Volunteering

On the 29th of June, I joined a volunteer program called Jom Ceriakan Suasana Mereka with seki MPP. At first I didn’t want to join because I didn’t want to skip ETR and CTU (dahlah Ustazah best) walaupun dapat surat pelepasan, but Ayu and YDP managed to convince me. And I’m sooooo glad that they did.

Kami bersama PEWANI (Persatuan Wanita UiTM) bekerjasama untuk menceriakan rumah daif. Tak silap saya (kalau silap, maaf sangat-sangat), rumah yang kami pergi tu milik seorang ibu tunggal bersama lima orang anaknya yang berkelainan upaya.

Sedih sangat tengok keadaan rumah mereka. Apa definisi ‘rumah’ bagi korang? Mesti ada meja makan, ada TV, ada kerusi Ogawa, ada Ayat Kursi, ada dapur, ada gambar-gambar keluarga. This was not the case.

The mattresses and pillows looked like they hadn’t been washed for the past ten years. The walls were almost black, full of scribbles, reminding me of the walls of a filthy public toilet. The window panes were incomplete, and the remaining ones were filled with dirt. There was so much old and dirty junk. Banyak sangat labah-labah, lipan, tikus, lipas dan seangkatan dengannya (we had to keep the screaming to a minimum to respect their feelings). It was so difficult to believe that these people actually live, every single day, in this kind of condition. I even came across a piece of paper under the bed that was supposed to be a letter or journal entry or something. Didn’t read it but I saw words like ‘bercerai’ and ‘hutang’, written in angry capital letters.

Ya, itu definisi ‘rumah’ bagi mereka. Nasib ada rumah. Kat Jepun banyak je orang homeless yang terpaksa tidur malam-malam dalam kotak kadbod di tepi stesen keretapi. Waktu musim sejuk pulak tu. Bayangkan.

Baru malam sebelum tu, saya merungut pasal lampu rosak dekat tandas hostel. Astaghfirullah… that is such a small matter, compared to the things I saw that day. How can I complain about not owning an iPhone when there are people living like this? Cuba bersyukur sikit, Arifah.

So we moved the furniture outside the house, painted the walls, washed the floors, wiped the window panes, brushed away the spider webs, and made sure the cat ate all the mice (“Perform lah kucing!” – Izzy). After Zohor, the new furniture arrived. Tilam baru. Meja makan. Kabinet. Stove. Bunga. We felt like crying tears of joy when we saw the new and improved house. Now it looked more like my definition of ‘rumah’. We didn’t arrange every single piece of furniture back inside, but only the new ones, to give them some freedom in decorating their house.

The rector’s wife was there with us because she’s the head of PEWANI. She was super nice and friendly, honestly! She talked to us a lot and showed genuine interest. I want to be like her when I grow up. Heheh. Because many adults are like, “Budak zaman sekarang ni kurang ajar, asyik main gajet, tak reti buat kerja blah blah blah”. But you know what she said to us?

She said, “You all are so remarkable, joining this kind of thing. Please continue to do so. Banyak pahala you all dapat bulan Ramadhan ni. After all, Ramadhan is the time for you to boost your iman, and it must continue for the next 11 months. Volunteering changes you. Kalau boleh, volunteer sampai ke luar negara. Your mentality will be so different from your friends. I truly believe that your generation, Gen Y, will change the world”.

Bukannya sekali tau dia cakap. Dia cakap sampai enam, tujuh kali. Sampai kami pun betul-betul percaya. We can change the world. I even secretly recorded a bit of her speech on my phone. I was like making heart eyes at her hahahaha. Adore sangat! Then she asked for me and Ayu’s numbers because she really wanted to create a WhatsApp group with UiTM students to share tafsir of the Qur’an. I just admire people who spread positive vibes and actively make the effort to create a positive difference in the world. #Idola

Tudung semua orang rosak sebab terkena cat. Seluar saya lagi lah, memang jadi kain buruk lah alamatnya lepas ni. But I said something that everyone kept quoting for the rest of the day.

“Tudung boleh beli. Pengalaman tak boleh beli.”

It’s true. I don’t like staying at campus for too long without getting involved in any other activities. Because going to class, eating, sleeping, main phone, following the same routine every day, hanging out with the same old people of the same age group from the same course from the same backgrounds… in my opinion, it closes your mind. Makes you forget that there is a world out there. So get involved, people! Participate.

A precious and unforgettable experience I had that day, made a huge impact on me. Thank you so much, everyone.

And He gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them.” (Surah Ibrahim 14:34)

Also, It turned out that my ETR lecturer didn’t even show up for class. Lol. Nasib tak pergi.

P.s. PEWANI belanja kami makan nasi Arab untuk berbuka. Alhamdulillah.

P.s.s. Rupa-rupanya Alor Gajah merupakan antara daerah yang paling bahagia di Malaysia.

P.s.s.s. Sorry takde gambar. Malas nak upload. Cable phone pulak rosak.

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