Dear fellow PEACH members,
As Christmas is upon us, at this year-end, we are grateful that it has been another peaceful year. Due to the Taiwan Presidential Election that is to be held in March 2008, our Volunteers' Understanding Tour will be postponed till 3/25/08 to 3/30/08 and the region to be visited will be changed to the city of LiJiang , YuL on g County in Yunnan Province.
For 2008, our summer camps will be held in 3 sessions--time and places are as follows:
Session A: 6/23/08 -- 7/05/08 , at Yan Yuan MinZ hong in Yan Yuan County , LiangShan, Sichuan Province. 10 teachers are needed, 6 positions are still open.
Session B: 7/06/08 -- 7/17/08 , at YuanYang Yi Zhong Yuan Yang County , H on gH e , Yunnan Province. 32 teachers are needed, 6 positions are still open.
Session C: 7/19/08 -- 7/29/08 , at YuL ong Yi Zhong in the city of LiJiang , YuL on ng County in Yunnan Province. 20 teachers are needed, all filled.
Currently there are openings available for interested volunteers at summer camp sessions A and B, please join us.
In late October, An Li Chao, the Chair of our Taiwan Chapter, and I led a staff of three to inspect the households in the city of LiJiang , YuL on g County in Yunnan Province. With sleeping bags and tents on our backs, we lodged at where we stopped, and where we conducted inspections. This proved to be such an efficient means of conducting our inspections that soon it will be the protocol for all our future staff home inspections.
This past April, we added a new site in YuLong County. Another site, Yan Yuan County, which was suspended for the last two years due to their unwillingness to cooperate, and now we decide to reestablish working relationship, thanks to the arrival of a new more cooperative principal.
These two counties are among the poorest regions, a fact that makes our work more rewarding. After confronting the realities of living standards in such a destitute region, one can't help but feel overwhelmed as our resources are so limited, yet the numbers of needy qualified children are so many. Take the house where He YueFei livesí¬it is in such need of repair that the roof and ceiling doesn't cover the entire interior. Standing inside, one can simply lift one's head to see the blue sky. Her house is some 3000 meters above sea-level, where it snows in the winter--and it snows inside the house as well. Despite this, her father has chosen to send both daughters to school instead. I asked him where he had the money to pay for sending his two daughters to school; he replied that he borrowed it from wherever he could, and it amounted to 9000 Yuan. This father's priority was to make sure his daughter's had access to education first and repairing roofs would have to wait.
And then there is WangJu , whose mother passed away last year, whose grandmother passed away this year, too. As a result, her brother dropped out from the school for a year to help the family. In September this year, I was pleasantly surprised to find that both brother and sister had returned and was back in high school. I dared to ask their father how he managed to pay for the annual tuition of 8000 Yuan. He said he owned 6 acres of cornfields, which could be sold for 5000 Yuan per acre, and acre by acre he would have to sell them. If a farmer sells his fields, what can he live on? Swiftly I replied, í░Please don't sell! We'll take both of your children. As for the cornfields, save them for yourself to live on.í▒ Such families are illustrative of many others stories of the sacrifice and commitment families make to provide for their children education, and behind every PEACH child, there's a poignant, heartrending tale.
In retrospect, 2007 has been another bountiful year for PEACH:
1. We sponsored 402 new students.
2. In April, a joint force of 15 volunteers visited 674 children from the Yuan Y ang, L u Chun counties and visited 90 children's households to verify their family financial condition.
3. In July, English Summer Camps were successfully held in 2 sessions in Yuan Y ang and Li Jiang Counties, where 550 middle and high school students rubbed shoulders with 46 volunteers.
4. Medical service were provided for 550 children with eyeglass prescriptions alone exceeding 150.
5. In the YuL o ng regions, there are 287 newly installed mini-libraries, and e xtracurricular books were dispatched to 462 mini-libraries.
6. At Yuanyang Yi- Zhong , as well as high schools such as YuL o ng Yi- Zhong , YuL o ng Min -Zhong , PEACH classes received text books, recorders, English language tapes, extracurricular reading materials, and other educational material.
7 . A magazine dedicated to our children aptly named PEACH Kids, which has already seen their seventh edition on the shelves.
8 . For each of the 402 new recipients, we have provided a set of Uncle Yu's thermal-pajama and a set of Auntie Jiang's mittens, scarves, and socks to fight the raging cold. We also provided for 363 students each an Uncle Yuen's Mosquito Net and Auntie Jiang's socks to some 700 old students.
9. This summer, there were 391 middle school students participated in high school entrance examinations, with 360 passing the examí¬a success rate of 92%. There were 162 high school students who took the college entrance exams, of which 104 were admitted to prominent universitiesí¬a 64.2% admission.
10. Our Taiwan Chapter has successfully registered as an educational foundation with tax-exempt status, donations are now tax deductible.
Our programs and initiative from 2007 will be carried over to 2008. Next year there will be an additional 450 new students, which would bring our total students being supported to 1700. Since inception, PEACH have helped well over 2000 children, of whom 313 are now college studentsí¬please think about sponsoring one or more of these 450 children.
As we head into the New Year, we should be grateful for how lucky we are that we have the abilities and mean to help those in need and make a very real and personal contribution to their future. And on behalf of all our volunteers, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and successful New Year.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I would like to donate ______ to the medical funds (at an average of US$10 per child.)
I would like to send ______ children to attend Summer Camp (at US$10 each for one week.)
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 mosquito net funds (at US$5 per child.)
I would like to donate ______ to the library funds
I would like to donate ______ to the foundation administration funds
I would like to donate ______ to the mini-loan for middle school 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 increase my sponsorship to ___ high school students and ___ middle school students; the yearly costs are US$205 for a high school student , US$105 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.
email ú║ staff@PeachFoundationUSA.org website ú║ www.PeachFoundationUSA.org
Phone ú║ 650-525-1188 fax: 650-525-9688