Dear fellow PEACH members,
First, allow me to take this belated opportunity to wish everyone a prosperous and blissful Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Rooster.
The ten-day Winter English Camp has ended on January 2005. In this trip, two young teachers and I left for Yuanyang at our own expenses to tutor 250 junior and senior high PEACH students in English.The objective of this trip is to extend the mission of the summer camps on guiding them away from the shadow of self-pity, self-deprivation and into a joyous life of self-esteem and confidence
The first day in Yuanyang, our enthusiasm was immediately challenged by the three degree Celsius temperature. During the day, heads retracted, fingers fisted, and legs kneeled, the three of us shivered at work for lack of clothing. At night, necks in skiing scarves, legs in wool socks, and bodies wrapped in two layers of heavy blankets only then could we fall asleep. The children told us many nights they could not sleep because of the extreme cold. Children would pair up and cram into a small bed in order to keep themselves warm.
Learning that the freeze kept the children up at nights, an Uncle X from Taiwan paid for the entire PEACH congregation each a set of thermal-pajama. And along with Auntie Jiang donated mittens, scarves, and socks, the children could enjoy a rather warm winter this year. When the volunteers in Shenzen learnt about this, in two weeks they have collected closed to a thousand pieces of worn clothing.
From now on, as standard Christmas gifts, PEACH will give a set of Auntie Jiang scarf and Uncles X thermal-pajama to every PEACH child including every new recipient.
In retrospect, last year has been a bountiful year:
? There were 254 new recipients and 50 are in the colleges
? In May, with the financial support from Yins Foundation, we sent 10 teachers to Shanghai for a19-days training.
? 4 volunteers went to Yanyuan to train 150 teachers for 5 days.
? In July, we held 2 English-language summer camps, where 130 junior and senior high students attended.
? A winter consulting seminar was held during Christmas to benefit 220 children.
? Medical service was available to 300 plus children, eyeglasses prescription alone exceeded 100.
? To this day, there are 175 mini-libraries.
? Supplementary instructional material was provided to teachers of all PEACH financed junior highs to raise the standard of teaching.
? A periodical was dedicated to the children, written by them, (2 editions already.)
? A 40-minutes documentary was produced in DVD format, (soon it will be shipped to you.)
All projects accomplished in 2004 will be carried over to 2005. By the end of this year, the total PEACH congregation will reach 756, (this year there will be 200 new recipients.) In order to be more efficient, a new division office will be established in Kunming , where more local help will be hired
We would like to thank the class of 1972 of Bei-I-Nu high school sorority for their generosity they have donated more than $8,000 and established a PEACH sorority where 50 girls have been sponsored.
Lastly, a few autobiographies are also enclosed; from now on, more will be featured to introduce our children. Let them use their own words to recount their harsh childhood.
Best Holidays wishes,