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.