Monday, July 20, 2015

When is a Bag, NOT a Bag???

Forget the Bag.......

The destitute in Beijing struggle to survive
One of the things they try is selling maps to tourists....

So, first. let's buy lots of maps from the sellers, helping them to make a living - Yes?

Single women in China, who have a child, struggle to survive....
The odds are stacked against them from the start, and many are forced to abandon the baby as they have no means to provide care for them.

So, let's support people on the ground trying to help, support them and keep their precious child? Yes?

Would you like to buy a Bag? 
With ALL the proceeds going to help make this possible? YES?
Then check out below.....

Different sizes of Bags, hand-made by the single women struggling to keep their babies, and have Hope for the future. Made from maps of Beijing, bought from the destitute in Beijing

1. Swimming Bag £35/$55
Excellent quality, fully waterproof , 2 separate compartments, strong handles, lots of room, easy to carry, magnetic fasteners. Come highly recommended by those already using them :-)
52 x32 cm

2. Office Bag £20/$32
Wonderful bag, just the right size for your I-pad, purse and phone. Fully lined, 2 compartments, magnetic fastener, easy , strong handles.
30 x 30 cm

3. Smaller bag, one compartment, magnetic fasteners  £12/$20
 good size for Kids, but suitable for all
24 x 22 cm

4. Shopper £25/$40
Excellent size and quality for shopping, 1 compartment for purse keys, magnetic fastener, durable, heavy straps. Stylish!
48 x 30 cm

Every bag is wonderful, useful, excellent quality
and stunning!

They are NOT Just BAGS?

They are a wonderful opportunity to give back
to make a difference
to bring Hope
to help change precious lives......

If you want to make a donation to help , please contact me at
We will send your bag and pay the postage( UK)!!!!!!

You can pay your Donation direct to Love Forever on the link below
( Donations are US tax deductible)


Thank you for looking, please join in, make a donation, share with your friends
and help us make a difference.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Year of the Dress - Handmade with Love

     This turned out to be The Year of the Dress!

                              From a simple question from a friend :-

               “ Do you think your girls  (in Guangxi) would like a new dress?”,

 …to people all around the world sewing beautiful new dresses for over 150 young girls in the villages in Guangxi from our Guangxi Girls Education Programme.

                                                        Who knew?

When we first asked the question, we were quite nervous –
·      Would anyone be interested in helping?
·      Would they be able to find/follow the patterns
·      Would we get enough dresses?
·      Would they be ready/delivered in time?
·      Would I be able to get time off work to help deliver them?
·      Would the girls like them?
·      Would they all fit the different girls?

Thankfully, as many of you will have already seen from the quick updates from our visits on our Facebook Page, the answers to all questions above …..was a resounding…


In April and May, parcels of dresses beautifully "Handmade with Love" started to arrive here in Scotland...

Each parcel we opened, we were more amazed…..

….and, they kept on coming……..

We were notified, that some had been sent to China
some were coming from Finland,
some coming via USA ...


Lots of helpers, young and old, were busy all around the world, handmaking special dresses for our girls...WOW!!!!!

Make, Do and Mend, Isle of Skye, even got together in a hall, to make together!!!!!!!

                          Some who did not sew, donated fabric......

...some delivered the dresses from the Isle of Skye...

                      Eventually, we realised we were going to have enough!!!!!
                                          It was ALL SYSTEMS GO!!!!!!!!!!

Then the BIG job of sorting, labelling….trying to choose a dress to fit and suit each girl. ( Very appreciative of my 12 yr old and 8 yr old who helped me to gauge the right sizes for each girl in Guangxi)

Then the age old problem of trying to squish so many dresses into our luggage…..

We did it!
And we were on our way…
...with over 150 special dresses for some very special wee girls!

First Stop Cenxi…….
….where we were meeting with other adoptive families and sponsors of Cenxi girls.

It was so amazing to arrive in Cenxi ( actually the very remote village of Nanlong in Limu) – on a school holiday – to find the Headmaster and our girls, ready to pour our tea, 

and busy cooking in the school kitchen to provide us all with a wonderful meal - remembering that everything has to be picked/prepared fresh from the fields - no shops here!

                                            Really, where else would this happen?
When they saw the dresses, all labelled with their name, there was great excitement and a whole lot of fun as they tried them on.

               We made sure everyone had a dress the LIKED, and that fitted them!

It was heartbreaking on one of our home visits there, when we had more time to speak to the girls individually, to discover that for some ( many!), this was the very first dress they had ever had!

I am sure you will know, it is not the lack of a “dress” that is important, it is the lack of some one to nurture and care for the little things in a girl’s life. For so many of the girls we help, life is tough, survival…..

               How wonderful just to share some love, nurturing and pampering.

We were also so delighted to have a new sponsor from the Netherlands visiting with us in this place , and they had brought some amazing gifts for the family of the child they sponsor. And also lovely gifts from another friend from the Netherlands who also sponsors a girl here.

                                              All in all a very special day!

Next stop was Cenxi city, where we met with our lovely friends at Primary School. 
We could not have been made more Welcome! 
And it was fantastic to reconnect with the girls and the teachers there.

        Again great fun trying on the dresses, and making sure everyone had the right one for them.
                                                                             Having fun, posing :-)

       This wee one LOVED the dress made specially for her by her Cenxi Jie Jie!

The girls there also loved to get photos and news of their sponsors 

Next stop was in one of our most favourite places…the remote Miao village of Da Mo right on the Vietnam border. Always excited as we drive down the narrow, twisty, single track, bendy road on the edge of the steep mountain ( you get the idea?), and very relieved when we reach the village safely!

The girls were excited as always to see Matthew and Lucy. 

I realised with a jolt, that as it had been a few years since my last visit here, most of the girls I knew well were now in Longban or Jinxi at Middle school or High school. Only a few of the girls I knew were still there…..the rest were all wee cute “newbies” for me.

Previously when we gave the girls their dresses, we had to show them how to pose, model the dresses for the photos…but this wee lot amazed us!

Without a word from anyone, they took partners and did a wee cat-walk strut, stopping to pose at the end….WOW!

Only afterwards, when we visited some of the girls in their homes, did they show us a DVD of a show they had done at Spring Festival, showing off their beautiful Miao costumes and traditions in Jingxi. 
They had done it all before!!!! 
So proud of them!!!!!!

Next we were off to Pingguo, the home of our lovely Lucy. We had an amazing time visiting her home village ( that’s another story for a future blogpost), but met with the girls from all around Pingguo in the town's Middle School.

We had taken a Storyboard from Commercial Primary School, Scotland to share with the girls. They were excited to take it back to their school.

           The younger girls were a bit confused at the whole idea of the dresses, 

but soon got into the swing of things, trying them on, 

                                     and posing for us in a lovely wee heart shape.

And last but not least (on Our Visit) we visited the Land of the Sugar cane, the Million Mountain area of Chongzuo.
This is always a special place to visit. The whole school are so interested in seeing the visitors, as can be seen by all the wee faces peeking in the windows… 

                                 ..and so excited to share with them too!

Again, the girls were a wee bit overwhelmed by the idea that people who knew nothing about them, hundreds of miles away, had specially made all these dresses for them…….

They were a bit shy, but they soon got into the swing of modelling and posing in their new dresses...

As we drove off into the quite simply stunning mountains of Chongzuo, we found it hard to find the words to describe the “dresses” experience….

Humbling, Exciting, Joyful, Thankful, Appreciative, Overwhelming, Special, Privileged…….

We could go on…but really we just wanted to bring as many of the photos together as we could (we KNOW those who “sewed” are excited to see their dresses with the girls J ), and wanted to capture a wee flavour of the trip to share with you all, by way of our HUGE THANKS, to all who contributed – from sewing, donating, delivering – in any way.
Special Thanks to Brenda of Make, Do and Mend, Isle of Skye who “started the ball rolling”. 
                                          Just look what you started? 
Thanks to the many many people around the world who sewed so many special dresses – I cannot even name you all – but you know who you are!

                              We could not have done it without ….


Staff  have now delivered dresses in Desheng, and have still to deliver to DuAn, Nama, but think that is enough for now….

Updates will be on the Facebook Page as they come in – please join in the fun there by LIKING our Page and following our new adventures in Guangxi.