PEACH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
April 2010, issue No. 25
Dear PEACH members,
In 2010, we¡¯ve added 364 new children into our program so that they can continue their education, and we need your help to sponsor these students. Thank you.
Because of severe droughts in Southern China since last autumn, we saw a significant increase of Small Loan applications from our students compared to the same period of the past years. Many of the regions, like Yuanyang, LvChun, Yulong, and Yangbi, where our students came from, are under strict water rationing. Our hearts go out to the students and their families; we pray that rainfalls will come soon to ease the suffering.
Below are major activities planned for 2010:
(1) From June 29th to July 2nd, 2010, Anli Chao, chair of Taiwan chapter and I will lead our staffs to NingLang County in Yunnan for inspections and household visits. It is also our goal to better understand the local economical development as this county is newly added to our supported region.
(2) Three sessions of Summer Camps have been planned in 2010:
First session 7/6 -- 7/17 in Yuanyang, Yu nnan
Second session 7/20 - 7/28 in YuLong, Yunnan
Third session 7/29 - 8/8 in Daju Xiang, Yunnan
All the teaching positions for our summer camps have been filled. While the first two sessions of summer camps teachers are volunteers from the US, Taiwan, and China. The teachers for the 3rd session are twenty-four PEACH college students.
(3) From October 24 to October 30, 2010, a volunteers¡¯ Understanding Tour will visit PEACH students in Yuanyang County, Yunnan Province. Spaces are still available, please submit your application if you¡¯re interested.
Key activities took places in the past few months:
(1) In February, 2010, Twenty-two PEACH college students inspected 249 sponsorship recipients' households, which covered 40 villages including 4 districts in Yunnan Province: Yuanyang, LvChun, YuLong, NingLang, and Yanyuan County in SiChuan Province. 95% of the families passed our inspection.
(2) In March 2010, an art auction was held at the Crowne Plaza in Foster City, California, where 31 pieces of artworks by our students were on display at the event.
(3) In April 2010, the 9th edition of ¡°PEACHER¡± was published. The cover page is a painting, by one of our high school student ChaoPujin in LvChun, titled "The Bridge of Hope¡±. It shows a child crossing a narrow bridge over dangerous cliff, leaving his wishful and encouraging parents behind, and the boy is going to his school. Such a vivid illustration depicts the story of many of our children in chasing their dreams. The courage of these children touches our hearts while their innocence puts a smile on our faces.
Enclosed please find a few biographies from our children. We thank you for your continuous support.
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.
1098 Marlin Avenue, Foster City , CA 94404, U.S.A.
Phone£º650-525-1188 fax: 650-525-9688
09148 He XX, 7th grade, Female
My mother has suffered from her health issues for as long as I can remember, and the heavy farm work didn¡¯t help either. My mother would make any sacrifices to support her children¡¯s education: she never stopped working when she was sick, and she refused to visit the doctor so she could save money. My mother was tough, but finally she collapsed. My father had to sell all the goats to pay for my mother¡¯s hospital bill to save her life. However, the situation only got worse. Before my mother fully recovered, my father had a hard fall. We had to sell our only horse and cow in order to treat my father. As a result, my older brother and I had to drop out of school.
After a few years, my father recovered somewhat, and my older brother left home to find labor work outside the little town, and I was able to finish elementary school. My mother got very sick again after I started middle school. I stayed home again to help the family. It breaks my heart to think I may never be able to go back to school again.
09149 Yan XX, 8th Grade, Male
I love reading. I believe the luckiest people in the world are those who enjoy reading. I hold this to be true because there is an enormous amazing world in books. I loved studying since I was little even though there were several times I was on the brink of dropping out of school.
Before I was scheduled to begin the 1st grade, I was told that I couldn¡¯t go because my grandfather was sick and my parents had no money to send me to school. I watched my childhood friends go to school, while I tended to our cow. It saddened me when I heard my friends talk about what they did in school. Their world was so far away from mine. Later that year, when one of my uncles came back from work in a larger city, he convinced my parents to send me to school. He told my parents of his struggles finding work in the city because he had so little education. This talk changed my life, as I was finally able to join my friends to school.
I learn so much from books. Not only have I learned the names of the trees and animals, but also about history and technology. I love learning about different people and their cultures from allover the world. I got very sick when I was in the 6th grade, and I remember the doctor told my parents that I should stay in hospital to get an IV, but it would be expensive. I could also get a shot and waited it out. I chose the shot, because I knew if we spent the money in the hospital, I would not have enough money for school.
09150 Liu XX, 9th Grade, Female
I learned so much in the past years when I was forced to drop out of school and work at home. The never-ending farm work is very hard. In 2005, I finally got enough courage to ask my father to let me go back to school. My father agreed after much pleading, but he was still unable to get together 300RMB for my tuition. No one was willing to loan money to us because they were afraid that we were too poor to pay back the money we borrowed. Finally, on the last day of the school registration, while I was looking out of the front door waiting for the sight of my father with any hope of money, I saw my grandfather ran into the house with 300RMB in his hands, and told me to hurry to school. I know that the only way out of poverty is through education, but I often worry how can my family afford to pay for my education?
09161 Ma XX, 9th Grade, Male
I was born into a farm family. My father was educated through elementary school and my mother never went to school. Our village had no electricity and no paved roads. I didn¡¯t understand what poverty meant when I was little. I only knew the world I lived in, as I ran after the cow and got muddy in the process. I had to travel 30 kilometers to my elementary school, and I could only come home on the weekends because it took me 5 hours to walk one way. It didn¡¯t bother me too much, except that the journey took even longer when the roads got very muddy from rain.
I remembered how quiet my parents became when I asked them for money to pay for the school uniform. My mother finally asked, ¡°Is it okay that we don¡¯t buy the uniform?¡± I replied ¡°How can I not buy it when everyone in school has to buy them?¡± My mother answered, ¡°We are not like other families. We are poor and have no money. We had to borrow money to pay for your school tuition already.¡± I realized then that when you are poor, you have no money, but what is more, when you have no money, you have no ground to stand on.
I also remembered when my father got very sick once, and the doctor told us that we had to admit my father to the hospital for treatment. We had to borrow money from anywhere we could, since we had no money, and we finally did. But in the hospital, my father said, ¡°Please let me die, and don¡¯t spend money on me.¡± I was 12 years old, and it broke my heart hearing my father saying so. I don¡¯t understand why our family is so poor, but I know I have to study hard and get out of poverty.
09162 Sha XX, 9th Grade, Male
My father got a nasty cut in his foot and was unable to work when I was about 5 years old (1996). To help pay for the medical bills, I helped my mother pick pine nuts. Unfortunately, I lost my balance and fell from the tree that was 5 meters high. I couldn¡¯t remember what happened exactly. I only knew that the world was turning ¡ I had some pretty bad cuts on my head, but luckily, I didn¡¯t sustain any major injury. When I was 7 years old, our family horse was stolen. This added hardship further burdened our already difficult family situation. We had to carry everything on our back, from tree branches to burn in the wintertime to our major food source like potatoes. My shoulders and my feet got badly bruised and peeled by all the hard work, and this was part of my childhood life.
My life¡¯s turning point was in 1999, when I was 8 years old, and my younger brother and I were allowed to go to school. A few years went by, and our family situation hasn¡¯t changed much. We make about 1100 to 1200RMB every year with all the food we harvest plus any income from day labor work my father finds. Still, we cannot make enough money for the family. On top of all that, my father has had tuberculosis for about 7 years now. We, the three siblings all go home on the weekends and help out, but it is a struggle for my parents to give us weekly living expenses for school. I remembered Auntie Ruth asked me when we talked last time. She said, ¡°Can your family afford high school for you if you don¡¯t receive sponsorship from PEACH Foundation?¡± I sighed and replied, ¡°NO¡±.