According to their motto “Love, truth, and service to the community,” Henan Volunteers works to enhance people’s sense of social responsibility by providing them various volunteer opportunities. The office is in Xingyang, Henan province.
Celebrating a 10-Year-Old's Birthday
The weather was beautiful with bright sunshine, bringing a positive vibe to many people. Under the rays of sunshine, our volunteers finally arrived at Guangwu Zhaiyu village to help ten-year-old Chengfeng celebrate her birthday. Due to unfamiliar roads, we arrived thirty minutes later than the scheduled time. The child’s mother was at the entrance of the village waiting for us. Not wanting Chengfeng to wait any longer, we went to her house as soon as we got out of the car.
When Chengfeng saw us, a huge smile spread across her face as we brought the cake to her. After we sliced the cake, this sweet child gave the first slice to her father, who has been bedridden for two years now due to a car accident. Seeing the child feeding her smiling father, we were all touched by the scene.
A common saying in China is that “children who live in poverty grow up faster.” However, from this scene, we saw that it is actually the children that undergo hardships who become wiser. Chengfeng's mother proudly told us that a few days ago, Chengfeng placed first on an exam in class and got an award. We were all very happy for her.
Bedridden, Depressed Father
After finishing the cake, we talked with Chengfeng’s father. He told us that he had once gone through a period of depression, even going so far as thinking to end his own life. Seeing his current state, how the man who used to be the main provider of the house was unable to even get out of his bed, we understood his feelings. We all encouraged him to continue on with his life for the sake of his children and family. He nodded his head as he continued to listen to us.
Grounded on core values of respect, love, and service to the elderly, the Xinyue Senior Center in Chongqing, China, promotes social work services for senior citizens and builds a harmonious living environment for them.
Oral account by Mrs. Wang Xiangrong
Recorded by Tang Ying (Social Worker)
I was born in February 1924. My father was an office clerk and my mother was a housewife. After I graduated from middle school at age 15, I chose to work at Sichuan Agricultural University as an assistant. During this time I got to know Mr. Zhao, and as time went by, we fell in love with each other. My parents did not approve. They tried to break us up, and we finally lost contact due to job transfers.
According to their motto “Love, truth, and service to the community” Henan Volunteers works to enhance people’s sense of social responsibility by providing them various volunteer opportunities. The office is in Xingyang, Henan province.
Even in the heat, Xin and his aunt were waiting outside for us by the side of the road. We brought Xin a school bag, stationery, and a birthday cake. Xin made a wish, and we sang Happy Birthday to him. He gave the first slice of cake to his aunt, who was smiling brightly. They were like mother and son.
I followed his aunt out and asked about Xin's family. His parents died from illness when he was 4 and his brother was 12. Since the two boys became orphans, their aunt has been raising them. For 10 years she has been like a mother to them. Eight years ago, her own husband died from cancer, and she was left to raise 3 children on her own. She had to do a lot of field work, but she has been optimistic and positive. It is normal to see sad faces when visiting many poverty-stricken families, but she kept smiling to face all the difficulties. She set a very good example for the children.
According to the aunt, Xin is a well-behaved child. He helps her do field work and housework. His brother is 21 and opened a car wash shop. He has been doing well and has a girlfriend, which makes the aunt happy.
As we were leaving, we asked Xin if his aunt was good to him. He nodded his head firmly. We asked him to treat his aunt well in the future. He answered, “Sure.” We were touched by his answer. It was the child’s serious commitment, which would be the best return for his aunt’s hard work.
On the way back, my heart could not calm down. When we complain about the unfairness of life, we should think of children and other people who are living in difficulties.
Original article written by Ka Fei , translated by Maggie Li, edited by Yanyan Zhang and Carolyn D.
Little Red Scarf is in Lanzhou, Gansu and Yunnan provinces and provides financial support and encouragement to children suffering from congenital heart disease. In addition, they provide families with post-operative care and help the children sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Ever since meeting Galan, Little Red Scarf has been paying attention to her family’s hardships. In 2015, Ying Ying Wang donated $480 USD to her through our Adopt a Family program. Galan says that she is planning on using the money to go to Lanzhou for a health examination. We too have always been waiting for her to come. Due to her family’s situation, however, she has never had the chance.
Currently, in 2016, we are still in contact with Galan. Due to the pulmonary hypertension caused by her congenital heart disease, she experiences chest tightness and shortness of breath. She has already been in the hospital three times; each time she was hospitalized for about 7-8 days. The hospital charges her 3,000 RMB ($450 USD) each time. In the first half of the year, she spent 10,000 RMB ($1,500 USD). Galan’s father is over 80 years old this year and has also been hospitalized twice due to his prostate disease. Galan has to take out loans for all his hospital fees.
Through our partnership with Allianz Mission, this cow microloan project helps poor families in Vietnam generate income by raising cows, which improves their living conditions and gradually helps them improve their quality of life.
Update from the Cow Bank Project in Bac Son, Vietnam, June 2016
The cow microloan project continues to help the beneficiaries improve their living conditions. Some beneficiaries have been able to repair their houses, pay their debts, and cover daily expenses and school fees for their children.
The number of beneficiaries is gradually increasing. The revolving loan cycle of handing over female calves to the next beneficiaries is already to the third generation in Khua Ca, Tham Si and Lan Ca I villages, and in the second generation in Suoi Tin village. After paying back the loan (through the form of a female calf), most of the beneficiaries continue to raise cows as a source of stable income.
By the end of June 2016, two new Farmer Interest Groups (FIG) have been provided with 40 cows, 2 bulls, and fodder grass. The local management committee has been supported with a new motorbike so they no longer need to use their private motorbikes for project related travels.
With better care from the beneficiaries and help from the commune veterinarians, the project cows are getting better and adapting well with the local natural conditions. The beneficiaries are gaining more confidence in raising cows with the knowledge and skills received from the technical training. However, some activities were delayed due to the National Party Election at all levels in Vietnam. The local management committee has had a great change in human resources, which leads to the fact that AM staff usually has to work with new authority leaders. These delays will not jeopardize the achievement of the project goals.
Adonai Child Rehabilitation is a Christian faith-based ministry in Myanmar that was established in May 2016. This ministry creates a place of rehabilitation for children and teenagers from various backgrounds like orphans, unwanted children, street children, and poor children.
First of all, we give thanks to God, who has enabled us to run our ministry up this point through July. Humanly thinking, it is impossible to accomplish this ministry even in one month. Secondly, we express our sincere gratitude to Miss Nancy and Transparent Fish Fund for the monthly support of the orphans' nutrition. We rejoice for your partnership in prayer and finances. Now our orphans are very happy because of the school supplies, blankets, and other supplies you have provided. Now they also eat very good food because of your loving donation. They are all fine and able to attend school.
As a TFish intern, Emma Cockerell brings not only her excellent language skills to the team, but also her passion for China and a heart to help others.
Beyond the Classroom
The 15-year-old at Palo Alto High School first heard about TFish during her sophomore year. Her AP Chinese teacher asked the class if anyone was interested in translating documents from Chinese to English. “At that time I knew nothing about TFish or the difficulties faced by rural Chinese villagers,” said Emma.
Motivated by her desire to improve her Chinese reading skills and English communication skills, Emma told her teacher she was interested. She also thought it would be a good way to learn more about China’s culture and people, especially since she is half Chinese. Her mom immigrated to America from Beijing. In recent years Emma has been to China a few times to visit relatives, and that is what grew her “passion for all things China.”
Emma’s teacher connected her with Allison Zhang, another student at the high school who has volunteered for TFish. Soon enough, Emma was translating her first Little Red Scarf story.
We are pleased to partner with Vietnam Tribal Ministry to serve the local tribal people in rural Vietnam. Our first project will be to help the community in the mountainous areas of Thanh Hoa province get clean water.
The members of Ngoc Lac Church live in a mountainous area in Thanh Hoa province. Due to the geographical challenges, these families face many economic difficulties. They especially are in need of a clean water resource.
Currently the community's water source is from a water storage lake at the foot of a mountain. The local people must carry a pot on their heads and walk a long way to get water to fill their cement reservoirs at home. As the water flows through the mountain area, it does not meet hygiene standards. The local people desperately need a source of clean water. Out of all the challenges the locals face, having clean water is the top priority.
Longwan Home is located in Dahua County, which was listed as one of the poorest counties in Guangxi Province. Longwan Home is a big family consisting of orphans, single parents, and abandoned children. The normal expenses of the Home are sustained by plantations, breeding, and small businesses.
Fragrant Chinese tamales (zongzi) means a fragrant kitchen. Fragrant aiye leaves means a fragrant whole house.
When it comes to talking about the Dragon Boat Festival, most children most deeply remember eating Chinese tamales. For children, wrapping Chinese tamales is a tradition that also unites the family. At the Longwan Home, we made about 200 Chinese tamales this year. Wrapping took an entire afternoon, and cooking took all night. A few of the older male students took turns watching the stove, adding wood or kindling the fire when necessary. A big thank you to the kids and also to the aunties and grandmas for helping with cooking!
First we cleaned the leaves used to wrap the Chinese tamales. Then we rinsed them once more with warm water. We prepared 70 kg of rice and the rest of the ingredients: glutinous rice, green beans, peanuts, pork belly. The glutinous rice was soaked and then drained.
Grounded on core values of respect, love, and service to the elderly, the Xinyue Senior Center of Chongqing, China, promotes social work services for senior citizens and builds a harmonious living environment for them.
Grandfather Yang Su Mei was born in October 1934. He is a descendant of the Chongqing group. As a young man, he was a chemical plant director and a chief engineer. Ever since he was diagnosed with diabetes, this grandfather fell in love with painting. Without any professional background in painting, he began his painting journey.
Grandfather Yang Su Mei says that before he begins painting, he likes to imagine the image in his mind. Then, using a gouache or watercolor pen, he outlines the image and continues to develop and improve it. Although the content of the painting is not professional quality, he is content with his work. Today, painting has not only become a form of happiness and source of energy for him, it also represents to him hope.
Life is like a pot of tea. We need to not only savor the aftertaste, but also to pay specific attention to the making of the tea in order to ensure its rich taste. To grandfather Yang Su Mei, his life has become a pot of tea, one in which he continues to learn and enrich the heart to harvest hope.
Original article written by Fan Yang, translated by Nina Chen, edited by Yanyan Zhang and Carolyn D.
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