Monday, July 24, 2006

A Start

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“My mama says ‘Git back in da bed!’” Dar Dar had her hands balled up on her hips as we looked at her incredulously.

I am currently interning at a non-profit rehabilitation organization that helps women under substance abuse. Almost all of the women are of African-American descent and almost all of them have an average of four children.

While the women are at work, they drop their kids off at the organization’s playroom. When things are slow, I tiptoe down the hallway to play with the children. Deatrice, or Dar Dar, is my favorite. At six years old, she is the spunkiest in the bunch. Her voice is high-pitched but heart-warming. She is the one often found in the scruffy pair of white high heels; she places her small brown feet in the oversized soles and attempts to strut around the place, her hair’s beads clicking together as she tosses her head to and fro while she, once again, tells the staff about what her mama says.

I cannot imagine what her mother went through. Most of the women were sexually abused when they were young, by family members and/or friends. Hence, their downfall started very early in life. Whether it is their addiction to alcohol and/or crack – or cocaine as the organization puts it, to eliminate any social stereotypes – the mothers voluntarily submit themselves to treatment to become and stay clean.

During my first day there, I was sitting in the conference room watching the organization’s six minute introductory video. For the most part, I was not aware that one of the mother’s was leaning on the door’s frame, following the short documentary with me. The tape ended with the Bob Barker look-alike announcer saying, “…this organization has saved the lives of many women, children, and families.” My single company shuffled her heavy feet and sighed, “And that’s the truth.”

Major Swellings - Pole Vaulters Delight
Lindstrom - A Blast of Loser
Brennan Green - Little Ease (Lindstrom & Prins Thomas Remix)
Tosca - Zueri (Linstrom & Prins Thomas Remix)
Six Cups of Rebel - Kontroll (The Organ Grinders Breakdown)
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - Feel Am

at 8:29 AM


  1. Blogger Temetwir posted at 7:56 PM  
    that's very kind of you, shows character..
    having never done something similar, i can only start to imagine how your tenure there will change your perspective and outlook
  2. Blogger Sedna posted at 9:42 PM  
    Ee Erzulie your working there is a very kind gesture :*

    And I'm so glad these organizations make a difference...
  3. Blogger *-fwai7-* posted at 8:06 AM  
    awww erzulie! that's wonderful what you're doing!
    i love little kids.. they have so much energy and character no matter where they are or what they're going through.
    its great how you continue to see the difference and change in the people in the center from the beginning of your work period to the end.
    kudos, erz :)
  4. Blogger Erzulie posted at 6:22 PM  
    Temi: Well, I went to two other interviews where I might have had a paid internship but this place was kinda magical. Sounds cheesy I know and if you see the interiors of this place you'd probably think it was a couple of joint apartment eb 7awalli. But the work they give me is A LOT and I'm loving every bit of it since I get to work with InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. The only shitty part (and I mean SHIT) is that I have to wake up at 7 am everyday. Even the sun isn't shining then! But then again, I get a glimpse at the suited up yuppies in my building when I catch the elevator ;P~~

    Sedna: They sure do make a difference. I'm actually working on their annual report and it's so fascinating how almost all of the women overcame their horrible habits. It's the children part that makes me sad and happy at the same time. Who knows what they went through and what they saw.

    Fwai7: I think children are the biggest reason why these women attempt to better themselves. And I love the holistic approach of the organization since after the women are clean, they are taught how to parent, how to listen, how to love their children and themselves. The stories my employers dish out to me are miraculous.
  5. Blogger ZinZinQ8 posted at 11:22 PM  
    It's awesome of you to do this hun. Whats your role though? I mean you said design and stuff?

    I dont know if we have any similar thing here. We have KAACH which has playrooms in several hospitals where volunteer can come and play with the kids with cancer or other diseases. But I dont know if we have a center for abuse where people can volunteer. We definitely do have abused children from the time of the ghazoo though. Some of those children became mothers now but the effects of abuse are still prevalent. Alla la yiblana.
  6. Blogger Erzulie posted at 2:12 AM  
    Zinzin: I'm working in the administrative department. In terms of what I do, it is centered along design and marketing, but mostly design i.e. brochures, booklets, etc.
    Of course, there are the boring jobs such as printing out brochures and such but compared to some of my friends who have had an internship, I'm getting a load of good work as opposed to solely redundant tasks. Another big project that's coming up is organizing the patients' photographs and seeing if they have a release form i.e. okaying the organization's use of their photographs (and their children's pictures) in public.

    I volunteered for KACCH for three months and it was an amazing experience. It was hard to see the kids in those conditions. I was delighted (yet a bit saddened) at the parents' (mostly mothers) involvement with their children. On the other hand, other families rarely visited their ill kids.

    I do not think there is an actual official organization that aids abused people. It may be a cultural obstacle where one admits oneself to such an institution and it's unfortunate because I am sure there are countless people who undergo emotional, physical, and even financial abuse in Kuwait.
    Also, this center has patients who are dealing with alcohol and drug abuse. I just think that treating Kuwaitis with problems similiar to the women in the organization is very hush-hush in Kuwait i.e. it's hard to incorporate volunteers in Kuwait when a good portion of the Kuwaiti patients want to remain anonymous.

    My eldest sister was a member of the POW organization you mentioned i.e. "Jam3eyat Tha7aya il 7arb." I remember that I sometimes went along with her but I was a young 'un then :P

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