Promoting Education, Art, and Community Harvest
PEACH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
November 2015, issue No. 42
Translated by Peggy Liou
I often refer to PEACH children as “lost pearls”. These children lost their brilliant color because of poverty, just like precious gems hidden in the sand. Luckily with your help, we are able to help these children break through out of their cocoon and fly high as a beautiful butterfly.
PEACH volunteers are the backbone for our children as well as the strength that keeps us going. Next year we plan to add 1000 new students to our sponsorship program, and I am pleading for your continued support in spreading the word to your friends and family. Please consider sponsoring these children when you make your end-of-year tax plans. Thank you.
Volunteer Understanding Trip – During the October 25 through 31 of this year, fifteen volunteers participated in the trip that took place in YuLong County, Yunnan Province, where we met hundreds of children and visited 22 homes. Although the well-known tourist destination LiJiang city is also located in YuLong County, one does not have to travel far from the city to see the poverty. Due to the high altitude of this region, only crops like corn and potatoes can be planted. However, the extreme cold in the winter and lack of rain in the summer makes it difficult for these crops to survive. This is why farmers there are very poor.
During this trip, our volunteers had many chances to interact with the children one-on-one and to visit the students’ homes. It is these personal contacts with the children, their families, and with their teachers that helped our volunteers to witness firsthand the children's backgrounds and how amazing it is that these children are learning and blooming against all odds. I do believe our volunteers will help spread the seeds of love among their circles of friends.
2016 Volunteer Understanding
Trip is scheduled for
Staff Home Visit Trip was
PEACH Foundation has been operating based on the key principle to “select and sponsor the poorest students” where we make sure the sponsorship goes to the children with the greatest needs. To accomplish this goal, we conduct home visits of each child’s home and accept them into our program only after they pass our inspection. The new students’ homes that we were unable to reach during this Inspection Trip, the PEACH colleges students will go see them during their winter and summer vacations. To meet with each child and to visit his or her home is the best way to ensure that each dollar from our donors goes to the most deserving child. The journey of our home visits is always filled with touching stories, mixed with sadness and joy.
PEACH has been working in the NuJiang region over five years by now. NuJiang is remote and very difficult to get to; however, we were surprised to find that most local people are Christian because of some devoted European ministries who travelled to the area in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of the PEACH children also come from Christian families: they go to church, they do not smoke, drink, or gamble. This cultural difference is quite different than what we observed in other parts of Yunnan.
We also learned that in recent years, the Chinese government has been very supportive of the NuJiang region. The government helped build houses for farmers and provided subsidies for low-income families. However, it seems that some of the parents still do not realize the importance of education yet. We are not sure if it is because they have very limited contact to the outside world, or because they believe that God will provide and government will help too. These parents did not seem to care when we told them that we will support their children to high school and to college. Their reactions made me really sad, because if the parents feel social welfare is the way of life, what is the chance of their children to be independent? I am extremely worried for these children, because what kind of future will they have if their own parents do not care? I feel these children need our support even more than others. PEACH will not give up; we must teach the importance of education and independence to the children of this region.
This year, we also travelled to a new township, DuLong, in NuJiang region for the first time. Before the beginning of 2015, the road to DuLong was closed more than 6 months out of the year due to heavy snow. Therefore, DuLong township has a nickname of “secret place.” After the opening of the new tunnel in the beginning of 2015, the road condition has improved tremendously. The 60-mile road that used to take 8-9 hours only takes 2.5 hours now. However, the road is still very dangerous to travel, with its endless narrow turns between huge rocks on one side and a deep canal on the other. DuLong township has a population of 4000 people. In the past, students have to travel to other counties to attend middle school. As a result, only very few continue schooling beyond elementary school. Worst still, the few students who did try to further their studies often dropped out because of the culture and language differences. In recent years, more students are continuing with middle school education after DuLong township re-established their local middle school. I sincerely hope these children will have the courage to leave DuLong and continue their higher education.
On November 8, we visited HuiZe township in the north eastern side of Yunnan Province. On the student’s application form, it says: ZhangXX, girl, ShangCun middle school, 9th grader, with excellent grades. Single parent home, two kids attending school. Grandfather is paralyzed and Grandmother is in poor health. Mud-made house.
Our guide, Teacher Soong drove us on the bumpy road for more than an hour already, and we thought we should finally be close to this student’s home, but the area was so deserted and there was no house to be found. After a while, Teacher Soong noticed an elderly lady by the roadside, so he rolled down the window and asked her, “Do you know where ZhangXX lives?” The elderly lady answered: “I am her grandmother; my house is up on the road.” She started leading the way, almost running. Finally she stopped and let our car go before her. We drove a little more distance, and saw a bright-eyed little girl watching us intensely from the edge of the road. We asked again, “Do you know where ZhangXX lives?” The little girl nodded, started marching in front of us, swung her small arms firmly with rhythm. As we watched this little girl, we could almost feel her courage and determination. We found out after following this little girl to the house that she is the younger sister of ZhangXX, and she is in the first grade. We were so delighted to have met two wonderful students.
The grandmother ran home, almost out of breath, and invited us into the house where we saw the paralyzed grandfather who suffered from a stroke three years ago. As the grandmother described how she took care of everything for the grandfather, including feeding him, turning him, cleaning him…. How she kept the family going with her son in prison, her daughter-in-law who abandoned the family and re-married, how her daughter-in-law abused the little girl by burning her neck, and how she fought for the right to get the little girl back to live with her. Grandmother said that she is supporting the family with little subsidies from the government and doing some odd jobs. However, no matter how difficult their situation is, she is determined to raise and educate the two granddaughters. As the grandmother spoke with conviction, Zhang quietly wept, and her little sister’s eyes were filled with tears too, yet she tried to hold it in by rubbing her little fingers firmly. It was a scene that really broke our hearts.
We made the decision right then. We not only admitted Zhang into our program, but also made an exception by admitting the little girl into our program. By sponsoring both girls, we know we will lift a significant financial burden from the grandmother’s shoulders. We also know that in a few more years, as the granddaughters grow up, grandmother’s life will be much happier.
2016 Winter Camp – We will conduct our third Winter Camp from 2/16/2016 to 2/25/2016 for 300 PEACH children who are either orphans or girls from single-parent homes. We will have 50 PEACH college students come and teach these younger kids. Our experience has proved that these PEACH college teachers are excellent role models for their students.
One of our sponsors, Mr. Gao from Taiwan, hired Lee, one of PEACH’s trade school graduates in 2013. Lee is also an orphan. Mr. Gao and his company have been offering amazing training opportunities to Lee. Today, Lee is not only competent in his field of work, but also working on improving his English and his communication skills. Mr. Gao encouraged Lee to participate the 2016 Winter Camp and share his personal experiences with these young campers. The message he hopes to share is that they are special and it is okay if they do not have excellent grades. They can also be successful if they work hard. PEACH sponsors like Mr. Gao are angels who have unconditional love for our children. We are forever grateful to have supporters like you. Thank you.
2016 Summer Camps Schedules are as follows. All volunteer teachers’ positions are already full. If you are interested in joining us, please register for summer camp 2017.
Session#1: 7/18/2016–7/28/2016 at YuanYang High School, HongHe Region of Yunnan Province.
Session#2: 7/29/2016–8/6/2016 at YuLong High School, LiJiang City of Yunnan Province.
Amazon partners with PEACH Foundation to benefit your purchase in helping the children. Amazon will now donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases when you shop at Amazon Smile smile.amazon.com. Please register The PEACH Foundation on your Amazon account. To register, please log into smile.amazon.com. Happy shopping and help Peach children. Thank you for your supporting.
have attached a PEACH student’s biography; please share with your
family and friends.
I would like to donate ______to the Laurice children medical funds (at an average of US$20 per child.)
I would like to send _____children to attend Summer & Winter Camps (at US$125 each for one week, including a bedding set of $40)
I would like to donate ______ to scarf and mitten funds (at US$5 per child.)
I would like to donate ______to thermal-pajama funds (at US$5 per child.)
I would like to donate ______ to the library funds (at US$20 per library)
I would like to donate ______to the Junhui writing funds (amount as you wish.)
I would like to donate ______ to the foundation administration funds
I would like to donate ______to the mini-loan for middle and high school students’ living expenses (amount as you wish.)
I would like to donate ______to the college loan funds (amount as you wish.)
I would like to donate ______ (laptop computer/ digital camera/ cell phone)
I would like to increase my sponsorship to ___ high school students and ___ middle school students; the yearly costs are US$300 for a high school student, US$150 for a middle school student.
Please make check payable to PEACH FOUNDATION.
Donors in Taiwan please change the amount to New Taiwan Dollars, payable to PEACH FOUNDATION.
Account No.: 50011068 and it is tax deductible.
1098 Marlin Avenue, Foster City, CA 94404, U.S.A.
Phone：650-525-1188 fax: 650-525-9688
15055 Yang XX, 7th grade, Female
Translated by Amber Tang
Our family has three people—my mom, my brother and I. We live on two acres of land and don’t earn much money. My mom has lived frugally for a year in order to send me and my brother to school, and now we don’t have much money left.
When I was four, my dad passed away so the three of us moved in with my grandma, uncle, and aunt. My mom single-handedly raised my brother and me, and occasionally she goes far away to work. This year, my grandma is 76 years old, and she and my brother have begun to raise animals at our house. When my brother and I went to school, my grandma fished a little money out of her pocket for us to split. Once, I told my grandma, “You don’t need to give us this money because we don’t need it. Why don’t you save it for yourself? When it’s hot outside, you can go buy yourself a popsicle to cool down!”
Before the first day of school, our family didn’t have any money, so my mom snuck out of the house to borrow money from a friend. When I saw how desperate my mom was, I wanted to quit my education in order to ease her burden. I told her, “Mom, I’m done with school! I’ll work with you to send my brother to school instead. I’d be content just to live happily by your side; I don’t have to attend middle school.” When my mom heard these words she was very sad and she strongly disagreed with me dropping out of school. Now, I am studying harder than ever at school. When I’m older, I will work myself in order to earn enough money to send my brother to school so that my mom will never again have to suffer so much.