Little Red Scarf operates in Lanzhou, Gansu Province. LRS provides financial support and patient advocacy to children suffering from congenital heart disease. In addition, they provide families with post-operative care to help the children sustain a healthy new life.
It was 6 years ago when Ping and Amy Chao first met Dongdong—a 11-year-old young boy with congenital heart disease. Seeing the family's dire living circumstances, Ping and Amy knew they had to help Dongdong and his parents pay for surgery. But never could they have imagined that it would be the beginning of their non-profit, Little Red Scarf and that Dongdong would be the first of more than a thousand individuals to get treatment.
Ping and Amy was visiting Lanzhou when they became aware that over 6000 children in Gansu were waiting for treatment for congenital heart disease. The government did provide services and insurance, but sadly not in time for some people. It was race against the clock for many of those waiting. Congenital heart disease is considered a "silent treatment"- one could never truly predict when the heart may fail as the physical symptoms can be undetected. The Ping and Amy Chao Family Foundation decided to launch an intervention plan. The executive director, Nancy Nguyen, traveled to Gansu in 2009 to setup an office and manage a small dedicated team in Lanzhou. Little Red Scarf was created.
The patients consisted at first only of rural poverty-stricken children below age 18 but eventually spread to care of young mothers. The staff of Little Red Scarf considered these individuals as most vulnerable population and Mr. and Mrs. Chao in combination with the rural insurance provided by the Chinese government was able to spread more resources to these groups. The name Little Red Scarf came to represent hope for these children to recover and return to school since many children in China wore little red scarves with their school uniform. In working with other partners and combining existing resources in the region, Little Red Scarf was able to provide over 1000 children with surgery and patient care.
As more and more people became involved with this project, the mission of the organization expanded to patient care and family support, and Little Red Scarf Care was created to provide post-operative services for families in need. Staff would also help patients communicate with doctors when they had language barriers. The staff would visit the patient the first day she/he was admitted by hospital. They built positive relationship with the patients’ families and kept records for each patient, consisting of the family's story, photos, and follow-up reports the staff would conduct every 3 months after the operation. LRS staff follows up on the sponsored child until he or she reaches 18. Other services include bringing nutrition and school supplies after the operation, and making sure the child is healthy and family is doing well.
After 6 years in Gansu province, the staff is very grateful for those who supported us from all levels of the society, including friends from Silicon Valley, Lanzhou Army General Hospital and the First Hospital of Lanzhou University. We look forward to years of service and hope to bring care to as more people in need.
Original article written by Amy Chao & Yujie Yun, translated by Maggie Li, and edited by Yanyan Zhang
Little Red Scarf brought nutrition and school supplies after the operation, which also brought love and blessings to 1000 underprivileged families.
TFISH FUND BLOG
We update news and reports directly from the field written by our NGO partners daily.
PHOTOS & VIDEOS
IN THE NEWS