Monday, November 25, 2013

Mountains & Miracles!

 Setting off on the road to Du An and Lalie, deep in the mountains and valleys
 Many of the homes of our girls were nestled in deep valleys, with no running water or electricity until very recently.
 Life here is hard!
But the views are just stunning!!!!
 We met a sprightly eighty four year old Grandpa, walking the long journey thro the mountains to town in Lalie. Turns out his grand-daughter, now a paediatricain in Yizhou, was one of our first Guangxi Girls :-)
                                               He recognised Matthew
                                           Precious Connections!

We arrived at the home of a wonderful old gentleman in Lalie, 
who first contacted Matthew years ago 
to ask if he could help the girls in the valleys

He opens his home each time our Team visits and helps with looking after the girls - it was an amazing place to meet!

We just loved the history in his home......
and it was great for Cammy to share with the girls about all of their hopes for the future!

                            and then the son of the home, made us all lunch!!!!

                 Wonderful hospitality in rural, and poor Guangxi!

And then Lucy had the girls get down to the hard work of filling in their questionnaires to send to their sponsors

                              Support money all paid out and accounted for
                                         Watched by their very appreciative mamas, who truly appreciate this chance for their girls!
   The girls also received beautiful scarves, and Scottish hearts from Hope4China!
                                                       Happy Girls :-)
                                  And truly a privilege to have been there!
      Then heading back thro the mountains to Du An to see our High School girls

Du An High School

As the girls started to arrive for our meeting, we kinda took over an Ice-cream parlour at the School gate - the owners were happy to share their premises with us? Can't see that happening at home?
                           Helen got busy taking photos to send to sponsors

      Some great informal chat going on with Cammy, our visiting Scottish student

                                                Cammy in Action!!!!

             Very interesting to share world views from across the world.....

We shared dinner with the girls and continued the chat.....before all too soon, we had to say goodbye.....
Special times!
Thank you to all our Du An sponsors who have so faithfully helped our girls over the years.
We hope this offers a wee insight into life there.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Meeting our Guangxi Girl - Guest Blog from a Sponsor.

Meeting our Guangxi Girl          By  Natasha Vidic

Our family has been sponsoring Guangxi girls for several years, and our present student SiSi since 2010. 
Despite letters, photos, and even a short video, she remained an abstraction until we met her last month. 

We took the opportunity to travel with Hope4ChinaChildren to Guangxi Province in October 2013. 

During our trip, we met with SiSi twice and found out she had a lively personality.
SiSi is happy to see a pink T-shirt we brought her.

She was sick and a bit subdued when we first met, but nevertheless enjoyed checking the presents we brought for her. We found out that pink is her favorite color! My daughter and I practiced our Mandarin while SiSi practiced her English. At the end, we lined up for the customary group photo on the stairs of Majestic hotel (Nanning). I turned to SiSi and said:  ‘Nǐ shì wǒ de nǚ'ér’ or ‘You are my daughter’, a sentence I dug from my humble repertoire of Mandarin. She gave me a strange look, and I thought I must have offended her. Or said something really weird instead.
Team group photo on the Hotel Majestic stairs.

However, when we met again and she gave us a beautiful scrapbook she put together for us, I got to see that she understood. She lost her mother when she was 10, so what I said meant a lot to her. 

She will indeed remain akin to my daughter and an older sister to my daughters.
She was very sad after her mother died, but she stayed strong and set out to make the best of her life because her mother asked her so. She enjoyed being a high school student in Yizhou. She found summer jobs, and gave back by tutoring younger students. She is now a major of radio and TV journalism at the Nanning University. She is thinking about graduate school when done. 

We were happy to see that she is enjoying university, working hard, and enjoying life.

Sisi’s scrapbook.

The last page of SiSi’s scrapbook brought tears to our eyes.

It was wonderful to meet with SiSi,! However, what impressed me the most about the sponsorship program were the young ladies who benefited from the program, got college degrees, and now lead successful careers. 

Such as Lucy, who helps manage the sponsored girls program for Hope4ChinaChildren. 
She is a very competent and personable young lady. 

We all love Lucy!
Lucy (middle) with my Guangxi girl and her little sister.

Another example is a young lady we met in Guilin with her 3 year old daughter. She was so proud having a good job in international business. So much so that she tried to pay for a meal for over 20 people in a fancy restaurant. These young alumnae of the program are very well aware that their life would be very different were they not able to get an education through sponsorship, and they are very grateful for the opportunities.

Hope4ChinaChildren sponsorship program alumna with her daughter 
and Xu lao shi (we call him Matthew).

So, next time I get a reminder that sponsorship is due, I will not contemplate discontinuing my support like I have pretty much every year because of many expenses that keep cropping up. During our visit I saw that our contributions make a great difference in these girls’ lives. 
We are also building connections for my Guangxi daughter, she is gaining ‘older sisters’. 
However, I hope that in time opportunities in China will improve and foreign sponsorship will no longer be needed. 

Although we did meet a crop of new young girls who need sponsors, and one of them is tugging at my heart… 


If you would like to help them, please contact

Monday, October 28, 2013

New Hope for our Special Children, October 2013

Just returned from our 2013 Hope4China Trip, as always, amazed and humbled by so many people in Guangxi, struggling against the odds to make things better for their children. 

We are so thankful for the support you give us to help to really make a difference for them and their children when we are there.....

Just wanted to share a few photos and updates for the sponsors who have helped us to make this difference....

One of our first visits was to this home in the city in Nanning, where a single mother struggles to care for and meet the complex needs of a baby girl she found abandoned.

Over the years, she realised that her girl was not developing/responding as she should and she struggled to find ways to help her. Xin has severe cerebral palsy and epilepsy, major delays, and shows little response.
Mama cares for her 24/7
with no real means of income, other than collecting rubbish in the streets for a pittance.

 Yet, in the midst of the squalor and poverty, she smiles, and cuddles her daughter,
                 teddies hanging above the bed to give her something to focus on,
               spare time doing therapy and exercises to keep the muscles moving
                                    This mama loves her little girl

                                               What can we do to help?
 We brought some new toys to stimulate and Xin seemed to enjoy them.....we would like to buy some new activity toys to place along the wall of the bed, instead of the cardboard currently there

 With the help of a group of sponsors paying £10 a month, we are helping to pay living costs for this mother, part-paying her Angel House fees for therapy and providing medicine to help control her epilepsy.
Thank you so much all - I really wish you could see the hope you are bringing to this woman.
She is so thankful and uncomplaining.....

Our next stop was our Zhou and mama, who last year were in desperate need. When we climbed the stairs this year, Zhou was sitting outside the apartment with friends around him, using some of the new equipment we got for him.

 He was excited to see us and had plenty to communicate with us as his mama shared the good news about his progress.

He is bright and very good with numbers. Mama makes him work very hard on his books. He attends Angel House each morning and LOVES to go.

                                He has a crazy sense of humour :-)

 Physically, his muscle co-ordination is much improved, and he is making great strides in his walking. Thanks to a kind sponsor, we have ordered new walking shoes to be specially made for him, to aid his walking. He is looking forward to getting them when they are ready. Sponsors have also helped us to get a custom built wheelchair, therapy equipment and books for the home. We are also able to help pay fees for Angel House. Circumstances for the family this year have improved as dad has been able to work.

He loved all his Ben 10 stickers, pencil case, towel, bib...and so many more lovely toys sent by very kind sponsors.
His mama loved the special toothbrushes we brought - she had been trying to find them herself :-)
Zhou remembered us, and was excited to thank us , and say goodbye in English!!!!!
Again, I wish we could somehow convey the Hope you helped us bring to this family!

And our last visit was with our lovely Linda, bursting with excitement to see Helen , her long time friend.

Helen worked with Linda from when she was a baby at Yongning SWI, and helped arrange to get her into foster care with Grace and Hope for Children. 
Her Hope4China sponsor has supported her all these years, and even came to China to meet her a few years ago!
Linda is developing so well, walking with help, speaking some words, able to count and sing :-)

She Lives.....
She Laughs......
She Loves...........
at full steam ahead.........

                                            What a difference!!!!!

There are several other foster care children, and community children whom we are supporting thro our New Hope Programme - we did not have time to meet with everyone this trip. We urgently need and appreciate the support which comes from those who are donating £10 a month to fill our pot which enables us to meet the changing needs of these mothers and children as they arise. 
We will send general reports of the situation for these children and families throughout the year to all who donate to this.

If you would like to be part of this life-changing initiative, any donation will be gratefully received, and a £10 a month commitment can make a huge difference!!!!!

On behalf of these little ones, who cannot say it for themselves,

Xie Xie Ni