Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tongren Home Visits

TongRen Home Visits

I had the unique opportunity to visit the homes of some of the girls in the Mama’s Wish Program. One specific home visit had a profound effect on me. It was a home of a college student who lives with her high school sister. They do not have a mother and the father does not show up very often and has alcohol issues. The uncle checks in on the girls and helps them the best he can, but he too is poor and lives a bit of a distance away. The home is very small. It consists of one room about 10X15 with no running water or electricity. There is a raised cement block with a rug on one end of the room for sleeping. There is also a small room to the side that holds a cauldron and firewood for cooking purposes.

The two girls and their uncle were very excited to have us visit. The home was very orderly and clean. Even though they did not have money, they managed to serve us Yak milk and fresh bread. They took so much pride in what they offered; it brings tears to my eyes. To know the financial difficulty it must have been for them to provide for our visit is bittersweet.
As the uncle talked about the family situation with the father and the difficult lives these girls are faced with, you can see the love and concern for the girls in the uncle’s eyes. It moved everyone in the room to tears.
It was a cold damp day and these girls did not have a coat to keep them warm. The pipes from the well washed away last year and they no longer have water. We were able to arrange to have coats delivered to them for the next day, but I wonder how many more children were nearby that we don’t know about who desperately need coats as winter approaches.

I couldn't resist taking this photo of six children peeking through the doors watching us at one of the home visits-we caught them!

Laureen Dorow
AC-Education Director