Ark Welfare is a non-profit established in Hechi City, Guangxi, that encourages people to get involved in public service and respond to the needs of their communities.
At 9:00 in the morning, volunteers prepared gifts of rice and oil for the elderly.The distribution of goods went well. When we arrived at a blind man’s home, he was having supper. We learned that he gets about 1200RMB a month from the government. He lives alone, so it covers almost all his expenses for a month. He is confident and optimistic about his life. The person we visited who lived the farthest away was Ban Jizhen. We had to walk 5 kilometers on a gravel road to reach her home. She was not at home so we put 2 bags of rice and 1 bottle of oil on her window. When we arrived it was lunch time and we were hungry so we ate some bread and cucumber. After lunch, we visited Meng Meilian. When we saw her, she had bare feet. She was not wearing the shoes we gave her last time. She said it was more comfortable to keep her feet bare. Then we visited 2 more people, but they were not at home, so we left the rice and oil at their neighbors’ houses. The last person we visited was Wei Baoyuan. He lives in an old house. He does not have any income, so he has to rely on his 300RMB allowance from the government.
According to our interviews, all government allowances were in fact real and helping to sustain the lives of each of the old men, however their spirits were left unattended. They have no one to talk with. They are greatly moved whenever we visit. They even cook for us. They are kind and nice. We appreciate them for their attitude towards life, which encourages us all to accept the sorrow and happiness that life brings to us.
Original article written by Xiaogang Fang, translated by Maggie Li, edited by Yanyan Zhang
The volunteers had to walk carefully on the slippery road and carry bags of rice on their shoulders
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