Have you ever walk in the shoes of someone? What’s the feeling like of experiencing someone’s life, a life full of hardship and adversity? Finally, I have the chance to do so at the One Life Revolution exhibition in KL organised by World Vision Malaysia. This exhibition is aimed at creating awareness among the public about HIV/AIDS and child trafficking. When I first heard about it, I actually missed its first stop in Subang Jaya and I was quite dissappointed. Thank God that it ends its tour in KL. So I told myself, no matter what, I must be there because I don’t want to regret.
I did not regret going there despite the massive traffic jam and squeezing like sardines on the train with other people. Before we enter, each of us were given a mp3 and a headphone. The volunteer briefs us on the situation inside and gave us some instructions. The purpose of the mp3 set is to give us the necessary instructions and most importantly to narrate the stories of the children to us as we walk through different stages.
There I am. I entered to the life of a girl from India named Jothi. As you know, India is associated with poverty. For your information, there are 5 million people in India who are infected with HIV/AIDS. Jothi’s parents were infected with HIV and both of them died subsequently. She has 1 younger brother and 1 younger sister. Although 3 of them are taken care of by their uncle’s family, their life have never been better. The uncle has a pocket full of debts and he is constantly quarelling with his wife. It is evident that the uncle is incapable and reluctant to feed them.
As a result, Jothi as the breadwinner of the family has to take care of her siblings. Sadly, both of her siblings are infected with HIV too. In order to sustain life, Jothi has to pick up recycleable items such as aluminium cans by the dusty road side to earn some income. In the mean time, there is a high possibility of her being lured by passing-by drivers for sexual activities. As all of her family members are infected by HIV, she is afraid that she will be the infected one too. So, she decided to go to the clinic for a check-up. Luckily, she is HIV negative, thank God.
After the mock clinic, we entered into the Reflection Room. In there, different pictures of those children are hung on the wall. This place provided a space for us to reflect back on the experience of the child we have gone through, in my case, Jothi. The unpleasant one, the tough one, the misery.. At that moment, my feeling was really down. The heart starts to feel very uncomfortable. As i glance through each picture and ponder, my mind was asking:”How are the lives of these children right now?”.
Next, it’s the Wall of Hope. At here, we are asked to write down our thoughts and words from our heart on a piece of paper and pin in on to the board. This is to support those children out there as well as to give them the strength to continue to live on. I wrote this:
‘ NEVER GIVE UP!!
THE WORLD WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU’
After those inspiring moments, the journey is near to the end. We were instructed to grab a bracelet placed on a basket at the next room as a remembrance of what we have gone through that day.
The journey ends. But the hope continues to spread as more and more people join in the force. If you see life through the eyes of these affected children, you will be amazed by their resillience.
The bracelet shall be with me all the time to serve as a reminder to me on how blessed I am. I pray. May all of the children out there be able to obtain the power they needed to withstand the pain and agony and carry on with life regardless of any affliction.
Feeling of the moment: Where is the Love? by Black Eyed Peas
“You’ve Got One Life, DO SOMETHING”, bL!nk$t@R.