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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Du'an Visit

Life and Need in Longfu Township

The school has a concrete play yard.
Liushan Primary School has over 150 Yao Minority students.
 See pictures of Liushan school here.

 Watch a Youtube Video of the school
So many new friends and new needs were introduced to us in the Longfu Township of Du'an County, which is a Yao Minority area.  The high point of my trip was giving clothes to the 150 students at Liushan Primary School.  They came out to meet us with songs and flags at the school entrance.  
Zhong Shan Road Church in Nanning collected several boxes of books and clothes for us to give to the children of Longfu. While Laura White, our summer intern, and Jessica Wright hiked two hours up to a satellite one room school of Liushan Primary School, I got to hand out the collected clothes. It was such a joy to find just the right garments to fit each child. The teacher helping me knew exactly which child was an
A Liushan girl receives clothes.
orphan or needed clothes the most. I took a photo of each child with their new clothes. Perhaps this was their first photo for some of them. I left a photo file with the teacher. and shared it with the church also. 
However, I heard many children coughing in each classroom, and the rooms where children sleep at the school, when their homes are too far to go home at night, were so Spartan and crowded. They sleep several in one bed with little more than a mat. I didn't
22 boys sleep in this Spartan room. They live too far from the school to go home at night.
see any place to put a change of clothes. The teachers also live at the school in small quarters and go home as they are free.
There were reporters with us at Longfu. Their questions took up the rest of the time before Laura and Jessica returned hot and tired from their four hour mountain hike. I was surprised to find that their reports were in all the important newspapers of Guangxi Province the next few days and resulted in an invitation for us to be interviewed by China Daily, the English language newspaper for all of China. I have listed the links below if you are interested in seeing the articles. We were also featured on Yahoo.cn. People teased me that I was now famous in China. If it helps the kids at Longfu, then so be it.

Wei Senba                      See video of the one room school here.  
Wei Senba on July 28th.
Laura and Jessica said it was worth the four hour hike to meet Wei Senba. He is a three year old boy born with a tumor on his face. His father is feared dead after being missing for years. His mother has no other children or resources to get Senba medical care.  With money we gave the hospital to reimburse them for our hotel rooms, Dr. Tang, the head of Longfu Hospital, took Senba to Nanning to the Guangxi Regional Hospital. The Longfu Hospital staff voted to give the money for his medical care, although their pay would be less next month.

The news was not good when tests were complete.  His only hope is to go to experts in Shanghai, who still might not be able to save his life.  It could be fibromatosis, lymphoma or a hemangioma. In the three weeks since we met him the tumor has tripled in size. All the tests and the hospital stay in Nanning quickly used up the dedicated money and created bills that need paying.  Mandy has taken Senba and his mother home now with little hope of traveling to Shanghai. Yao people believe that a person needs to die at home to be recognized by the ancestors in the afterlife.

Wei Senba on July 9th.
Mandy Ma has asked a reporter to feature his needs to readers, and we have made a medical request to a larger charity in Beijing, however his future treatment is estimated to be over $7,400 with chemotherapy costing over $550 per treatment. That was treatment in Nanning, so treatment in Shanghai might be much more.  We would like to at least give money to cover  expenses at the hospital in Nanning for the completed testing.  We are putting this request to you.
If you want to help this family with their present medical bills or give money for his continued treatment in Shanghai, please contact me at this e-mail. You can also contact Mandy Ma in China by calling 15078855412. 
This family needs a miracle.

Wei Senba with his mother at the hospital in Nanning receiving money from Dr. Tang

 Water Purification and Health Workshop

Mr. Wei, Principal of Longfu Middle School, Betty Cutts, Mr. Liang, County Health Inspector, and Dr.Tang, Head of Longfu Hospital, with the water purification unit that will be used by both the school and the hospital
Rain water is stored in tanks since wells can't be dug in the hard rock.
The grant for Indigenous health assistants and water purification for the Longfu Township schools was turned down by one foundation, but we received $5,000 from a private communication business in Georgia, whose Christian CEO responded to our grant proposal.  There is still an outstanding request to Operation Blessing in Beijing also. There is a possibility that they will be helping Longfu Hospital get the medical van that they so desperately need for emergency cases. The first aid kits they sent were very welcomed.
Health Assistants receiving first aid kits from Operation Blessing
We will continue with plans for the health workshop next summer and ask for funding to provide water purification units for the remaining schools. If you or your business would like to make a donation toward this project, we can give a IRS tax receipt. Each unit cost $1025 with storage tanks costing  about $333 each. So for about $1400 a school can have clean water and never fear hepatitis A again.

We demonstrated the water purification unit at Longfu Middle School. It will be used for both the hospital and school, which are neighbors.  Mr. Liang, the health inspector for Du'an County, was a great help.  His expertise will continue to be valuable to installing and maintaining the units in the schools.  The Health Department of Du'an County will certify a water maintenance person in each school and provide technical help for the schools to set up the units.

So much happened on our July trip that I can't put it all in one newsletter. The Photo Workshop in Yangshuo was a great success. I will feature the workshop and their pictures in the next newsletter. I am still editing and selecting the best photos to feature online and during our art show in January in Morehead. We have over a 1000 pictures from which to choose.
If you are sponsoring a Blessing Hands student, it is time to give for the next school year. Lower Middle School Student needs $35 a semester
 Donate.A Higher middle school students needs $80 semester.
We are also getting ready to feature individual students, who need scholarships to college. We already can confirm that  Huang Yongcheng (Jack) has a sponsor. Jack wants to be a journalist and has been accepted by a university already.
Please send checks to Blessing Hands, 106 Timber Lane, Morehead, KY 40351 or give on our website at this link.  

Betty Cutts
Blessing Hands

Monday, July 26, 2010

Good News

Blessing Hands

好消息 Good News

在北京祝福之手的办事处我(Betty Cutts)给刘安娜开了一个会。北京的慈善网十分的活跃。安娜已经给我们前往都安的医疗助理了配送了20个送往瑶寨的急救箱。同时,安娜也将给我们引荐了中国一个药物生产公司,这家公司很有可能在今后会都安捐助一下医疗药物。如果这个决定能顺利通过的话,那对都安的很多医院来说是巨大的帮助。当我们在讨论这些事情的时候,安娜也在不停地给来自都安的 Mandy 打电话商量这件事情。接着他们也在为能迅速发送物资而做出了相应的安排。
I had a meeting with Anna Liu at Operation Blessings in Beijing. The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) is very active in China. Anna has arranged for us to have 20 first aid kits to give to our Yao health assistants in Du'an. Anna is also going to recommend us to a medical manufacturing company in China for the possible donation of medicine for Du'an County. That will help many hospitals, if the request is granted. She called and talked to Mandy Ma from Du'an while we were talking, so they got the arrangements made quickly for delivery.

Dr. Anna Liu

We are also asking Operation Blessing
to help with matching funds for an ambulance for Longfu Hospital. That is the most urgent need that the hospital has asked for. It will cost maybe $6,000 when  matched by local funds. Now the hospital has no way to pick up seriously injured people who need to come two hours walking down the mountains and two hours from the trail head to get into the hospital in Longfu. An ambulance would save many lives. It could also take doctors and health professionals to the trail heads to hike up into the Yao villages.
Anna was delightful. I felt like I had known her a long time. I can tell she loves her job and wants to help many people. She said they had some undedicated funds that possibly be applied for the ambulance. We will see what develops.

Jessica tried eating the fried scorpion.
 New Experiences
Jessica Wright  Laura White 很享受这里的风景和美食,我和那些对对苗寨医疗建设项目感兴趣的人见了个面。我们计划下个夏天在都安县开展这个计划。Laura现在在我们祝福之手实习,她帮助助学金采访项目、相片处理以及独步到高山深处的苗寨了解情况。
Jessica Wright and Laura White have really enjoyed the sight seeing and shopping, while I have been meeting with people who are interested in the Yao health assistant project we have planned in Du'an County next summer.  Laura is our Blessing Hands Intern and is helping with scholarship interviews, the photo workshop, and hiking into the Longfu villages high in the mountains.

Clothes and Books for the Yao Children

Laura and Jessica with Pastor Li 
 星期天我们去了南宁中山教堂。他们已经为我们收集了一些带给都安瑶寨孩子们的衣服、书籍。我们非常的感谢他们做的一切。Mandy 同时也为我们准备了一些带到龙福的书。
We all went to Zhong Shan Church in Nanning Sunday. They had collected children's clothes and books for us to give to the Yao children in Du'an. We enjoyed worshipping with them very much. Mandy Ma has arranged for the books to go with us to Longfu. 
海报宣传人员肖景凯帮助我们联系中山路教堂。David Jin 是这个教堂里的另外一个宣传人员。
Pastor Xiao Jingkai.
Pastor Xiao Jing Kai helped us  contact the Zhong Shan Road Church. Pastor David Jin is another of the several pastors at the church.
Getting books ready for Du'an County

孤儿院 Hope Foster Home 
我们的第一站是北京的孤儿院,它是有Robin Joyce Hill 管理的。他们从15年前就开始帮助那些有身体缺陷的中国孤儿们,并已经在中国开了几个孤儿院,我们也这些孩子们一起玩耍,而我们去了北京附近的一家孤儿院,我们和他们那里的孩子一起玩耍,我们很钦佩他们的勇气和献身精神。或许将要有一天广西也会有一所有祝福之手建立的孤儿院。 
Jessica Wright at Hope Foster Home
The first place we went in Beijing was Hope Foster Home run by Robin and Joyce Hill. They started helping Chinese orphans with medical defects 15 years ago. They have several homes in China, but we went to the one near Beijing. We played with the babies and admired their dedication an resources. Perhaps one day Blessing Hands will have a foster home in Guangxi.
This Cleft Lip Child Will Get an Operation.
We made a new friend, Jianxi  Luo, on the plane over to Beijing. He is a recent graduate from MIT. He went with us to the Hope Foster Home and enjoyed the children as much as we did. We carried a suitcase of baby clothes to the home from the US. Anytime you are traveling to China and you want to help them by delivering suitcase of clothes,  you can contact them at this link. 
Laura White with a New Friend

奖学金 College Scholarships  
I was looking forward to seeing some of our scholarship students in Nanning, China. We had a wonderful dinner with everyone singing favorite songs and telling stories. Seven students were able to come and five of the visiting scholars who had known me in Morehead. I also got to thank the translators from Guangxi University who have helped translate our newsletter. 
Bamboo Feng, Betty Cutts, Sunday Liu, and Shaocai Chen
We will interview new applicants for college  scholarships while we are in Qinzhou and Yangshuo.  We make
flip videos to show present and possible sponsors the students.

Visit with Yao Professor, Li Shaomei
  我很有幸能通过来自美国莫尔黑德州立大学在中国当访问学者的Scott Davison 和专门研究瑶族文化的李少梅教授在北京相见。李教授是民族大学专门研究瑶族文化的研究员。她的公公是创建要文字字母的第一人,她的父亲发现了在瑶族地区由水源携带引起的一种疾病。作为瑶族的一份子,李教授将自己对要瑶族文化的深刻认识写成了一本书。我想了解关于瑶族地区的医疗和文化方面的知识,这些知识为我们明年夏季将要到都安县工作的医护工作组提供了很好的关于当地人民健康的信息。
Professor Li Shaomei and Betty Cutts
I was fortunate to meet with Yao professor, Li Shaomei in Beijing through the arrangements of Scott Davison,  a visiting teacher from Morehead State University. She is a researcher in Yao culture at Minzu University. Her father-in-law created the Yao alphabet and her father discovered the source of a disease that was water borne among the Yao. She has written a book about Yao culture, which she knows very well, since she is Yao herself. I wanted to know medical and cultural things concerning the Yao that might be important for our indigenous health assistant classes next summer in Du'an County.
I did indeed find out useful things such as men are not allowed to attend Yao births, even fathers. That makes me think we need to have at least one day when midwives come to learn about childbirth medical care. I also found that a person needs to die in their own home to satisfy their culture, which is a reason why people do not want to go to the hospital if they are very ill. Babies also need to be born at home and the mother often does it herself with no help. Women and men are equal and girl children are considered just as much of a blessing as the boys.
 I was also surprised to find that there are over a million Yao right in the USA mostly in California. They have a large holiday in the fall that Dr. Li says I should attend to meet Yao leaders that she can introduce me to. The president of their association this past year was a Christian and next year it will be Taoist. They have a mixture of Tao and Shamanism in their native culture, but some Yao in the US have become Christians. There is a Yao Bible using the Yao alphabet. She taught me to say Hello in Yao. There are three main branches of Yao, but they came originally form Gongdong.

Guangxi Guipingshi Aixin Zhuxe Xiehui 

I am so glad to renew old friendships and see our Blessing Hands students each place we go. I even met a group of teachers from another charity that are doing much the same as we are doing. In English they would be called the Love Caring and Supporting of Students Association. I am glad to meet Chinese who are helping students also. They have been using our forms to record information on their students.
Guangxi Guipingshi Aixn Zhuxe Xiehui.
I was impressed by their dedication. They have been doing this for 15 years or more. I offered to send them a flip camera to help record their visits to children's homes. They are in need of more donors for their  poor college students' tuitions.  It you would like to know more about their students and their needs write to this address in China. Link 
We also meet fellow Americans working with the Chinese to develop a new oil refinery in Qinzhou. They are  interested in the local people and their needs also. One of them rides a bicycle out into the countryside on Sunday and gets to meet rural needy families.  They asked about volunteer opportunities with Blessing Hands.
Thanks goes to all who care for Chinese children,

Betty Cutts
Blessing Hands