Dear fellow PEACH members,
After accomplishing the spring 2003 inspection trip, our volunteers safely returned from Mainland China.
There were two phases in this year¡¯s inspection. The first phase began on April 7th and lasted to April 12th, consisting of five volunteers: Linda, Katherine, Frank, An Li, and me. We inquired about forty Peach Foundation sponsored students and found they all had received their grants. Furthermore, we visited ten village libraries funded by our organization and found them to be quite satisfactory.
The second phase took place from April 13th to April 17th and consisted of three volunteers: Frank, Ruhen, and me. We visited about one hundred recipients and inspected six village elementary schools libraries; again, all the children had received their grants.
A few of the teachers told us that they had not yet received the books we sent from Kunming. However, the local post office staff told us that the books had been claimed by the schools. What a real-life comedy! It¡¯s comparable to the late Kurasawa¡¯s satirical ¡°Rosomon.¡± We are still investigating the claim.
On a different note, a couple of students who felt that their family¡¯s financial situation had improved voluntarily gave up their scholarships to others. Once again, we are witnessing the great virtue of human beings. Thanks to both of them for their generosity!
The most exciting news of this period has to be that twelve PEACH high school graduates will soon take their college entrance exams. Soon we will have helped sponsor a total of seventeen college students. Your help is still greatly needed in order to provide these struggling students with college loan assistance. After the children graduate from college, these loans will be repaid and another group of PEACH children will be blessed¡ªand so on, and so on¡ Right now, raising funds for the college student loan program is extremely pressing.
This has been a marvelous trip filled with both joy and tears and tales that I will relate on a later time.
Initially, we had ten volunteers sign up for this year¡¯s spring inspection; however, a few cancelled their trip due to the SARS outbreak. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who supported our trip both physically and spiritually, with extended gratitude to those who overcame their fears of SARS and accompanied us to China.
Regretfully, the SARS outbreak did not allow us to meet with our colleagues from Taiwan on the April 26th. On March 29th, our Foundation held a conference in Shanghai and got tremendous responses. Six reporters from the local media covered the entire event but due to politics, only one report was being published. (Enclosed please find the report filed by the Shanghai bureau.)
Our foundation is in the process of extending our outreach in the Daliang district of the Shichuan Province. During this trip, An Li Chao, Chair of our Taiwan Chapter, and I visited Daliand Shang to assess its economic and political situation. We concluded that it matched our criteria; starting in September, we will grant scholarship to fifty poor children in the region.
Currently, our foundation sponsors about 300 children and has established 175 micro libraries. Our swift growth in two years is the fruit of our members¡¯ collaboration. Again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all you who supported our course¡ªwithout your kindness, those 300 children would be out of school.
The PEACH Foundation website has undergone a complete renovation; there are more news, articles, photos, and information. We would like to thank our volunteer web designers: Peter, Bruce, and Bob. Due to their dedication, our web site is now more appealing!
Lastly, very special thanks to our staff in Mainland China: Sonia and Cindy. Without them backing us up, we could not charge ahead.