Dear all, if you are planning to have children in the future, I hope they are all privileged enough to enjoy education without any worries. Also, please take care of your health cuz I don't hope them to experience what I experienced below...please.
I'm Howard, 20 and I'm currently pursuing a diploma in Business in Information Technology in a private university here in Malaysia. I came from a humble family and things were all just enough for us until COVID-19 strikes.
To this point, I need to brief you all some about the 'White Flag' movement here in Malaysia. "White flag" movement is a nationwide movement which underscores Malaysians’ desperate call for help & the urge for privileged entities or individuals worldwide to go the extra mile to help each other out during this pandemic. The initiative was started by a group of youth in Kuantan, Malaysia who lost a close friend to suicide as a result of severe financial difficulties. After more than one and a half years under some form of COVID-19 lockdown or another, the average Malaysian is worn-out and weary. A lot of Malaysians who belong to the middle-low income level are struggling to make ends meet & many of those who suffered not only financially but also mentally, have opted to end their own lives in hope to escape from this seemingly endless turbulence. For those who don't, they are urged to overcome the social stigma and put up the silent appeals for aid by raising a ‘White flag’ outside their residence. In a sense of retaining hope in this country, businesses,entities and individuals who are keen to help encourage others to do the same by their own various channels: establishing mental assistance hotline, setting up food banks, some NGOs may even go the extra mile by delivering necessities to those who flies a white flag outside their residences. Subsequently, there are ‘Black Flag’ & ‘Red Flag” movements initiated to express anger towards the authorities and concerns over families that rear pets they no longer afford to feed respectively.
You can understand details of the whole ‘Flag’ movement by clicking on these links:
Nevertheless, there are still too many voices remained unheard and mine was no exception. My dad was a business consultant before the pandemic. We were a happy family before the pandemic. Rewind to the beginning of 2020, it was the start of the most heartbreaking period for me.My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer just a few months later and for immediate treatment, he had to admit into a private hospital. Even though the cancer has not reached the lethal stages yet, but the fact that he used a large chunk of his savings to pay for the medical bills still concerns me. Adding salt to the wound is that a consultant job like his was severely suffered during the Movement Control Order in after the COVID-19 strikes few months later here in Malaysia. There was basically no income to support the recurring expenses. Due to work, he forgot to renew his insurance policy few years back.
As I watch my dad go bald during the chemotherapy, I can’t help but think about the trip to Europe he and my mom were planning just a year ago. The funds should be spent by having the times of their lives and not by laying on a hospital bed. Even tears cannot save us from witnessing the medical bills stacking up day by day and their dreams turn into desperation. One and a half year passed by, but the pandemic here has no signs of slowing down amid all the indecisive measures taken by the government. Due to my dad’s declining ability to work, my mom, who was a housewife for 30 years, even struggled to find a job to support the expenses of our family. Recently I was extremely devastated by witnessing our situation, I felt demotivated to continue my studies as I know my college fees were a very huge burden for them. It really troubles me when my dad told me to finish the remaining semesters of my course when I knew that he would not have the financial capabilities to support me anymore as he is the sole breadwinner of the family. in the past two semesters, I have exhausted almost all my remaining savings collected from part-time jobs just to support the living expenses and my college fees. We’ve tried to contact some of our relatives and friends but it is only that much they can help because of their loss of income and their situation is not optimistic either. Eventually, one whole and a half year of lockdown has forced us, a family of four plus a pet dog, to make hard decisions.
Please take this fundraiser as a last plea for desperate help.
Due to multiple delays, If I did not settle the owing amount with the university before the first week of October, I will get expelled from the university and have to start the courses all over again in the future if I intended to, which will even further delay my progress to achieve the diploma qualification. A diploma is like a pathway to higher paying jobs in Malaysia which I need to secure the livelihoods of my family in the future and it is my dream to do so. It’s even harder to imagine that we might have to be separated from our 6-year-old pet dog Rosie as we really can’t afford to keep her anymore. While searching for related education aid, I stumbled upon some others who were facing similar or worse situations than mine. I really hope that you would never have to face these feelings of despair and helplessness ever in your life.
Over the past few months, I felt like a burden to my family. Until the moment the ‘White’ Flag movement took off, I started to think that there must’ve been a way for me and people facing hardships like us to get through this because there is still hope and angels out there in the dark. Dear All, I sincerely hope that you can be one of the angels.
The goal here is to raise $5000 or approx. 21000MYR for me and two fellow student who are in verge of dropping out to continue our studies for the following semester by paying part of the settlement.
The youngest Nobel Prize laureate activist Malala Yousafzai once said: “One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” While the COVID-19 pandemic strikes, vulnerability has led more people to prioritize survival and even more in developing nations has lost the capability to enjoy education. With a little helping hand of yours, you can save lives and change the future of the ones who need it the most right now.
A little helping hand from you can really make a very big difference to us and our family. I hope that love has no boundaries that we all need each other in one way or another to really succeed. Due to privacy reasons, I can only publish my outstanding tuition fees here, those who need to have a look at my student card and interim transcript can directly reach out to me via the contact button. Thank you all for the time reading this