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Interview: Louie Yi -- Wuzhou Orphanage Visit
Editor: You have visited so many different orphanages through the years, yet this particular experience at Wuzhou was especially significant. Can you explain why that is?Louie: This orphanage at Wuzhou is one of the best run places I have been. Director Cai remembers every case of every child adopted from that orphanage it seems, though he has been there since 1995. He has a special feeling for the children there. Most of the staff have stayed there a long time. He will work another two years and then retire. I was very touched by the staff and Director Cai due to their excellent work. I made him a promise to try and help him further by letting families know of the work there and the needs of children that remain.
Editor: What do you mean by that?Louie: Well, they would like to put 12-15 more special needs children into a foster family arrangement that they have there. Theirs is a different foster family arrangement than I have seen before. It works very well. At Wuzhou, foster families live inside of the actual orphanage in their own apartment. The mom is a fulltime foster mom, caring for the daily needs of the 4-5 special needs children; while the dad, though he is a foster dad, works his own regular job outside of the orphanage.
The good thing is that the foster family doesn’t have to pay tuition for the children’s school though. Things are set up to function like a normal family, where kids attend school (if of the right age, and school can handle the special need). The children come home at lunch to eat with foster mom, have a short rest and then return to school. School is over around 5 or 5:30 pm. Then the children and dad come home and everyone has a family supper. The foster family has their own apartment type of set-up there within the Wuzhou orphanage, so things are very accountable with each family.
So, to help 12-15 more kids, would require funding for three more foster family stipends. The cost to support three more special foster moms to care for special needs kids in this arrangement will cost $2000 yuan / 325 USD per month. If 30 adoptive families would be able to give $32.50 per month, this would allow Wuzhou orphanage to put more kids into this foster care family. That would be so great and that is what I am trying to raise money to support.
Editor: What prompted you to visit there this year?One of the families traveling with me on an Uncle Louie tour this June was going to make a regular orphanage visit there. I have always thought that the Wuzhou orphanage is one of the easiest and warmest to work with. You can feel their love and kindness even on the phone. I thought to myself – “I have visited so many different orphanages, why shouldn’t I visit this one and see how nice it might be?” So, I then chose to travel to Wuzhou and serve as translator for that family. The adopted teenager who was visiting her orphanage was very good in helping out there with the kids. I also appreciated her maturity and helpfulness. You can see a photo of her with some of the children.
Editor: What else would like to share about Wuzhou and your visit?Louie: Well, there is a boy living there in the regular orphanage part that has bi-lateral hip contracture and though he has had surgery, he is paralyzed. This orphan has stayed at the Wuzhou Orphanage for 10 years, since he was abandoned. In China, this means, he cannot attend school, unless he has personal help. He REALLY, very badly wants to attend school – it is his dream. Although he has a lively and cheerful personality and is very smart, sensible, studious and tough, he cannot go to school right now due to the disability. He is confined to a wheelchair every day. He really enjoys artwork and has created the photos attached here in this article.
I would like to arrange to help for him to go to be able to go to school. This would require the help of a nanny to assist him. The cost on that will be RMB 1,500 (USD 246.00) per month. This will allow him to go to school and use his bright mind and good skills and make a good contribution to society and have a happier life. If you are interested in helping to support this project, you can donate via the wonderful registered 501C3 organization with which we are working. Click: Packages of Hope . You can read more on their site and your donation will count! I would love to help this young man achieve his dream!!