Dear fellow PEACH members,
Happy New Year! We are thankful that PEACH Foundation continued to perform well in 2008 in light of the world's turmoil.
In 2009, there are several opportunities for our volunteers:
1. The ¡°2009 Volunteers' Understanding Tour¡± will take place from 4/6/09 to 4/12/09. We'll visit the region near the city of LiJiang in YuLong County of Yunnan Province.
2. For 2009, we'll hold two sessions of summer camps. The times and places are as follows:
Session A: from 7/6/09 to 7/18/09, at Yan-Yuan MinZhong high school, in Yan-Yuan County, LiangShan region, Sichuan Province. 20 teachers are needed. 5 positions are still open.
Session B: from 7/21/09 to 7/30/09, at YuLong YiZhong high school, in the city of LiJiang in YuLong County of Yunnan Province. 30 teachers are needed. 5 positions are still open.
For volunteers who have already registered, please make sure to send in the $300 deposit per person before 1/31/09 so that we can complete your registration.
QingChuan visit ¨C SiChuan Earthquake relief fund distribution trip
In October 2008, Anli Chao, chair of our Taiwan chapter, myself and our employees went into one of the most devastated county¨CQingChuan to distribute the relief funds to the eligible children in person. There were still many aftershocks while we were there, and we feel very fortunate that we were able to complete our tasks successfully in one week. We visited three of the most severely damaged towns in the area: GuanZhuang, MuYu, and SanGuo. As a result of interviews and home visits, we sponsored 267 students from these three towns. We helped them open their own account at the local post office. In the following 10 months, we will deposit the relief funds monthly into their accounts, up to 2000RMB per student. The details of the SiChuan Earthquake relief funds' distribution will be available on 2/1/09 on our website.
Eight months after the 5.12 quake, what we saw was devastation and debris everywhere, as if the earthquake took place yesterday. The teacher of MuYu middle school pointed to a pile of debris when we visited the abandoned school site and said, ¡°This was the students' dormitory. It was naptime when the quake struck. 286 students died here.¡±
At the Mouth of the Red River near the town of GuanZhuang , it had been a beautiful and peaceful village. The landslide caused by the quake buried more than 800 villagers instantly. When we saw the site, it looked like the face of the moon, with a huge scar on the surface of the land, as well as an enormous scar in the hearts of the survivors.
It was late fall when we visited. The quake survivors lived in tents or temporary portable housing. Kids are back in school already, but while some study in the portable classrooms, many are still attending classes in the tents. While we were there, many of us lived in the temporary portable housing; there was a strong plastic odor. It has no insulation - it gets hot inside when it is hot outside, and it gets very cold when it is cold out. Winter is here, I can't imagine how these quake survivors may stay warm in the freezing, snowy winter.
The following is a letter from a father of one of our sponsored students:
¡°I am the parent of H e Y ou Li at MuYu middle school. We're very grateful of the love and support from your organization. Since the 5.12 earthquake, we didn't know how we were going to live, since our family lost everything. It was very, very, very sad. Our government allocated lots of money, materials and food for the quake survivors, but the local officers and leaders kept it for themselves, while the only thing the people have is the suffering from the earthquake. We have no place to turn to; we have resigned ourselves to our fate. As usual, people in power only look after each other! We appreciate the care from people, corporations, and our national leader, which gave us the will to live. However, among all, you have done the best job because your bring your love and care directly into our hands.¡±
2008 Fall Home Visits
After our visits in the quake zone, we continued our journey to YanYuan County in LiangShan of Sichuan Province and LiJiang in YuLong County of Yunnan Province. We visited more than 150 students' homes in 15 days.
It rained a lot while we were in YanYuan. The rain made the road condition and our effort more difficult. Not only we got all muddy, we had to help push our cars out of the mud in order to continue our home visits.
These two counties are among the poorest regions, but the courage and determination of the parents really impressed me. The mother of T on gSh un Bao is a good example. She is over 40 years old, her husband over 60 years old and is handicapped. She works in the field to feed the family, and support all three kids to school, while two are in middle school. When we visited her at her home, she told us in tears ¡°I will not let my kids drop out of school, I will empty all I have to keep them in school, one day at a time. Sometimes, I wish I can sell myself to support their schooling.¡± There are other parents, who took their kids to the county for better schooling because the schools where they live performed below minimum standard. These families live in the dumpster-like places; work at places that no one else wants to work. They collect garbage to sell to support their kids in school as they can't find any work. Like the mother of HeHai Ying , she collets garbage to support her kids in school, while her husband is in prison charged with lumber stealing.
I am heart broken after visiting families like these. These parents are strong, but helpless at the same time. I respect them, but feel sorry for them at the same time. Behind every PEACH child, there's a poignant, heartrending tale, a fact that makes our work more rewarding.
In reviewing our 2008 accomplishments, PEACH has another bountiful year:
1. In 2008, we sponsored 481 new students.
2. From 3/26/08 to 4/9/08, 13 volunteers visited more than 200 children at YuLong area. After that, PEACH employees visited 121 children's households to verify their family financial condition in DaLi and Y angBi in Yunnan province.
3. In March, we made a one-year subscription of the ¡°Mandarin Daily¡± newspaper for five classes in FungLiao Elementary School in Hsinchu County , Taiwan .
4 . From 6/24/08 to 7/28/08, three sessions of English Summer Camps were successfully held in YanYuan, YuanYang and LiJiang Counties , where over 600 PEACH students rubbed shoulders with 65 volunteers from US, Taiwan and China.We also provided medical examination, Mosquito Net and dictionaries to the PEACH students who attended the summer camps.
5 . In September, we donated to Taiwan Fund For Children and Families to support its college loan program.
6 . Mrs. Chou donated 400 blankets to the elderly family members of the PEACH students in YuLong area. Mrs. Chou donated 30 computers to YuLong MinZhong high school.
7 . Several companies from D ongGuan donated shoes and clothing.
8 . Mr. Pong donated 280 books.
9 . At YuanYang YiZhong, as well as high schools such as YuLong YiZhong, YuLong MinZhong, PEACH classes received textbooks, recorders, English Language tapes, extracurricular reading materials, and other educational Materials.
10 . In November, we mailed new books to 280 libraries.
11 . In December, we mailed to the 481 new recipients sets of thermal-pajama and mittens, scarves, and socks to fight the raging cold.
12. We published the eighth edition of ¡°PEACH ER ¡± ¨C a magazine dedicated to our children.
13 . We provided mini-loan to 97 students, and college loan to 212 students.
In the past summer, there were 435 middle school students participated in high school entrance examinations, with 400 passing the exam - a success rate of 92%. There were 217 high school students who took the college entrance exams, of which 191 were admitted to prominent universities - an 88% admission.
In 2009, there will be an additional 400 new students, which would bring our total students being supported over 2000. Since inception, PEACH has helped well over 2700 children, we have 377 kids are in the colleges and 57 students have graduated from college . Please consider sponsoring one or more of these 400 new children.
Please also see attached bio from ChenZhenKang. We met him when we visited the home of ChenZhenHui (the younger brother). ChenZhenKang is 23 years old, and he is in 8 th grade. He was paralyzed for many years, and later recovered like a miracle. He never gave up studying, Even though his grade is about average, we decided to accept him into PEACH because we admire his spirit of never giving up.
With a hundred, or maybe two hundred dollars, we can change a life. It is truly worthwhile. 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.
As the New Year upon us, and on behalf of all our employees, 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$20 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 (at US$20 per library)
I would like to donate ______ to the foundation administration funds
I would like to donate _____ to the mini-loan for middle 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 donate ______ (laptop computer/ digital camera/ cell phone)
I would like to increase my sponsorship to ___ high school students and ___ middle school students; the yearly costs are US$250 for a high school student, US$125 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 £º staff@PeachFoundationUSA.org website £º www.PeachFoundationUSA.org
Phone £º 650-525-1188 fax: 650-525-9688