New Life After Surgery
Hong Yan started her new life at age seven, after undergoing congenital heart surgery in March 2014 that was funded by Little Red Scarf. Before the operation, she had great difficulty walking and breathing. Since her recovery, she’s been healthy and able to live a normal childhood. She can run around by herself, and she attends school with confidence.
Benefiting the Whole Family
As follow up to the surgery, we would like to provide her family an opportunity to break away from poverty. In this way we can befriend and benefit not only Hong Yan but her whole family.
The LRS staff had a follow up telephone conversation with Hong Yan’s mother in May this year. She told our staff: “Hong Yan is very healthy and will move up to second grade this fall. Her change has become a frequent conversation topic in our village. Those who knew her before couldn’t believe that this energetic kid is the same girl who used to be so weak. She used to need someone to carry her around, but now she walks to school by herself and even helps out with some chores! Thank you, Little Red Scarf. When will you come to see us?” Through this telephone conversation, we found out that the surgery not only dramatically changed Hong Yan, but also her family. Her mother laughs and speaks more openly now.
Poor Ginseng Harvest
Meanwhile, however, the family is under severe financial stress. Last year’s family income was very low, only about $320 from selling soy beans and ginseng. The family farms about ½ an acre of ginseng, which yielded half their income. The declining market price of medicinal herb products meant the family earned less than usual from ginseng. Last year’s drought was an additional negative factor. If the cost of labor and fertilizing is included, last year’s ginseng production could be considered a net loss. Despite the economic downturn, the family had to stay in the same business and still planted almost ½ an acre of ginseng. Hopefully, the market price will rebound this year.
Mud House Collapsed
The house Hong Yan’s family was living in is made of mud, but it collapsed, forcing them to find temporary shelter. The temporary housing consists of quickly assembled sheet metal, which is cold in the winter and hot in the summer. The shelter is not meant for permanent use, so Hong Yan’s mother has been looking for resources to fix the original mud house.
Tough Job Competition
At this time of year, the busy planting season is over, so the villagers start seeking work outside the village. The number of job seekers increases, as does the competition among the applicants. Hong Yan’s brother is 19, qualified to find an adult’s job. But with the tight competition, he hasn’t found one yet.
Raising Animals, Raising Hopes
The grandmother is doing what she can to help the family. She’s been doing a very good job raising an ewe, which was a gift from one of their relatives. In June, the ewe will give birth to a little lamb. Although the current sheep price is not ideal, raising a lamb is still worthwhile for generating some income. The grandmother hopes to raise a couple more sheep, which will help the family go through this difficult financial period.
Please join us in providing poverty relief for Hong Yan’s family. Their income from cultivating the land is insufficient, so we want to help them develop other means of income. We hope to purchase two sheep and a pig for them, which will give them important skills and self-esteem in their efforts to be self-sustaining.
TFISH FUND BLOG
We update news and reports directly from the field written by our NGO partners daily.
PHOTOS & VIDEOS
IN THE NEWS