Educating oneself and those around you is key! Once complete awareness is brought among the world, organizations and people will finally be able to stop repeating themselves and spending the amount of money they do in order to raise awareness in trying to get everyone to listen about HIV and AIDS. Events like these do not happen very far from you, many are unaware that there are many residents of HIV and AIDS close by, and in this home we call Malaysia, exists as a small little home called Crisis Home which only calls for your awareness if nothing else.
Crisis Home, a home for people who are recovering or in need of recovery from the HIV or AIDS illness was established in Kuala Lumpur in the year 2003. Mr. Isaac Tan the main caretaker of Crisis Home after the previous caretaker had passed away, was a former user but one who miraculously managed to overcome his addiction. In this article he shares his story to the world about how he overcame his addiction and just how passionately he feels about people taking care of those suffering from HIV and AIDs, particularly the men who are suffering from that illness, an illness that has affected many different types of people from working professionals to heads of families, students, little children and many more.
His story of passion began after he went through rehabilitation in a Christian rehab halfway house, after which he was set free and has been clean for the past 25 years. Since then, he has helped many people overcome their own addiction. Not long after, he started serving in a Church for a while, and right after leaving the church, with the numerous works he has done already, he came in and poured his heart and soul into taking care of Crisis Home.
Mr. Isaac Tan seeks the need to bring about awareness on the critical issue of HIV and AIDS partly because of his friend that passed away from HIV in 1989. He has devoted many years of his life helping out those in need at the Crisis Home. Previously he was working with women and children with HIV and AIDS but then moved towards helping men with HIV and AIDS. He strongly feels the injustice being done towards men with HIV and AIDS as majority of people would be so quick to judge and assume that men are the causes of the illness while the women and children with the same illness are generally seen as victims.
Residents of Crisis Home smiling for the camera and on the far right, the main care-taker Mr. Isaac Tan
The residents at the home are referred from the government general hospital to homes like these, and once discharged they need someone to monitor them when taking medications this is where the caretakers of these homes come in. Nursing care is expensive and since some residents are even disowned by their own family members, it makes it a difficult battle to fight, without the ability to offer aid to oneself due to financial difficulty and without moral support from those closes to you. The first line of medication needed by these residents are provided by the government, the second line however which must be taken by each of the residents for a period of their whole life costs over RM 950 per month. Their prayers are strong each month, in hopes that the home will be able to constantly have enough financially in order to provide them with the care they desperately need.
“In Crisis Home, after being taken care of as well as encouraged by the caretakers, the residents in the home are able to start being appreciative of the care given to the extent that their confidence is built up once more which in return gives them the want to care for others as well once they get better,” says Isaac.
All of the residents in Crisis Home are recovering residents who look well and healthy. A few of them have already started working after their recovery while still staying in the home. Crisis Home tries to instill a positive outlook in their mindsets and they try to teach each and every one of them about Christianity. Any human being if only given treatment without encouragement and support will not be able to amply recover.
“What matters is how we respond to this and open up ourselves when someone says that someone with HIV positive would like to be employed in your work place, or someone who wants to declare their medical status to you, will we refer him to someone else or as a Christian community welcome him or her.” says Isaac. He also added that, “Many have left in good condition but many have also passed away because of the weakening of their body system. That’s the hardest part, to go to the mortuaries to claim their body. Some family members are not there because the resident prefers not to inform them while in most other cases, family members just don’t want to turn up. The difficult issue is also when they are asked why they were not informed.” It takes at least two years or more to recover before they can work, meantime they try to teach them discipline, devotion and most importantly, getting back to a proper scheduled time so that they may come back to society and get back to a healthy and normal lifestyle. With Crisis Home’s efforts two residents are working full time now while four are working part time despite the difficulty to find residents employment.
According to Mr. Isaac, all of them were not Christian but one when they came in and despite that all of them found their peace in the religion and managed to pull through it all. His graciousness towards the men living with him in the home has helped saved not only a few but many who came in and were in desperate need of help. Awareness of the matter is crucial at the end of the day, and with more people who care to know and help, it might just make the world a better place for everyone because looking at the matter, we are not Christian, we are one.
For further information about Crisis Home or how you can help contact:-
Isaac Tan 016-272-7072