Today is the Chinese Lunar New Year and all of my family members are gathering together for a family reunion. On this most important holiday in China, I can’t help but think about you and the children who benefit from your sponsorship.
Because of you, in 2014, a total of 304 children from Longchuan, Yunnan province were able to stay in school — their daily nutrition guaranteed. Because of you, none of these children had to worry about the cost of school supplies, health insurance, immunizations or school uniforms. Because of your sponsorship, they didn’t have to face the risk of leaving school due to the extra cost. As part of Holt’s family strengthening program, the elementary students who attend boarding school in Yunnan were also able to go home for a family reunion on Chinese holidays and school breaks. Without your sponsorship, they could not afford the round-trip fare home. I still remember a time when I visited the school and saw one girl crying very hard because all her classmates were able to go home for the holiday to visit their parents, but she wasn’t sure if her grandmother would show up to take her home.
This Chinese New Year, she could visit her family with the help of her sponsors!This year, some children in Longchuan No. 2 Elementary School were also able to take music classes and learn to play the Hulusi flute. Their public performance not only enriched their spare time, but also strengthened their confidence. With your continued help, three more students graduated from the university last summer. All three students, their guardians and teachers are very grateful for your support as otherwise, they wouldn’t have made it all the way through.
Zhang Guo Yu is one of these three graduates. Her mother died of disease and her father was addicted to drugs and left home when she was young. She had to live with her grandparents thereafter. When Holt started the Longchuan project in 2007, she was one of 155 students enrolled in our new sponsorship program. She treasured the opportunity and studies hard in school. In 2011, she passed the exam and was admitted into Yunnan Wenshan Institute to major in biochemistry. After three years’ study, she successfully graduated last year. Right after graduation, she passed the civil service exam and now works for the land and resource bureau of Nanlao town, Maguan County, Wenshan prefecture. So far, she is the first public servant among all the sponsored students in Holt’s Longchuan project. She is very thankful to her sponsor’s destiny-changing support over the past seven years. Her relatives are all proud of her as well as thankful to her sponsor.
In 2015, we hope to enroll more children in sponsorship. Two other high school students will graduate this summer and if they pass the university entrance exam, we hope to continue sponsoring them. Meanwhile, both the Hulusi flute class and the mentor family project will continue so that the students can enjoy their spare time in school as well as family time on holidays and school break.
Zhang Guo Yu is just one of the students in China who has benefited from your continued help. I myself have seen so many other students whose lives have been touched and changed by you. Thank you so very much, dear sponsors, for your kind heart and generous help through all these years. Whether you sponsor a child in our foster care program, help a child to receive an education, or ensure a child in our group home receives the love and support of devoted caregivers, you are truly changing a child’s life.
On behalf of myself, my colleagues who work together with me here in China, and all of the sponsored children, I would like to wish you and your loved ones a prosperous and happy new year.
Site Manager, Fujian Province