Yesterday, my volunteer group organized a trip to the Universal Studio Singapore (USS) for HIV/AIDs Patients & Family. Most of them came from a disadvantaged background and do not have the opportunity to visit Universal Studio. In fact, the children were really excited to visit USS.
It was a good opportunity for them to spend some quality family time, and also to forget about the dreadful reality for a while.
Recently, I felt I was a bit jaded and I do not get excited easily. The excitement of the kids was contagious, I was really happy to see the excitement in their eyes. It is the FIRST time they ever visited a theme park. =)
There was a lot of mixed feeling along the trip.
A female participant said that it was her daughter and her dream to visit the USS, and she thanked the volunteers & sponsors for the opportunity. While I was very happy for them, I was really sad to know that visiting USS (such a simple task) could be someone's dream. Visiting USS is still out of reach for some Singaporeans.
Life is not fair.
A teenage boy was asking his mother if he could go for his soccer match.
His mother replied that he needed to see doctor on that day which was more important.
Then, it dawned on me that not just the mother, but the healthy-looking teenage boy was also HIV+.
This really affected me.
If I was the boy, I would ask:
What have I done to contract such a dreadful virus?
Why am I on medication since birth?
His younger sister was not affected (There was 30% HIV transmission probability from mother to child).
I could sense that he was suffering from low self-esteem.
He had done nothing to deserve such a dreadful virus.
Life is not fair.
There was a kid who held my hand and wanted my company. I felt that he needed a lot of love and attention. Then, I learnt from another volunteer that his dad had abandoned the family and his mother was in a prison. He and his brother (both unaffected by HIV) was taken care by their aunt who is HIV+ and has 2 kids of her own.
Life is really tough for these young kids, who needed so much parental guidance and love.
Some of my friends would complain about their career, expensive housing & cars, little salary increment, office politics etc.. these are really trivial worries. These patients are facing the REAL challenges of Life - issues with health (Life & Death), issues with money, issues with family, issues with acceptance & stigmatization etc...
I am really glad that they enjoyed at least one day without worries or fears (except for the thrill rides).
It is really a great joy to bring happiness to someone in need. =)