Dear fellow PEACH members,
We have returned from our English-language Summer Camps, a sound event that exceeded all expectations.
This year's camps comprised of two divisions each lasted for a week and was attended by 65 children, a total of 130.
The children attended classes on Mondays to Fridays, but Saturdays and Sundays they had field trips. There were four sessions each morning and three for the afternoon, while in the evening they would watch movies.
The curriculum consisted of English lessons by the young teachers (3 lessons), Science Laboratory by Professor Yip (1 lesson), Mandarin lesson as well as The Joyous Life by yours truly (each 1 lesson), and Panel Discussion (1 lesson).
There were four entrees plus a daily soup on the delightful lunches and diners' menu, an extra egg for the breakfast and pastry for refreshment after the movies in the evening. The children reflected on the abundant feast and astonished by the nightly wonder --pastry, which they had never seen nor tasted before.
We wanted to know the physical health of the children; in the first Camp division, we encouraged them to inform us of their infirmities by signing up voluntarily. Consequently, more than 30 of them signed up to see a doctor.
In the second Camp division, we were alarmed that some children might be too timid to sign up; we had elected to interview them one-on-one instead. Amazingly 60 of them were not very well¡ªa high rate of 94% (a total of 64). They have primarily chronic diseases such as stomach disease, near-sighted, chronic headache, rhinitis, otitis, skin disease, etc., and we proceeded to cure them all. With the two camps totaling 130 attending, we had paid for 30 pairs of eyeglasses alone, two minor operations for rhinitis, and a treatment for epidemic typhus, all spent more than a week in the hospital.
The conclusion is that of the 600 PEACH recipients, the infirmity rate ought not to be less than 90%--and that is a frightful figure. In the past few years, we have not been paying attentions to the health of the children¡ Indeed we could not afford to administer their health, nor had we the ability to do so. We are in the U.S. , they are in Yunnan ; how, then can we administer? Nor could we simply delegate the schools to send the children to visit the doctors (a matter of trust). This has been a hidden concern that we had swept under the rug, but now we have opened the "Pandora's Box" instead. We shall confront this problem in the future, as we currently do not have such designated donations (it has never been addressed). But now we appeal for your benevolence to contribute to our medical fund; on average, each child only costs 10 US dollars per year on the average.
We thank you for your generosity in supporting our Summer Camps; the unspent money happened to cover the fore-mentioned unplanned medical expenses. Initially we had no intentions to bring the children to the doctors; however, during the first Camp division, an inquiry was made to see who had troubles with their eyesight, and up went some thirty pairs of hands. Once we started, there were no second thoughts¡ªit turned out 94% of the children in the second Camp division disclosed their untold agonies, some of which not even told to their parents to avoid further distressing.
The children had a delightful time, and they said they would act on the secret recipe of The Joyous Life. On the anonymous questionnaire, they wrote, "very satisfied, we have found our self-assurance." (Let's not question whether they were trying to please the teachers in penning those remarks.)
The reward for these Summer Camp events was like buying a big brand new refrigerator for 10 dollars only. What the eight teachers had given in two weeks was insignificant compared to the happiness and confidence obtained by the 130 children¡ªa fruitful cause that far exceeded its costs.
To the outside world separated by a big mountain, the mountain children were sequestered inside their shut tight rooms, dazed and idled. Yet these Summer Camps had opened for them a window, which, though tiny, allowed them to see the blue sky, white cloud, green trees, and wild flowers. It was a world that they had never seen¡ªnot even in their dreams. In two weeks, I was fortunate to enter into their inner sanctum, to further appreciate their bitter and grievous lives. I shall try my best to relate what I have witnessed in these two weeks in my humble writings in the days to come.
While we should be dancing with joy with the success of these Summer Camps, yet the thoughts of the children keep surfacing; and somehow, I can't help but feel unsettled¡
It has been a wonderful year for the PEACH graduates in the middle school and high school whose advancement rate is astonishing: 92 middle schools graduated, 80 were admitted to high schools, 35 high school graduated, and 33 past entrance examinations for universities.
These are prominent universities such as China University of Politics and Law, Jiao Tong University , Southwest Agricultural University , Yunnan University, South Central University for Nationalities, etc.
Of these graduates, Qing-fang (the protagonist in "The Lost Paradise" by yours truly) was admitted to Jiao Tong University , and Sha-bang (the protagonist in "A bouquet" by yours truly) was admitted to Yanyuan First High School .
As I have been maintaining that what the children want is an opportunity. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are providing the irrigation for these vigorous seedlings. With every single drop, every single sunray, these young lives will grow robustly. That is very motivating and gratifying.
As for those who did not pass the examinations, we encourage and financially support them to retry. Last year, seven attempted for the second time to their desired high schools or universities, and with our encouragement and financial support, they succeeded. The total support of our recipients--regardless of their merits--demonstrates our Foundation's flexibility, avoidance of bureaucracy, and the goal of being compassionate.
From now on, tuition reminders will only be sent after the first of September, because many newly admitted high students would not know their designated class until early September. Therefore, we ask that all our sponsors to be patient for our computers will never forget.
Printed on the back-page please find the Fall Evaluation Itinerary; please be hurry to apply. Due to an unforeseen incidence, the Fall Evaluation has been rescheduled sooner. We apologize for the rushes and any inconveniences. As for next spring's evaluation, it is scheduled from March 20th, 2005 to April 2nd, 2005 , and the itinerary will be sent at the end of this year.
Ruth Jeng, President
P.S. -- we felt pressed to spread the seeds of the PEACH cause; if every single member would introduce the PEACH cause to 20 friends, and then there would be 5000 who know about the PEACH cause. We invite everyone to our detailed brochures.
PPS -- We are in dire need of a volunteer in public relation to carryout promotions.
We are also in dire need of a grant writer to help us apply for aids from other foundations.
1098 Marlin Avenue, Foster City , CA 94404 , U.S.A.
email £º staff@PeachFoundationUSA.org website £º www.PeachFoundationUSA.org
phone £º 650-525-1188 fax £º 650-525-9688