Promoting Education, Art, and Community Harvest
PEACH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
August 2015, issue No. 41
Translated by Peggy Liou
Thank you for all your help. We have already secured sponsorship for about 700 of the 900 new students we accepted in 2015. Please help spread the word among your friends and families as we are working hard to find sponsors for the remaining students.
Summer Camp – We have conducted a total of 29 sessions of summer camps since 2004. It is the love and support from our volunteers that makes the project such a success. Thank you for bringing your caring hearts to these children in the rural areas to strengthen the belief that “Education Changes Lives.”
From July 13 to August 1st, 2015, we held two successful summer camps sessions in YuanYang and LiJiang where 93 volunteer teachers and 785 PEACH students participated. This year’s LiJiang Summer Camp broke a new record in terms of attendees: we had 60 volunteer teachers and 490 students. During the 7-day camp, we witnessed unbelievable changes in these children. They recited classical poems with pride, they interacted with their teachers in good spirits, and their performances in the talent show were amazing. Saying goodbye was extremely difficult because the children and teachers had built such strong bonds during the camp.
New Site –PEACH is expanding to a new site - HuiZe County in Yunnan Province. We have completed two inspection trips to HuiZe County during March and July 2015. HuiZe County has a population of over one million, and it is the third largest county in Yunnan Province. Most farmers live in high elevation, in the LiangZi and CaoZi mountain ranges, with very harsh living conditions. These areas have challenging weather and inaccessible roads. Only crops like corn and potatoes can survive there. We learned that corn is the staple for most families there. For the children, the geography also presents great challenges to attend school.
one of our visits, the teacher from MaLu Middle School told us that the
distance between a child’s home and school is about 15 kilometers, and should
take us about 30 minutes to get there. Our driver drove us on these seemly endless, dangerous
winding roads for a long time. We passed one mountain ridge and the teacher
said that we were almost there. Then, we passed another mountain ridge, and the
teacher said the same thing: “We’re almost there.” Finally, we arrived at the student’s
home and we asked him how did he calculate the distance? He answered with a
little embarrassment, “My father and I had never had chance to ride a car to
town. When we go out, we usually leave 5:
On another trip, we visited a child’s home in a small town called ZhiChang, which was severely damaged during an earthquake on August 19, 2014. The recovery efforts are still in progress. The families who had savings are rebuilding their homes with subsidies from the government; however, the poor families are unable to rebuild because they do not qualify for any subsidies, as they have no money to meet the government’s requirements.
The little girl was waiting for us when we arrived. Her home was built inside a cave as if it was an abandoned temple. There was one structure built with mud on the left, and a few more on the right hand side. We entered carefully into the cave where the walls were blackened from years of smoke. Finally, a large space opened up in front of us, and we could see that this was their kitchen. Her family was having lunch and there was a small fire in the middle of the muddy floor. The girl’s mother stood up and showed us around, while her father made no gesture to the visitors.
The girl’s mother told us that they moved into this cave in 1993 and over the years, they built the mud structures outside as their bedrooms. However, they had to move back into the cave because the earthquake in 2014 damaged the rooms so badly. The family would like to rebuild, but they could not, because they had no money and no one was willing to loan them money. We also learned that the government housing subsidies are only available as reimbursement after one’s home is completely rebuilt. This is because the government tries to avoid situations where families may take the money and spend it on other expenses rather than rebuilding homes.
In their yard, there was manure everywhere, and flies were constantly zooming and landing on the mother and the girl. We explained the PEACH sponsorship to them and encouraged the girl to study hard and to help clean up her family’s surroundings, and she nodded firmly.
It amazes us that these children and their parents are not defeated by the harshest of conditions. We are very encouraged by these families, because the parents are strongly supportive to their children’s education and the children are determined to study hard. We were pleased to find that they recognize that education can change their lives. We were also very touched by the strength of these parents and impressed by the determination of these children.
2015 Volunteer Understanding Tour will take place in YuLong County, Yunnan Province from October 25 to October 31, 2015. Volunteers are welcome to join us.
2016 Summer Camps are scheduled as follow. Our volunteer teachers’ positions are fully filled; you are welcome to register for 2017 camps; the dates are identical to 2016.
Breaking News - This September, 496 students will be going to college and 812 students will be going to high schools. These accomplishments are made possible because of all you – our sponsors. It is YOU who give these children hope and help their dreams come true. Individual student reports will be mailed to their sponsors shortly. Please share the wonderful news with your friends and family.
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.
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 Camp (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
14301 Wu XX, 7th Grade, Female
Translated by Amber Tang
My family has three people—my dad, my brother, and I. My dad works far from home, but he doesn’t have much ambition or motivation; instead, he constantly drinks. My brother and I have lived with our grandma since we were little. Our grandpa is not around, so my brother and I rely on my grandma. It’s very hard for my grandma to send me and my brother to school. One time, when my brother was in first grade, I told my grandma “I don’t want to go to school any more” but my grandma refused to let me drop out.
Later, my grandma was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness; she can’t touch cold water. Every day after school, I go home to help with housework; in the morning, I wake up early to cook meals, wash the clothes and feed the pigs. Although I am exhausted by the end of the day, I always make sure to complete my homework before I go to bed.
No one has lived in my house for a long time, so the perimeter of the house is covered with weeds and wild grasses. Many of my friends are afraid to come to my house because they say the grass is filled with snakes, and the ones who do come to visit are afraid to touch the walls. One Sunday night, it was raining, so I went to my house to get an umbrella. I wasn’t careful and I hit the wall, causing it to collapse a little. After the rain stopped, the inside of the house was just as wet as the outside. I opened a trunk to check to see if my quilt was wet too. Suddenly, I heard two large mice and one small mouse squeak, scaring me out of my wits, so I grabbed my umbrella and quickly ran out of the house.
Every time I think about my grandma’s old age and deteriorating health, I feel more and more concerned. How can she take care of herself while I’m at school? Once I told my grandma “I’m not going to go to school anymore” and somehow tears started falling from my eyes. My grandma replied “I see. You don’t want to go to school because you’re afraid I’ll get sick while you’re away, right?” With tears in my eyes, I answered “Yes, Grandma.” My grandmother comforted me by saying “It’s alright, my sweet granddaughter, I want you to go to school.” She then gave me my book bag and told me “Study hard at school and don’t think about me too much” and then she sent me off to school.
Sometimes I still worry so much about my grandma that I can’t concentrate while my teacher is talking. My grandmother still hasn’t completely recovered, but she continues to provide for my education.
13707 Bai XX, 7th Grade, Female
Translated by Tiffany Chen
Father and mother got a divorce, mother took her luggage and left leaving grandfather and I. While growing up, grandfather took me to school; everyone else was wearing new clothing and I was the only one in old clothing, a classmate said “You are so poor, you can’t even afford clothes.” I told my grandfather I didn’t want to go back to school, he said “Why? It was a lot of trouble letting you attend school.” I cried and replied “Because everyone hit me and pick on me.”
Growing up I didn’t have mother’s love, grandfather was the one that raised me. Everyday grandfather worked until seven, I was very worried but couldn’t help him do hard labors, grandfather always said I was too little and could only help him graze cattle and cook.
At the time I really wanted to quit school, but the teacher encouraged me to study hard and change the life condition I am in now, teacher also told me to think about grandfather’s everyday hard labor is all for your studies. Under the teacher’s reminder, I realized when the teacher scolds you is all for your own benefit; I’ve always wanted to say “Grandfather, thank you for your hard work!”