Little Red Scarf is in Lanzhou, Gansu province 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.
We extend our appreciation to JTL, who donated $300 USD in 2016 and $800 USD in 2015 to support Honghong's family. We transferred the donated money to the family to help pay for Honghong's tuition and her family's living expenses.
Post-Surgery Visit in 2014
Honghong had her heart surgery with support from LRS in 2014. Her parents had poor living skills and had difficulty making a living, which kept the family in poverty. We had a post-surgery follow up with the family in March 2014. We learned that her father was doing some freelance simple labor work, earning about 5,000 RMB annually. Her mother stayed home to take care of Honghong's two younger brothers. We noticed the older little brother had trouble opening his right eye. We were told that he was born that way, and had never seen a doctor for this problem.
Poverty Relief Care in 2015
We were very happy in July 2015, when we learned that Honghong was accepted into high school. While she studied in town, her shared rent, living costs, and school fees would be 10,000 RMB each year. For Honghong to get a high school diploma would be a great asset to help the family's income. Therefore, we entered Honghong's family into the Adopt a Family program to provide poverty relief for the family. Our faithful donor JTL made the full donation for Honghong and her family, so Honghong could get her high school education and help her family.
In order to support her family and two little brothers financially, Honghong decided to quit school and go to work at an factory.
Honghong Decides to Work
Honghong's second semester came in March 2016, and there were new challenges. She worried about not being able to find a roommate to share the rent. Her schoolwork started to slip. By May 2016, she sent a letter to inform us that she would quit school and find a job. We urged her to at least complete high school, but she firmly made up her mind. She was grateful to the people who helped her, and she wanted to carry on by herself. In the end, we agreed and respected her decision. She's twenty years old after all.
We kept contacting her after quitting school. She tried three jobs in six months. After making cakes in a bakery and running around in a restaurant, she landed in an assembly line of an electronic factory. The wage from the first two jobs was too low to survive, but the life on the assembly line was tough. The shift work was twelve-hours long, with no seats. It took her weeks to overcome the physical suffering.
Now Honghong makes 3,000 RMB monthly, and she has no plans to travel home for the new year holidays. Her sole goal is to save, and she hopes to save enough to correct her brother's eye problem. Having two younger brothers ages seven and four, Honghong is very mature. She wants to shoulder the family's burden and provide better opportunities for her brothers. We wish her the best, and hope that she pulls the family out of the poverty trap soon.
We managed the donation at the beginning, and wired a monthly tuition subsidy to her. It covered September, October, and November, for 300 RMB each. After the first semester, we wired the balance of 4,100 RMB to the family in December and let the them manage the fund. As well, we hoped some money would be spent on her brother's abnormal eye. His eye defect turned out to be a congenital cataract defect, and eventually this issue was put aside due to the unaffordable cost of the operation.
Original article written by Ying Guan, translated by Kai Chao, and edited by Yanyan Zhang and Carolyn D.
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