Little Red Scarf is in Lanzhou, Gansu, and Yunnan provinces. We provide financial support and encouragement to children suffering from congenital heart disease. In addition, we provide families with post-operative care and help the children sustain a healthy lifestyle
Xiao Ai is one of the beneficiaries of our Adopt a Family program in 2016. To care for her rural family, we wanted to raise funds for them to get a goat for milk. When I called Xiao Ai, she had just picked up her daughter from kindergarten. Her older son was about to come back from school. She was preparing lunch. Through our phone conversation, I learned how her family was doing.
Xiao Ai is doing fine, although the scar has not healed very well. She was feeling better but still did not do much manual work. Xiao Ai is in charge of the domestic chores, such as taking care of the 3 children and housework. Her husband is in charge of the field work and feeding the milk goats. The whole family’s life is back on track. Her health is recovering and her children are growing. We are happy for them.
Xiao Ai's oldest son is in grade 7 and her daughter is in kindergarten. Her youngest child is about 1 year old and is learning to walk. Xiao Ai was talking with her children cheerfully while she was on the phone.
Now Xiao Ai spends more time taking care of her youngest child. She picks up the other 2 children from school and prepares meals for the family.
The family owns 1 mu of field and rented 3 mu (about half an acre) this year from other villagers. They grow leeks, onions, and other vegetables. They sell the leeks in the market.
I asked if they had built greenhouses. She said it was not popular because it cost too much. They grow their vegetables in the open air. Also, greenhouses would require more labor, which wasn't possible for the family. They already have to ask for help during harvest time.
The milk goat has been pregnant for over a month, so it has less milk. The goat had more milk when theyhad just bought. The goat can give birth in 4 months, in February 2017, and the little goat can have milk to drink.
Although the goat has less milk, Xiao Ai's son needs less milk. He has started to eat noodles.
I asked if they had extra milk for selling. She said it just met the needs of her son. She just took enough milk for her son.
Xiao Ai was thinking about buying milk powder for her son. If her son keeps quiet, she will not buy milk powder for him. When the little goat is 2-3 months old, it can be sold. If the goat gives birth to more little goats, they will keep one of them and sell the extra. Her husband takes care of the goat. He brings grass for the goat when he comes back from the fields. They mainly feed the goat with grass and add some corn husks and leaves. They also feed the goat noodle soup.
They sold vegetables for about 7,000 RMB ($1,000 USD) during the first half year. About half of it goes to their cover their costs. They do not have any savings. In the second half year, they sold asparagus and lettuce for 6,000 RMB. (The cost was 2,000 RMB.) They planted 0.7 mu of onions which have not been sold because the price was low. They also planted beans, which did not do well. The vegetable price was better in the second half year. About 10,000 RMB ($1,500 USD) of income was estimated to have come from the vegetables, which can meet the needs of the family if they are healthy. They do not need to buy vegetables but they buy noodles. We hope the family can have more income from vegetables next year.
Special thanks to Fred Lam who donated $200 and Joy and Janson Ko who donated $100 to sponsor Xiao Ai this year.
Original article written by Yunyun Jie , translated by Maggie Li, edited by Yanyan Zhang and Carolyn D.
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