Promoting Education, Art, and Community Harvest
PEACH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
March 2016, issue No. 43
Translated by Peggy Liou
New Student Admission - This year, we admitted 1100 new students from Yunnan Province’s poorest counties: LiJiang City, YuLong County, NingLang County; HongHe Region, HongHe County, YuanYang County, LvChun County; NuJiang Region, LuShui County, FuGong County, GongShan County and QuJing City, HuiZe County. These counties are located at high elevations and the children’s homes are very difficult to reach. In addition, extremely cold and snowy weather beginning in October 2015 made our Home Visits even more challenging. However, we are pleased to report that our staff and PEACH college students diligently inspected 99% of these children’s homes to ensure these new students meet with our requirements. PEACH Foundation has consistently been operating based on the key principle to “select and sponsor the poorest students” where we make sure the valuable sponsorship of PEACH goes to the children with the greatest needs.
Among the 1100 new students, 300 are orphans and kids from single-parent families in 7th grade, without meeting the requirements for minimum grades. The rest of the 800 students are 9th and 10th grade students with excellent grades. However, about 20% of these older students are also orphans or come from single-parent homes. These students are determined to change their lives through education. They need your love and sponsorship. Please help spread the word. Thank you.
2016 Winter Camp – We conducted our third Winter Camp during February 2016 for 300 PEACH children who are either orphans or from single-parent homes. We had 50 PEACH college students come to teach these younger kids. These Big Brothers and Big Sisters did an amazing job both in and out of the classrooms to show their love. We are confident that the seeds of love have been planted firmly in the hearts of the younger students. The following are some reflections from our PEACH college students, here in their own words.
“We are the same. We all come from poor families. We lost our parents and their love since we were little. We struggled with hunger and the lack of warm clothing growing up. You reminded me of my youth when I first laid eyes on you. A few years back, I was struggling under tremendous pressure like you, but I didn’t want to give up, because I knew there would never be any hope if I gave up then. There were countless waves of challenges in life, but I was not afraid, because I knew my life would be a complete loss if I remained afraid. Finally, I am in college. My dear young brothers and sisters, you are enduring so many hardships at such a young age: not only do you have to take care of yourself, but you also have to take care of the aging grandparents. I have confidence in you, if you stay brave and determined. Just like me, you can change lives through better education.”
“In PEACH Winter Camp, we are one big family. We are siblings who share all our worries, sadness and difficulties. I reminded myself to put myself in your position when you, my little brothers and sisters, appeared lost and depressed. I know you have experienced most hurtful verbal and physical abuses in your neighborhood and in your school. I too grew up in that kind of environment. However, I never allowed that to defeat me. On the other hand, we need to work even harder. With good grades and the resolution of never giving up, we can change our lives. We will show those people who treated us as trash that we are better!”
“I encourage my students to study hard like myself. Although I lost my father when I was very young, I feel very fortunate because I still have a lot. I travelled very far, from NuJiang to HongHe for PEACH Winter Camp, and I feel totally at home with the other PEACH college students and the campers. It made me sad when I read the children’s biographies; they reminded me of my younger self who also lacked confidence, encouragement, and people who cared. My heart ached when I interviewed these children on the first day. I saw the tears and helplessness in their eyes. The children were very shy when we first met, but they started to change in just a few days. We ate, we lived and we learned together, and we also attended the Happy Life and EQ classes. A little girl came and told me, ‘Teacher, we are not pitiful!’ I saw the transformation in them. Over a few days they already became more positive and strong. Their Math is still below grade level, their English is still bad, and even their Chinese is not good, but they are totally adorable. They already improved so much it amazes me. They went from not willing to open their mouths, to standing up in front of the whole class to share their happiness and sorrows. This is progress. It made me so happy to witness their transformation. I feel very lucky and very accomplished.”
“This one little girl made the deepest impression on me. She grew up with only her mother, and she had never travelled away from home before. Coming to PEACH Winter Camp in HongHe was a significant first for her. On the first day, she kept asking and wanting to go home. It took a lot of convincing for her to stay. During the weeklong camp, campers received a lot of happy surprises and lots of encouragement. Slowly, this little girl started to raise her hand and offer to answer the questions in the classes. At the end, she was able to go to the podium and give a talk in front of the entire class. In the camp, there was no judgment, no putting anyone down, no criticism. Children were comfortable to make mistakes and eager to give answers. I think this special opportunity revealed their true natures.”
“On the evening where we celebrated everyone’s birthday, the children were so excited when they saw the cake. Most children had never celebrated their birthday ever. The few who did only had a hard-boiled egg for their birthday. Children wrote their birthday wishes on the blackboard, they ate the cake, then played games. One timid little girl surprised the whole class by using the classroom broomstick as pretend guitar to sing and dance. Everyone had such a great time. My eyes were watering when I saw that. I am really touched by the children. I am so proud of the children and proud of myself.”
2016 Summer Camp Schedules are as follows. All volunteer teachers’ positions are already full.
Session#1: 7/18/2016-7/28/2016 at Yunnan Province, HongHe Region, YuanYang High School
Session#2: 7/29/2016-8/6/2016 at Yunnan Province, LiJiang City, YuLong High School
2017 Summer Camps tentative schedules are as follows. If you are interested in joining us, please register ASAP, because many volunteers have already done it.
Session#1: 7/18/2017-7/27/2017 at Yunnan Province, HongHe Region, YuanYang High School
Session#2: 7/28/2017-8/4/2017 at Yunnan Province, LiJiang City, YuLong High School
Session#3: 8/5/2017-8/14/2017 at Yunnan Province, QuJing City, HuiZe High School
2016 Volunteer Understanding Trip is scheduled for 10/22/2016 - 10/29/2016. We will be visiting HongHe County in the southern part of Yunnan Province. This area is most famous with its amazing rice terraces. Registration is open now!
In HongHe County, most people do not value education. The older generations are mostly uneducated and illiterate. 90% of farming families do not have faith in education. Parents encourage their children to drop out from school as young as possible in order to work. Some parents try to marry their daughters several times in order to collect dowry for their families and believe nothing is wrong. A few HongHe towns are even known as “Beggar Towns” because these families would rather beg for a living than send their children to school. Children who grow up in environments like this are impacted greatly. They have lost the basic trust in people and they have also lost their self-esteem. Therefore, the vicious cycle continues. We noticed the government tries to help improve the region with better roads and houses, but we believe the most impactful and lasting improvement begins with education. We sincerely hope the children could gain more knowledge and skill to better their livelihood and improve not only their own lives but change their families’ outcomes and eventually the whole region. Only after this generation gains a better life and greater views could they understand and support the future generation with higher education, and achieve in stronger future generation. We need to work even harder to keep the children in school in HongHe County.
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.
Below, we 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
15534 Qu XX, 9th Grade, Female
Translated by Jennifer Lu
My family is very poor and I have been very aware of it. I was jealous of others who could afford to go to school. When I was seven years old, I was jealous of kids who carried nice backpacks to school and at the time, I was not in school and I often cried at home about it. However, I never complained to my parents because I knew they could not afford for me to go.
When I was ten years old, I would stand outside the classroom window to try to listen to the teacher. One day I was caught and I tried to run away but twisted my ankle. I still have the scar today. The teacher ended up coming to my home to speak with my parents. The teacher encouraged my parents to send me to school. The cost of school is 100RMB (~$18) and I remember my father trying to combine a pile of small bills to pay the tuition.
The students were not welcoming and I often felt hurt. However, that encouraged me to focus on my school work and I became a top student. This makes me happy.
Unfortunately, my father got severely sick when I was in 2nd grade and my parents could no longer afford my tuition. But, I am eager to learn and I made the trek each day to ensure I continued my education. My parents saw that and borrowed the money. I have been on the verge of dropping out of school. I want to continue my education but my family may or may not have the means each year.