Thursday, September 30, 2010

A New Orphanage in Pingliang

Something good is about to happen for the children at the orphanage where Henry lived in Pingliang, Gansu Province, PRC. They are about to be moved, this month or early next, to a brand new set of buildings at a larger site on the outskirts of town. The old buildings at the current site are worn from overcrowding and were shaken in western China’s massive earthquake in May 2008.

Of course the bad news is that although in a new facility the children will still be in an orphanage, one with limited resources, and nearly all of these children have special needs. More than a third have facial cleft anomalies like Henry but, with new arrivals, increasing numbers have cerebral palsy or similar physical disabilities that are difficult long term challenges for the orphanage staff.

We know it is very common for children with special needs to be abandoned in rural China. We do not know why there are so many children with special needs from birth defects in this particular place, but there are. And at this orphanage, in this highway town along the path of China’s ancient Silk Road, there are more than 130 of them.

When the children are moved from the old orphanage to the new one they may eventually be joined by still more children with special needs who are currently housed at some smaller and very poor county-level orphanages that are also within Pingliang’s prefecture administrative district.

To cope, one of the new orphanage buildings will be devoted entirely to physical therapy. In partnership with Love Without Boundaries, we would like to help the orphanage pay for physical therapy training for more of its staff. The orphanage already has raised the equivalent of $1,000 USD locally for this effort and LWB has pledged to match this amount from its general donation fund. But about $500 more is needed for the training program planned and any additional amount we raise would be directed to the purchase of physical therapy equipment that is much needed too. If you would like to join us in making a contribution go to the LWB web site and in the upper right corner of its homepage click on the icon labeled “Donate Now.” Under "category" select “Orphanage Assistance,” enter "For Pingliang Physical Therapy" in the “Notes” section, and then complete the form. Meanwhile, LWB is still looking for more sponsors for its nutrition program begun at the orphanage last spring.

In China’s turbulent transformation people are leaving places like rural Gansu Province in droves. They are heading for industrial cities, especially the large population centers in the central and eastern portions of the country that have become new economic development zones. It would be easy to feel left behind in the rural west, perhaps for no one more so than a disabled child in an orphanage there. Yet it can be remarkably easy for us here to is to reach all the way across the planet to try, at least in this small way, to make things just a little bit better for that child.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading your recent updates - Henry starting school and making his way. I logged on tonight to find out donation information and there it was in your most recent post! Thanks for this too . . . Pam

The Corrigan-Del Nero Family said...

Update: We were able to cover the amount mentioned in this post as needed to help support physical therapy at the orphanage. In addition, two more families signed on as Pingliang nutrition program sponsors. Thank you all. More help is always needed.


Mithrandir said...

Hello Henry and family,

we love your initiative, and all you are trying to do for the Chinese orphanages.
We are actually one of the families who recenty started support of the Pingliang nutrition program, and we're very glad to be of help.
Especially so, as we are travelling to Langzhou in January, to be united with our adoptive son, who is currently in the SWI in Pingliang.

We noticed you mention you have visited the SWI before, and that you have seen their new building.

As you may understand, we are eager to hear any information on this new location. We would love be get in touch with you, and are hoping we can get some additional information about their location, and of course about Pingliang in general.

If you would like to contact us, please mail us at chrisennicole (at) hotmail (dot) com.

We would really appreciate it!

Chris and Nicole.