Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Introducing Harrison and Anton!

I am so excited to announce that Angel Covers has started foster care in Huaibei, Anhui Province! Harrison and Anton are the first babies to be placed in foster care through this new program. Both of these adorable little guys received cleft lip and palate repairs through Love Without Boundaries. After thriving under the attentive care of the auntie’s at LWB’s Anhui Cleft Healing Home, these boys have been placed together with a wonderful foster family. We are so pleased to have found this family, as the foster mother has experience as a caregiver at the Huaibei SWI, and the couple has a daughter who they adopted who also had a cleft lip.

We are very fortunate to have the help of Love Without Boundaries in setting up this program and we have agreed to a partnership in which any child in need of surgery will have first priority for foster care. LWB will ensure the surgery or other medical care is provided and Angel Covers will work to have the child placed in a foster family when released from the hospital. We will then follow-up with the SWI to be sure the child is registered for adoption with the CCAA.

The greatest need for this program right now is sponsors. The cost to have one child in foster care for a month is $70. The reward is priceless. For many years I was a child protection case worker who worked with children in foster care. Through my work I saw directly how a loving foster family can make an enormous difference in the life of a child. Many families who have children adopted from China have benefited from foster care as well. Babies placed in foster homes receive the undivided attention of their caregivers that aunties in the SWI's don't always have time to give.

We are currently looking for families to sponsor Harrison and Anton who have already been placed in a foster home, as well as other children who will come into the program in the future. We would love to have someone sponsor a child for the full amount, but realize that's not always realistic. If you'd like to support this program but can't help with $70 a month, please commit to whatever amount you can. Every sponsor will receive information about their child monthly, including new pictures.

If you are able to help, please go to http://www.angelcov .html and put "foster care" in the notes section. You will be contacted by Holly Huffman, our Orphanage Support Coordinator, with information about your sponsored child.

Thank you for all your support!

Kari Fillmore
www.angelcovers. org
Caring for orphans and destitute children around the world.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Help Arrives at Batang School

Jian Cuo arrived in Yushu with the first truck filled with food, water, and supplies. We were so grateful to learn that all of the students in the Batang School are safe! Sadly, the school and dorms are too dangerous to enter, so the students have been sent away to live with extended family members or villagers who live nearby. There are 25 students who have nowhere to go, so some of the teachers have remained at the school to stay with them until a safe living arrangement can be made. Jian Cuo delivered tents and supplies to the school and met with the headmaster about the school’s plans for the future.

Although the buildings in the school compound are still standing and don’t look badly damaged, the structural integrity is not sound. This is most evident when looking at rooftops and at the cracks in the walls, particularly in the dorms where the children and teachers sleep. Unfortunately, it is assumed that the children will not be able to return to school this year. The school’s future is uncertain at this point and will depend on donations from supporters as well as financial aid from the local, provincial, and national government. The headmaster’s top priority and immediate goal is to find safe housing for the remaining 25 orphans.

We are saddened to learn that the school will have to close, at least for now, but we are incredibly grateful that there was no loss of life or injuries at our little yak school in Yushu. Please keep the headmaster of this school in your thoughts, as he is in charge of ten primary schools in Yushu and it will be an enormous undertaking to get the damaged schools reopened.

We hope to send another truck filled with supplies to Jiegu, the county seat of Yushu County and hardest hit by the earthquake. More photos from the relief efforts there will be posted tomorrow. Every penny helps. If you can, please click on this link to show your support of these children and others impacted by the recent earthquake.

Angela Taylor
Education Director

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mama's Wish Families Provide Food for Earthquake Victims

What do you give when you have almost nothing? Turns out, cheese. When our Mama’s Wish director in China went shopping in Xining for disaster relief supplies to deliver to the Batang School in quake-ravaged Yushu, there were two items he wasn’t able to purchase. One was tents, the other was cheese. He found tarps and rope, blankets and bedding, masks and gloves, coats and shoes, and lots of flashlights.

But not enough cheese. So he sent word to the TongRen School about the need for cheese and within hours word spread through the nearby villages that Teacher Jian Cuo needed cheese to deliver to Yushu. Many families of the Mama’s Wish students walked to the school and delivered cheese and tsamba (a traditional Tibetan staple food made with roasted barley flour and ghee) from their own cupboards at home. Others living nearby donated cheese and tsamba as well. Villagers may have a little less food for dinner tonight, but they are sleeping better knowing that they have been able to contribute.

Please join with us as we work together as a global community to bring comfort to victims of the earthquake. To show your support, click on our donation page and mark your donation for the China Earthquake.

Angela Taylor
Education Director

*Update: Jian Cuo found and purchased 160 tents somewhere on the 800 km journey between Xining and Yushu!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Helping Earthquake Victims in Qinghai

Batang School students in happier times

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” ~Thich Nan Hanh

It’s been almost two years since a major earthquake struck in Sichuan Province, claiming the lives of 86,000 people and injuring and displacing thousands more. Tuesday morning another major earthquake struck, this time in Qinghai Province where Angel Covers supports several schools. Thankfully, the Mama’s Wish schools in northern Qinghai were not affected, and all of our sponsored students at the TongRen and Xuri Schools are safe. But in southern Qinghai, the situation is dire. In some areas as much as 90% of the homes are now rubble and schools, hospitals, and other buildings have collapsed or been badly damaged. To make matters worse, the temperature is below freezing at night and survivors have no shelter or warm clothing. Rescuers have been battling altitude sickness, sleet, and high winds, digging through the rubble with their hands while waiting for heavy equipment to arrive to this remote mountainous region.

The Batang Yushu County Central Boarding Primary School is an orphan school located in Yushu at almost 5000 meters, near the epicenter of this week’s earthquake. Love Without Boundaries and Angel Covers have partnered in the past to bring solar water showers, yaks, clothing, and school supplies to the students at this school, and we are partnering once again to bring disaster relief not only to this school but to other victims affected by the quake as well.

With your help, we are sending disaster relief items such as tents and tarps, blankets and bedding, masks and gloves, flashlights, disinfectant, shoes and socks, heavy coats, and of course food, water, and medical supplies to those impacted by the earthquake. Please join with us as we work together to bring comfort to victims of the earthquake. To show your support, click on our donation page and mark your donation for the China Earthquake.

Thank you for opening your hearts to the children at Batang and the people of Yushu. Together we can bring hope to those who are bearing a hardship today.

Angela Taylor
Education Director

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Brief update on earthquake

We still have not been able to reach the Batang School. Jian Cuo (Director of the Mama's Wish program in TongRen) is leaving today for Yushu and is taking three truckloads of supplies with him. It will take several hours for them to reach the school. The trip is long and arduous; please keep them in your thoughts as they make the journey.

Angela Taylor
Education Director

Earthquake in China

As you may have heard by now, there has been a large earthquake in Qinghai Province where Angel Covers supports several schools. The following schools were not damaged and the students are safe: TongRen, JianZha, and Xuri. The Chenduo (WenLe) School is not reporting any damage, although homes in the area are damaged. The students at the school are also safe.

Unfortunately, the Batang School ("Yak School") is located near the epicenter of the earthquake and we are not able to reach anyone at the school. The school is located in an extremely remote mountainous area at appx. 4,000 meters and it is difficult to access. Although we have heard that up to 90% of the homes in the area are buried and up to 70% of the school buildings have collapsed, we stress at this early stage that these are unconfirmed reports. We will keep sponsors of this school informed as information comes in. Please be patient, as we do not know how long it will be before we will receive further news.

In neighboring Sichuan Province, we have read that aid has been sent into Ganze County, which was also affected by the quake. The RenZhen, XiangGen, and JiaDeng Schools are located in this area. We have not received word from any of these schools but are hopeful that they are safe since they are some distance from the epicenter.

We will keep you posted as news arrives.

Angel Taylor

Education Director