Little Red Scarf is in Lanzhou, Gansu province and provides financial and emotional support to children suffering from congenital heart disease. In addition, they provide families with post-operative care and help patients sustain a healthy lifestyle. The following article describes a site visit taken by local TFISH staff, Yunyun Jie.
TFISH often goes beyond what most people expect out of a non-profit. We work hard to understand and address the needs of people on an individual level. On April 15th, my colleague Guan-yin and I went to visit the family member of one of our surgery recipients. For those of you who have been following our 1000th recipient, Hongyan, you know that her family has been struggling financially. Hongyan's aunt Xiao Ma is a very hardworking and kind person that stayed with Hongyan during her time in the hospital. Xiaoma sent her two children to her mother-in-law’s house, stopped working in the busy farm, and stayed with Hongyan until she was released from the hospital. During our time with Hongyan, we got to know their family well and we continued to visit them after her surgery.
This is where Xiaoma temporarily lives. Xiaoma is very skilled at raising sheep, and she is currently using this space to work. The family to whom this place belongs works in the cities and rarely comes back, so her family moved into this home instead. They have been living here for three years ago and is thankful they have a place to live.
Xiaoma said that in her household, she is the one that cares most for the sheep. She takes her job very seriously and her husband jokes that Xiaoma treats the sheep better than she treats her family members. Xiaoma is feeding the sheep with mostly ground corn stalk and corn flour. Xiaoma said that the sheep are very smart. When she feeds them, they always first pick out and eat the flour (corn flour), and then slowly chew the roughage (corn stalk). She jokes and tells us that the sheep seem to have very refined table manners.
This big sheep is three-years-old. She has a big belly. Xiaoma said that she would give birth approximately during May of the lunar year. Because her belly is so big, Xiaoma hopes that this mommy sheep can give birth to three baby sheep. This little sheep behind the big sheep is more than a year old. Her belly is not as big as that of the big sheep. If the two mommy sheep can give birth successfully, then Xiao Ma’s family will have approximately five baby sheep this year.
Xiaoma is hoping she can save up enough money for her own home. She will use the money she earns this year to pay back some money she borrowed. When she finishes paying back her debt, she has a house in mind she plans to paint. She will buy some essential furniture and fix repairs. This house will of course, have a place for her sheep.
Original Article by Yunyun Jie, Translated by EV Intern Allison Zhang
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