Dear fellow PEACH members,
We have returned from our successful Spring Inspection earlier this April. During this trip, we have met with 400 PEACH recipients and verified that they had received their grant. In addition, we have visited about 40 children 's homes and confirmed their financial needs.
A record-breaking number of more than 13 volunteers from Taiwan , U.S. , and Mainland China participated; of whom 7 were re-listed veterans who never missed a single inspection.
Today, PEACH Foundation supports 700 children, with 15% (about 100 kids) from single-parent households or simply an orphan. While the PEACH grant can pay for their tuition, their living expenses still have to be provided by their families. These children from single-parent households, especially the orphans, truly cannot afford a weekly expense of 20, 30 yuan (about 3 US dollars.)
In the past few years, closed to 10 children have since quitted schools (due to the lacking of living expenses.) The moment they quitted going to school, they were asked immediately to find work in the city. Though we sent our teachers to persuade them, it was too little too late. If we cannot arise with a solution, the number of kids leaving school will likely to increase. As the president, I feel responsible and blame myself for the failure to come up with a resolution.
On March this year, we have finally devised a plan to resolve this crisis: we are to establish a mini-loan for high school students living expenses r egardless of available funds or not, just set it up with reserve first. Like a stream that runs into the sea, once a child enters the city to work, it is impossible to retrieve; hence a matter of utmost emergency.
I told the children not a single one of them was permitted to quit, and should it ever arrive to an unfortunate withdrawal, our Kunming office has to be notified the night before the departure. For if we could not resolve their difficulties, an exit then would never be too late. I asked them please give us a last chance to help them; it also gave a last chance to help themselves. I believe from now on the number of children dropping out for financial circumstances will be zero. Our goal is "not one less" Once this program was introduced, three children were swayed from thinking of quitting school.
There are about 30 orphans amongst our PEACH families; a typical one would be when the father passed away, the mother remarries and the child is left to the grandparents. These seniors themselves are living meals to meals, let alone rearing a child! As for these poor children, they are the most miserable among the miserable. This August we will take 20 orphans from Yuanyang to a week-long fun fair in Kunming , a "Journey of Love" which we hope will paint a wonderful scene in their miserable childhood memories and that it will help dispel them from the shadow of self-pity, self-deprivation.
Enclosed please find an autobiography (not available in English translation, instead we enclose another autobiography which is translated by our volunteer, Audrey Kwan) and a letter by student Yang Chun-mei (not ready in English translation) expressing her exhilaration when she learnt that she was awarded the mini-loan. A typical PEACH orphan, a lovable and courageous girl, she recalls in her autobiography how she, as a baby, barely escaped suffocation under a blanket by her father, and how he attempted yet another plot on her and her mother using rat poisoning. With a vivid depiction, Chun-mei recounts her standing up to her grandmother and insisting on attending school. When reading the part where the lady owner of a restaurant went berserk after receiving a fake 20-dollar bill, I can 't help but laugh to tears. Yet as I read on to learn the lady owner lashed out at her, scolding and swearing at her, who swallowed her rice with tears, my laughter subsides but the tears run on.
It is precisely unfortunate children like Yang Chun-mei that PEACH must shoulder the responsibility to nurture. We must not only finance her schooling and provide her living, but we must also bring her to fun fairs in Kunming to let her know that in this world there are plenty anonymous PEACH uncles and aunts who care about her. Let her know that she is not alone in this world to fend for herself, and that she has us at PEACH, who will never abandon her till she is grown.
This year we are expanding the recruitment for our enlarged summer camps, 3 divisions that are to be held in Yuanyang, Lu Chun and Y a nyuan Counties . 330 kids will be invited, and because of our good fortune, 11 teachers will also join us.
It is clear to me that whatever can be resolved financially, it is of lesser significant. The difficulties that the children face are more than monetary; the foremost crisis is of psychological. Since childhood, poverty had brought them contempt and ridicules from neighbors, classmates, relatives, and even teachers. The mission of the summer camps is to guide them away from the shadow of self-pity, self-deprivation and into a joyous life of self-confidence and self-esteem.
We are greatly encouraged by last year 's hugely successful summer camps; this year we shall keep on promoting this undertaking. Those who attended told us it was the most exciting event in their lives to this day. They had never been closed to a city, never seen a movie, never been to any restaurants, nor tasted candies, let alone pastry. Now they have experienced all. Summer camps are also the proper time for their annual medical check-ups. Besides eyeglass prescriptions, we also check for chronic diseases such as stomach disease, chronic headache, rhinitis, otitis, skin disease, etc. Last year there were about 94% of the children attending summer camp were diagnosed of minor chronic diseases.
Item: enclosed please find the Application form for Fall Inspection from November 1st to 12th. With very limited space available, please response promptly if interested as the deadline for application is 8/15/05. Itinerary provided on back.
Item: from now on, tuition reminders will only be sent after the first of September, because many newly admitted senior 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.
Item: a regional office has been established in Kumming , the address is :2F, YunNan Association for Machinery Industry, No.245 Baita Road, Kunming, Yunnan. The Administrative Manager is M s . XiongGuan-mei , Mr. Li H ong -Rui is the Administrative Assistant, M s . Pu Chun- Xian the Assistant (part time,) and M s . Zheng Ru -Heng the Web Master (part time,) what a strong team.
Best summer wishes,
Ruth Jeng, President
I would like to send ___ children to attend Summer Camp (at $10 US each for one week.)
I would like to send ___ orphans to Kunming , the "Journey of Love" (at $100 US each for one week.)
I would like to donate ______ to the medical funds (at an average of $10 US per child.)
I would like to donate ______ to the mini-loan for high school students living expenses (amount as you wish.)
Please make check payable to PEACH FOUNDATION.
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