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.
Yihong and his sister Yixia came to the 2016 LRS Summer Camp in Lanzhou. Whenever Yihong's name is mentioned, the image of him racing in the fields always come to my mind. That memory was from when we made our follow up visit last summer, eight months after his heart surgery. I witnessed an energetic, naughty boy who had been transformed from the serious sick kid he used to be. Our team was very happy, and we sensed the joy in the family as well.
During that visit, we also met Yixia, the younger but taller sister, who was full of curiosity.
Summer Camp Experience
Yihong and Yixia were shortlisted for the 2016 LRS Summer Camp early on. These two children, age eight and nine, are living in an isolated, very remote village. We strongly believed that the summer camp would expand their personal experiences and their views of the world. On the other hand, we were not confident that we could take care of them well, since we didn't know their behaviors and living habits.
When Yun, our volunteer, called their father to invite the children, their father agreed immediately. However, Yun further explained the nature of the camp and where the children would stay with the LRS staff, volunteers, and the other kids without parents for a week. Yihong’s father was asked to consult with his children before making any decision. The next day, the father called back. When he confirmed the registration, Yihong took over the phone and told us, “Teacher, I’ll behave myself …”
On August 8th, the first day of the summer camp, these two children showed up on time. Since last summer, Yihong physically hadn't changed much; his sister Yixia had grown sweeter. We had arranged for older kids to room with Yihong and Yixia in the dorms, just to minimize any potential issues. But throughout the whole week, they showed their enthusiastic participation, and they were never a burden to the camp organizers.
You’ll see it in these snippets:
Everyone had a fun time playing the games.
During the summer camp we also took a field trip to a hospital. The children visited the newborn ward and the neonatal ICU. Additionally, Mr. Zhang from the hospital arranged a fun activity to develop the children's mental health. Using the theme “When I meet myself,” he asked the children to use their imaginations to draw out what they were seeing in themselves.
Caring for the Family
Yihong’s family is in the LRS Care Adopt a Family program. Right after the camp, we delivered the financial aid to the family.
Cindy's family from Canada visited the camp and made a special donation to Yihong and Yixia. Ms. Guan helped purchase clothes for the two children. Many thanks to Cindy's family for bringing the happiness to the children in the camp. These clothes will warm their hearts.
Beautiful Light Shines
The children learned a mime dance, which Miss Lina taught them by using the children's song "The Most Beautiful Light." In conclusion, I quote the lyrics of this song, and wish the children to be as confident and strong in life as they were during this summer camp.
Up in the sky, I see little stars twinkle,
I made my wish, as clear as a crystal.
I trudge and press on, come sweat or come tears.
My little dream glitters,
So I clear up my confusion and be strong.
My little dream grows,
And I see the beautiful light shining.
Original article written by Aiju Chang, translated by Kai Chao, edited by Carolyn D.
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