Dear fellow PEACH members,
Before reporting on our current state of operation, I would like to remind everyone applications are being accepted for next year’s major events as followed:
1. 2010 Summer Camps --1st session to be held
on 7/06/10 to 7/18/10 in Yanyuan SiChuan; 2nd session to be held on 7/20/10 to 7/31/10 in Yuanyang, Yunnan.
2. The Understanding Tour to be held on 10/24/10 to 10/30/10 in Yuanyang, Yunnan.
Now the semiannual report of 2009.
1. There are 400 newly added children in ‘09,
of whom 300 have yet found any sponsors (majority of them high school students.)
We are seeking their sponsors and beg you to adopt some more children; and
please spread the seeds of PEACH. Please tell your friends and relatives what
you have witnessed their living conditions and how Peach provide for their
education. We long for more philanthropists to aware of Peach, to join Peach,
and to adopt new children hurry. We pledge that every donation that is donated
with love to Peach will be spent 100% on the children.
Because of the global financial crisis, donations to Peach have shrunk drastically; thereby, ‘09 will see 30% deduction in every budget of our operation and the recruits in 2010 will also be fewer.
2. The 2009 Spring Volunteers’ Understanding
Tour was soundly concluded on 4/13 in LiJiang, Yunnan. 7 volunteers from the U.S., Taiwan, and Mainland China were led by Anli Chao, Chair of our Taiwan Chapter to visit 28 children’s households
in 7 villages and towns.
The Volunteers’ Understanding Tour is a combination of home-visiting and sightseeing; while LiJiang is renowned for its tourism, our volunteers were not particularly impressed by the scenery but the faces and homes of the children. The interactions with the children, the dialogs with their family members, and the understanding of their deprived living, studying; every scene had a more profound impact on the volunteers.
Since arranging such tours requires a great deal of manpower and time, from now on, tours will be canceled if applicants are fewer than 8.
3. I led the staff inspection to Yulong visiting 36 children in 4 villages. During the trip, Ta Cheng Middle School impressed me the most: wanting to beautify the school-yard but with no finance resource, the principal could only resort to organize teams of students to replant young trees collected from the hills. He told us that there was no dining tables nor chairs for the children, who would have to stand or squat eating their lunches. He would like to build some tables and chairs out of masonry under the shades of the trees, so that the children can dine or study on them. Moved by the principal’s genuine heart and his determination to improve the school environment, we have decided to finance the building of the masonry chairs and tables.
At the conclusion of the Yulong County visit, Anli Chao, Chair of our Taiwan Chapter and I took the staff to visit both
Yuanyang and Luchun in Hong-He 10 days. There were 4 teams for Yuanyang County’s 150 households in 14 villages, and 3 teams for Luchun County’s 50 households
in 9 villages.
On this trip, beside learning about the children’s family situations, we also studied the local economies. As we moved about towns, we noticed both counties have improved on the infrastructures in recent years. However, while most living environment has improved, our Peach children’s seem to lack behind. Of our 160 familiar recipients, only 7 terminations resulted in improved family financial situation--a termination rate of less than 5%, which coincides with that of the new ones. Due to the investing of commodities like rubber, dried fruits, and tea leaves, Luchun has seen an advancement in its economy. However, such improvement only widens the gap between the rich and the poor as these industries are concentrated at the helm of a few corporations.
When visiting Banpo Middle School and Da-Shuigou Middle School in Luchun County, we found their remote locations had isolated them from the outside world. Both are poorly equipped: Banpo Middle School comprises of 2 buildings only--one for class rooms and the other dormitory. Because there isn’t any living quarter for the teachers, all single teachers live in one general classroom, and those who have families reside in crudely built bamboo huts. 33 teachers share one office, in which office desks are student desks and office chairs just one long bench. At Da-Shuigou Middle, there is simply no dormitory, thereby some 50, 60 children are cramped into one classroom. Both schools are without basic teaching tools like fax machines or electric pianos for music lessons. Even under such harsh conditions, the teachers are dutiful to teach and the students eager to learn, and no ones give up. How admirable! We at Peach have decided to donate 2 electric pianos and basic teaching tools like fax machines, and to Banpo Middle some office desks and chairs.
Since we started household visit in 2002 and now stepping into the eighth, every house visited is a torn shabby shack, and every story told is a wretched misery. These are Peach children’s families exactly.And I never feel tired doing this--I even find joy in it. For the reason is to understand more about the children, their families, to ensure we truly are helping those that are in need.
Enclosed please find a few autobiographies by our children so you will understand more about their inner world.
Best wishes and happy Dragon-boat Festival,
I would like to donate ______ to
the medical funds (at an average of US$20 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.
03061 Lee XX, 7th grade, Female
I was nine years old. All my family members got sick, except for me. We had no money to go to the doctor; all I could do was watching them suffer in their beds. One morning, I broke a rice bowl accidentally, and I was too afraid to tell Mom about it. I was not afraid that she might be mad at me. I was too afraid to face her lifeless eyes becoming even sadder because we lost one more thing
03097 Chou XX, 10th grade, Female
During the school year, I must walk more than two hours every day to return home. Because I wish to study, even if I had to walk a longer distance, I would in order to continue learning at school. When school is not in session, my family usually only eats one meal a day. My two younger brothers have big appetites so they are hungry all the time. Because we don’t have money, my brothers couldn’t even take the final exam last semester. My parents have been working very hard just to make ends meet. Because we are too poor, we can’t afford to attend school anymore. My brother was so heartbroken that he ran away from home, and we are unsure of his current whereabouts.
03106 Xiang XX, 11th grade, Male
My home village is poor, backward, but also beautiful. There was no kindergarten in the village, I spent my childhood surrounded by mountains, among herds of cattle and pigs. Being uneducated, my parents farmed to sustain a family of five with the most primitive tools on a small piece of land. In our poor family the best electronic equipment we have is a flash light-somewhat rusted-given as a gift to my father a few years ago when he took some odd jobs for a family. My elder brother and younger sister could not afford going to school. I was lucky enough to get help from family relatives-they said I am smart and hard working and they help in sending me to school. There was once a tiny elementary school in this village, yet students' diminishing attendance finally drove the school to close. I remember very clearly that rainy day of our school's closing, we had our last lesson with the only teacher of the school. He happened to be our substitute teacher. In his ringing voice, he said, "This is such a poor village, I hope you all would continue studying, and study hard, we need you to rebuild this village some day." I wrote down in my small journal that night, "I shall study diligently, I shall improve the livelihood of the villagers here when I grow up. All the village children shall be allowed to go to school." Unfortunately, that same year my mother fell gravely ill, I had to discontinue my schooling.
03116 Zhang XX, 10th grade, Female
My life is always full of conflicting
thoughts. I think of my aging Mom, who has to worry about making dinner from
little what we have after a long hard day’s work in the field. And it does not
stop there: after having barely enough food to keep her already exhausted body
going, she continues with more housework, like feeding our pigs. It makes me
sad watching Mom work non-stop, even though it was obvious that her body is
extremely tired. I wish I could offer some help to my parents, to make a hot
meal for them, or simply take over some tasks around the house so that they can
catch a breath.
Moments like this, I ask myself if I should pack up from school and go home. Am I such a selfish daughter? If I stay home, my parents won’t have to worry about my tuition and living expenses. If I stay home, I can offer my able hands to Dad when he can’t carry the load by himself. If I stay home, my younger brother won’t have to eat cold leftovers after walking six miles from home… When I think about this, I feel I should go home. It is better for our family that I stay at home. But then, I can’t go home because my heart is in my school.
Yes, I want to study. I pray that I can change my life and my family’s life through my education. I know my only chance is to get educated. But still, the conflicting thoughts do not go away so easily.
03122 Mao XX, 10th grade, Male
Because the region is poor and remote, there are only a few schools
in the area. Our village has over a thousand populations, but we only have one
elementary school. But, this one school was enough to house all the kids that could
afford to go to school. Many kids of school age were not able to go because
their families were too poor. Those kids could only wait and pray that one day
their families’ financial situations could get better.
I feel very fortunate that I was able to go to school whenever I saw those eyes of the other kids who were eager to learn but had no choice. Although I had to walk 4-5 kilometer daily in the muddy road to go to my elementary school; although I had to endure 6 years of freezing cold winter in my light summer clothing because our classroom had no glass left on the window; although I had many of our school famous meal – rice soaked in water; although I wrote on wood that was never been polished; although I had wish that I could own a real pen; although....
I feel very blessed whenever I think about those kids who couldn’t have the opportunity to be educated, while I have parents who are willing to sacrifice themselves to support me all these years. I am very appreciative to people that are concerned about kids like us who are truly in need. I came from a poor family, and I also faced the reality that I had to drop out of school after so many years. It is with the help of many caring people that I am able to continue my studying. It touched my heart deeply when these unconditioned loving hands reached out to me.