Friday, March 24, 2023

March 8th- Women's Day

Most of the staff caring for our children with special needs are women. With their own unique gentleness, they complete every task with great care.

With their eyes, they notice every little need of the children.

They accept the defects and deficiencies of their children with grace.

They devote themselves to caring for the children with the greatest tenderness.

With motherly love, they sincerely wish their children to blossom.

We are grateful to have many such valuable female employees.

On this special day for you,

We wish you: Happy Holidays!

Sending you a bouquet of carnations, it represents our love.

small gift is not enough to show your beauty. 


The L’Oréal gift from a donor came at just the right time.


Mom, let me give it to you!


Mother is also a beautiful little girl.

In my heart, my mother is always the most beautiful!


It's my mother’s desire for me to grow in every area.

Mother's hand starts me up the ladder of growth.


The words and sentences I learned were repeated by you thousands of times till I got them.


You always know my every need.

Every part of my growth was accomplished by your sweat.


The world as I know it was made clear by you.


What I can't do, you teach me.


I did it, you're happier than I am at my accomplishment


Because of your care, life is full of exciting surprises.


Because of your patience, I can see things I would never have seen.

Because of your contribution, we have a home!


Your support gives me the courage to persevere.


A special day with you.

Making our beautiful garden.

Mom, thank you!
Monday, March 20, 2023

Looking Deeper

For more than a year the Eleos Project, helping children in difficult situations, has been operating. Currently there are ten children in the project. We help them with stipends for their living and schooling expenses. We make regular visits and consultations with them when conditions permit. 

In October 2022, after many visits, we compiled a list of students in difficult situations in 17 different townships in Qingshuihe District, Hohhot City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. We studied the family conditions of 284 children looking at the degree of difficulty and the region, and finally narrowed it down to 38 children as the first batch for home visits.


After telephone communications and appointments, we decided to meet with the families on February 11 and 12, 2023 (later postponed to February 24-25 due to sudden heavy snowfall in the local area). The team prepared for this day for two full weeks, sorting through the list, purchasing materials, arranging personnel and vehicles, etc. In the end, according to the situation of the traveling personnel and vehicles, it was decided to visit 21 families. Although the journey was difficult, it was worth everything to see the children.


The trip covered 300 miles in remote areas visiting 19 families and 36 children. Here is a summary of some of the visits:

 At 7:00 am on February 24th, when it was still daylight, the team got up and set off. At 9:30, we arrived at the home of Xiaoyi and Xiaolong in Yangqungou. Their mother was waiting for us by the side of the road, waving vigorously as the car passed by, lest we miss them. Their cave dwelling is on the side of a hill. We parked the car and climbed a steep slope before entering the house. The children were very happy to see us. The elder sister chatted with us, while the younger brother was a little shy. The children's father passed away in a car accident in 2019. Their mother is mentally disabled and unable to work. The two children live with their grandmother and uncle. The daily expenses of the two children depends on the small income of grandparents and mother. We were very touched by the optimism and positive attitude of the children. When we left, we exchanged contact information, hoping to find sponsors for them to support their studies and life in the future.

 The next home we visited was Xiaoyan’s house but had difficulty locating the home. Fortunately, someone knew them, and Xiaoyan’s father came to show us the way. After welcoming us, they introduced us to their situation. Xiaoyan’s hands are deformed, and she is in the third grade. Her mother has a mental illness, and they currently live with her grandma. The grandfather has cardiovascular disease and relies on government subsidy to maintain his drug treatment. Xiaoyan’s younger brother was rejected by the local kindergarten because of hyperactivity. The family relies on Xiaoyan’s father’s salary to survive. What the family is most worried about is Xiaoyan's situation when she grows up. It is difficult for her to use her hands, and it will be almost impossible for her to find a job. Although the family's expenses are already stretched, they expressed that their greatest wish is for Xiaoyan's hands to be healed.

 After leaving Xiaoyan's house, we rushed to Xiaoqi's house in Wuliangtai Township. Grandpa led us into the house and introduced grandma to us. Xiaoqi was not at home because he was seeing a doctor in Hohhot. Xiaoqi's father is serving a prison sentence and the mother left them. Xiao Qi is taken care of by his grandparents. Currently he is in second grade in the local town, and usually lives at school. On Saturdays and Sundays, his grandfather rides a bike to pick him up. The monthly retirement subsidy of the grandparents can barely meet the living and studying expenses of Xioaqi and the living expenses of the grandparents.


 We arrived at Xiaoxing's house after lunch. The family rents a one-story house in the town, and the living environment was very simple. The grandfather's leg was injured, and he can't walk very well. Grandpa said that Xiaoxing's mother passed away due to heart failure in 2014, and his father also died suddenly of myocardial infarction in 2017. Since his parents passed away, Xiaoxing has been reserved and has many emotional problems. Grandpa said that he is about to go to junior high school, and they are concerned how they will be able to pay for him to attend. We know that the grandparents and Xioaxing need a lot of comfort and attention.


 After leaving Xiaoxing’s home, everyone felt a little heavy. Seeing his emotional situation and the living environment, we saw there were many needs. The team were all lost in thought. We went east and soon arrived at the home of two sisters, Xiaofang and Xiaoyuan. The children's parents died in a car accident in 2019. As soon as we walked in, we noticed the awards on the wall. They were all the awards the older sister received when she was in school. She is now a sophomore. The younger sister is in junior high school. They live with their grandparents and aunts. Grandpa is in his seventies and his physical condition is not very good. Talking to the girls about their parents caused the girls to tear up, even after three years. Our group also held back tears and didn’t have enough words to comfort them. The current school expenses of the two girls are barely covered by the orphan subsidies given by the government.


 We arrived at XiaoLin's house at 6:30 in the evening. She was a little scared to see us, but she still greeted us at her mother's request. Zhang Lin's mother suffers from diabetes and has suffered a lot. XiaoLin was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was a child. The frequency of the seizures is very high, and sometimes lasts for a long time. She has been taking medicine to control this over the years, but it has not been effective. Talking about their family situation Xiaolin's mother teared up. Xiaolin's father died in a landslide while working in 2020, and their family now depends on his brother for support. To supplement their income Xiaolin’s mother will pick up garbage and sell it for money. Xiaolin and her mother have endured much pain, and we were heartbroken to see what they have endured.


 Xiaodong's family lives in Yangjiayao Village, which is very remote,  and the road conditions are steep winding mountain roads. There are many cattle farmers in this village, but it does not include Xiaodong’s family. Their family lives by farming (only a few sheep are raised). We parked the car in an open space with straw, and it was necessary to walk through a narrow alley to reach Xiaodong's house. Because of Xiaodong's mother's mental problems, she doesn't go home all the year round, so his father is raising the three siblings. Fortunately, the eldest sister has gone to Hohhot to study nursing at the university, but she needs a loan from her father to pay for the tuition. For some unknown reason, Xiaodong and his sister go to school at night, so at the age of 16, he is still in the sixth grade of elementary school. Under such difficult circumstances, we hope to do our best to help them in the future.


 Xiao Song's family lives in a place called Leihupo in the east part of the county. The road is steep and winding, and the cave dwellings on the hillside are densely packed. Our car was parked in a small open space under the slope, and led by Xiao Song, we climbed to his house and delivered some living supplies. When we visited the family of three had just fallen ill. The younger sister and mother had a fever and were bedridden. We chatted briefly with Xiao Song in the yard and heard part of his story. Three years ago, due to a car accident, Xiao Song's father passed away, and his mother was disabled. Since then, she has limited mobility, and the whole family has no source of income. Now the necessities of life, such as cooking and picking up his sister, are borne by his grandparents. Fortunately, Xiao Song’s father left some savings and with some one-time subsidies from the government, he can survive. But in the long run, their family's lack of income will be a problem. Xiao Song is currently in the third grade of junior high school with excellent academic performance. He is currently facing the problem of choosing a school and accommodations for high school.


 The last family we visited was located just behind our hotel. To go to school, the family moved from their hometown in the countryside to rent a house in the city. They share a small yard and a room with others, and the rent is $30 per month. The parents of Xiaoqing and Xiaokun have both died, and they are currently being raised by their grandparents. They are orphans, so each can receive a government orphan subsidy of $250 per month. Grandma was very sad about the death of her only son, and she shed tears when she mentioned it. The two children are smart, beautiful, and talkative. There are photos of them on the table, which shows that they were once a happy family. They currently need help with their future studies.

Except for two children, who were not at home, we were able to visit the rest of the families we had planned. The above are only some of the children's families, and other families are also in difficult situations. On the way back from the trip, we were sad and heartbroken about the family’s situations. We discussed how we could better help them. What can we do? Xiaodong's face remained in our thoughts, and Xiaolin's thin and small body was also heartbreaking; but even under difficult circumstances, the children are still trying to survive.

One coworker lamented: "There are too many forgotten corners in the world" - in the same city, some people stay in high-end hotels or housing, while others sleep on the street struggling to survive. The 300-mile trip gave us a chance to examine our own lives. Are we grateful for what we have? Are we willing to reach out to help those who are in trouble while we are still able?

The Eleos project builds a bridge for you - we invite all caring volunteers, caring people, or friends who have educational resources and material donations to cross that bridge. If you have a burden for these children, please contact us.