Little Red Scarf is in Lanzhou, Gansu province and provides emotional and financial support to children suffering from congenital heart disease. In addition, they provide families with post-operative care and help patients sustain a healthy lifestyle.
In the morning of March 17th, Aiju, my co-worker and I took the bus to Gangu county. After a four hour ride, we arrived at Gangu county. We were there to visit Yapeng who went through heart surgery 2 years ago. His family lives in a village 40 kilometers away, so we had to take another bus to the village. The bus driver said we were lucky, if it rained, the bus would stop running. After 1.5 hours bumpy ride, we arrived at Yapeng’s village.
The family gave us warm welcome. His grandparents were nearing 80, but in good health. Yapeng changed a lot since we last saw him. He is much taller, likes laughing and running around. He attends preschool class this year and has to walk about 1 hour to school. He does not come home for lunch since his school is so far away and his brother would make the trek to bring food to him at school. He has been taking medicine to recover after the surgery, but recently finished his medication. His vitals has returned to normal.
Yapeng’s father is with congenital deafness. He is illiterate so his options are limited and he does mostly temp manual work. Yapeng's uncles also make a living through manual labor. His uncles care a great deal about him and brought Yapeng to hospital for physical examination and diagnosis. When Yapeng was diagnosed as malnutrition, he picked Pageng to his home and took care of him for half year.
During farming off-season, his mother and grandmother do some straw handcraft to make ends meet. Aiju and I tried helping out, but felt tired soon. The houses in the village are almost made of mud brick. There’s only one or two brick houses. As many houses in the village, 3 sides of Yapeng’s family house were made of mud, only the front side was made of brick. Yapeng’s family has running water, but it was supplied in summer. They had to save water in the cellar for the rest seasons of the year.
When we experienced the life at Yapeng’s family, we found the poor transportation hinders the lives of the villagers. The family just grow potatoes. His father seldom speak because of poor hearing. His mother is talkative. She thanked Little Red Scarf and said life would become better as the child grows up healthfully.
The family is diligent and kind. We hope they all stay in good health and hope the road will be repaired in the village.
Original article written by Ying Guan, translated by Maggie Li, and edited by Yanyan Zhang
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