Since I leave for China soon, I just finished up our grant application for 10 water purification units and indigenous health training for our health assistants in Longfu Township. The water purification units will give clean water for 10 schools if the grant is accepted. You can see a video of me learning to use the unit on youtube at this link. Dr. Ted Pass, who is a microbiologist, helped us learn to assemble and use the unit. It was really simple. You can lean more about the units at this website ofWater for the World.
Dr. Ted Pass
Dr. Tang Xiwen and Mandy Ma have helped us work very hard on the cost of items to put in the medical kits of the Yao trainees. They are excited about our visit to their area on July 9th. We will meet our 6 health assistants that you are supporting this year. I am taking a purification unit to demonstrate for them and also will see it installed in the Longfu Middle School. Schools in China have to boil their water and even then Du'an County just had an outbreak of hepatitis A, which is water borne. 120 high school student had to be treated.
Dr. Erla Mowbray, Head of the Nursing Department at Morehead State University has written a letter of support, and we hope that our Blessing Hands Intern next summer will be a nursing student from MSU.
People to People, a NGO that has an orphanage for AIDS affected children in Ethiopia, is also a partner on our grant application. They are asking for two water purification units for their area and will help us with medical donations for the medical kits.
Sonata Bohen, a nurse practitioner who has taught the indigenous health class in South America for many years, will join in our grant as a volunteer teacher in both Longfu Township, China and Amanuel, Ethiopia. Dr. Janet Gross,
Dr. Janet Gross
who has training in cross cultural nursing will also teach in the health assistants workshop. She served on our board before she went to teach nursing in Ghana, Africa. Aelaf Felleke will teach in Ethiopia. We have a cast of highly qualified teachers and hope for many volunteers to help carry items into China next summer, or Ethiopia in the spring.
I am excited to meet those who have been described to me in the Yao community. I understand that their culture produces great songs and singers. Dr. Scott Davison, who is from Morehead and teaches in a minority college in Beijing, has arranged for me to meet a Yao professor while I am in Beijing July 2nd. Most of all I hope to meet the children of Longfu that Mandy Ma has been telling me about.
Mandy Ma will arrange our time in Du'an, her home County. Her dedication to help the Yao minority has really been helpful.
The church in Nanning is gathering clothes and children's books for us to give to the Yao children.
Fuse the Muse Photography Workshop
Our photography workshop in Yangshuo on July 13 and 14th is going to be focused on peace. David Hsieh is coming from Taiwan to help us with teaching our Blessing Hands high school students to express themselves with a camera. David is a computer expert and a wedding photographer that also works for a company partnered with HP. His company is donating his plane ticket.
Johnna Bockover could not come to China, but she will be sharing her lesson plans with David and helping with editing and production of a photo book featuring the kids photos. Her blog is at thislink. We expect to have 80 students participate over two days and four workshops. We also expect 20 volunteers to go with the students to take pictures in Yangshuo with their cameras.
David Hsieh will teach the classes.
Some volunteers will come from Guangxi Normal University and others will come from other places in China or the USA.
Each student will get a 4x6 photo to take home and will upload their photos to the Internet. In January of 2011, we will feature their photos in a Yangshuo exhibit at the Rowan County Arts Center as part of Fuse the Muse Grant from the Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Foundation.
Laura White, our Blessing Hands Summer Intern will be taking photos and movies to later make a PowerPoint Presentation on September 11th in Morehead. One of our third year Blessing Hands scholarship students, Bamboo Feng, will also be taking movies and photos. She wants to make a documentary about charities in the US and China.
We want to give the kids experience with a camera and see how they will see the world through a camera lens. We might use bicycles built for two for the volunteers and students to go out for an hour to capture Yangshuo and their lives. Some of them have never used a camera before.
Give a College Scholarship
We have an opportunity to help a family of Longfu with tuition for their son and daughter. The Lan family was recommended to us by Dr. Tang, who knows the family well and treats them free since they are so needy. Both the high school boy and college girl are very good students. I want to feature Lan Liuxia's college scholarship essay here. You can support her for a year's tuition at college with a $500 gift.
My name is Lan Liuxia, born September 11, 1989. I am one of Huazhong Agricultural University students studying in Chengdu, Sichuan University Preparatory Education school. I grew up in Longfu Village.
I am from a single parent family with five people, grandmother, mother, sister, brother and me. In 1997, my father died in the mountains cutting wood unfortunately. Lost at home was the only pillar we had. Dad was the only son, so since he has gone away all the burden falls on the shoulders of my mother, a widow of a big family. A month after my Dad died, on a rain-soaked night, our family's only mud house collapsed into a ruin, but fortunately no one was injured. But this is our only home and on the verge of despair my mother embarked on a journey into the city to look for work.
Because our grandparents are elderly and ailing, my sister and I had something for a living to worry about. It seems to be the home of little adults. We planted corn seed and soybeans, as well as getting firewood for this effort, the trouble of living. Corn was the most busy season, because there was no money to buy fertilizer, so we all hurried back home to pick pig manure and cow dung as fertilizer.
The corn is also a headache during peak season. There is a slippery road. I fell down and rolled a long way under the basket on the steep trail. I thought I would die, rolling to the end. But God loves me. There were trees that blocked me, so I had the honor that he saved my life. Regardless of my fall and pain, I got up to pick up the scattered corn. A passing villager placed the burden on my shoulders again, and then I limped to his house.
Very far from our village bazaar, we go more than two hours by road to tell my mother about everything at home, so Mom will not worry. Grandpa said we are really untimely kids. Life is too hard. We are really into this world to suffer, and so he secretly, saved money set aside for his medical treatment, and once a month he bought meat to allow our body help. We feel eating a delicacy makes us very happy, but Grandpa was crying.My grandfather died of tuberculosis .
My sister has been found to suffer from heart disease. Although taking a lot of drugs, she has not seen any improvement. The expensive medical bills and our school tuition weighed on our mother making her out of breath. In order to reduce the burden of mother and let my brother and me have the opportunity to go to school, my sister was forced to drop out of school after primary school to go home to do farm work.
Many people asked what I most want to be when I grow up, I said I want to earn a lot of money. They laughed at me for being vulgar, but they have been living inside a greenhouse and have never known the experiences that I have suffered. The reason I have such vulgar thoughts is because I want to use my earned money to help children who have had it as difficult as I have. I want to do my own efforts to help many of the mountain children see the colorful outside world.
After graduation I hope I can find a good job, so my grandmother, mother, sister and brother will live a better life and my brother can complete his studies in peace. Of course, I also look forward to someone helping me. For all those who help me, I sincerely thank you and wish you a good life and peace. I will love you forever and pass along the love.
Please help Lan Liuxia. Go to this link on our website to give her a college scholarship.
Ready to leave for China
Our group will leave for China soon. We will be gone for 22 days this time. Jessica Wright, my niece, will be going with. She will have her 17th birthday in China. She will be a volunteer with the Photo Workshop in Yangshuo, help with a party in Qinzhou, visit schools and hike into a Du'an area that is only reached by trails.
Mandy Ma will also join us in Nanning, Qinzhou and Yangshuo. Other friends will join us from China and the US. We will interview the graduating students who have been accepted into colleges or expect to be. We also will have scholarship dinners in four cities where we currently have students in college. I am really looking forward to seeing all my old friends and the Blessing Hands students.
I am a mother and housewife that loves China and children. The two interests
have come together in serving the children of China who need help with
educational needs. I started as a teacher in an English summer camp and got to
know the teachers first. When I toured their schools and met their precious
students, I could see many needs and decided to try to help. I first started a
fund to assist children with tuition, but it has expanded into a 501(c)(3)public
charity granting money for textbooks and school supplies for primary school and
lower middle school students and tuition for older students.