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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