service at the HIV/AIDS Clinic at Ipoh General Hospital. Since this is during office hours, not all our volunteers are able to volunteer for this service - only those with flexi working hours.

3 teams, comprising 2 or 3 Buddies per team, take turns to attend the HIV clinic every first and third Wednesdays of each month. The Clinic starts at 10 am and ends at 1 pm. Patients are referred to us at the Clinic by the hospital doctors/nurses on duty.

Upon meeting the patient, first we give them a preliminary introduction of ourselves and the services we provide. We then engage the patient in dialogue and try to assess the extent of their need. At this early stage, emotional support is of utmost importance. Trust is established by the assurance of confidentiality.

Our main goal is to pair the patient with the most appropriate Buddy to become a friend so that long-term support is possible. The patient is then enlisted as a client. If, for any reason, the patients declines our support service, a Buddies brochure with our contact number will be given in case they change their minds later.

In any case, we ensure that every patient we meet at the Clinic is equipped with at least some basic knowledge regarding their illness.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Buddy Bear

The Buddy Bear Project is an ongoing project of the Buddies Society of Ipoh. Its aim is to bring comfort and cheer to HIV/AIDS children in malaysia and all over the world. Presently these bears are being sewn single-handedly by a couple of senior citizens in Ipoh. Thanks to them we have more than 2,500 bears in our stock ready for delivery upon request.

Our Buddy Bears have not only been delivered throughout Malaysia but also to NGOs from other countries including Nepal, Cambodia and Thailand.

An application has also been filed with the Trade Mark office for the registration of the name "Buddy Bear".

Those interested to get these Buddy Bears for any HIV infected children, please do contact us.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Client Welfare/PAF

Quite a number of our clients come from poor families, particularly the single mothers among them. While we don't make it a practice to give out money to our clients, we do our best to help them get whatever available financial assistance from various sources. Amongst the sources are:

This fund was set up by Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF) in 1996 to assist the poor children infected/affected by HIV/AIDS. This is to ensure that these children are not deprived of their normal childhood. With this scheme, MAC hopes to meet some of the urgent and basic needs thus helping the children to deal with their problems. Buddies help out to fill in and submit the application forms for our PLWHA clients.

While many poor families are eligible to apply for Welfare Aid, many of them do not know how to go about it. Buddies therefore help to submit applications for deserving PLWHA families, and follows up with the application to ensure that the poor families do get the much needed financial assistance.

This is another area where many do not even know they are eligible. Single mothers especially, with poor level of education, don't even know where to start. This is where our people come in to help them with the application and in getting the necessary supporting documents.

We also help out some of our clients to withdraw their EPF under the permanent disability withdrawal. However, we do not encourage them to withdraw unless and until they are already too weak to work.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

About Us

The Buddies Society of Ipoh was set up to provide support service to People Living With HIV/AIDS, their families and friends. Initially we operated as a wing under the Perak Family Health Association (formerly known as Family Planning Association). In 2004 we decided to set out on our own as a separate NGO, registered under the Registrar of Societies.

Most of the cases referred to us are from the HIV Clinic at the Ipoh General Hospital. When we offer our services and the patients agree to accept, we will assign the most suitable volunteer (based on age, gender, race, etc) to the PLWHA (our "client") and the volunteer will become the "buddy".

Other than providing support services to PLWHAs, the following portfolios we have summarise the kind of services/activities we have:

1. Client welfare/PAF
2. Buddy Bear
3. HIV Clinic
4. Outreach
5. Children Education Fund (CEF)/Education Sponsorship for Children
6. Fellowship
7. Training
8. Publicity & Recruitment
9. Peer Support
10. Volunteer Care

A separate posting on each portfolio will further explain what we do.