GAP Fengcheng Children’s Home, Dandong Liaoning Province
Dandong lies in the southeast of Liaoning Province, separated from the North Korea by the exotic Yalu River. The Yellow Sea is off its south edge and the modern city Dalian is just adjacent to the city in the northeast.
It is a privilege to be part of GAP Gengcheng Children’s Home. Currently the Home takes care of 14 children with special needs. The mission of GAP is to provide for orphaned or abandoned children; to alleviate their hardship and suffering; through the Home’s love, care and education to build up the children’s confidence. To assist these young people to realize their potential and most importantly to give them a home of love and full of joy. The Home is registered in 2000 in China, currently there are 20 children looked after by 3 house parents and 5 supporting staff.
I visited the Home in May 2012, and found it to be a pleasant family style centre that children call it their home. Some children attend the local schools, whilst others stay behind to do home schooling or distant learning. Some of the older children are given responsibilities, like take care of a café corner, handle the laundry room or do Chinese style bread making. All take turn to clean up the hall after each meal, they learn and share the labor and fun of jam making and Kimchi making. Although the children came from different background, they learn to love, respect and support each other. They can laugh at the little things, sing together, perform together, share a joke or tell a story, they call each other sibling and live happily in this big home. The Home is not without its challenge, but when troubles come, the children will come to their House Mother to resolve issues. Children are encouraged to help those with more serious disabilities and being cared for by the other children, the House Mother and staff are not slow in dispensing big doses of tender love and care, when discipline or good manner lesson are needed, the children will also be taught. Under such caring environment the children really blossom like pretty flowers.
When I was there, it happened to be the children’s birthdays, yes, they all have the same birthdays, two big birthday cakes were put on the table, each child received a birthday card, they were so busy reading the encouragements from the volunteers, they looked, and read, looked some more and read aloud. The room was filled with smiles and eager eyes were on the gorgeous cakes. Everybody got a turn to blow out the candles on the cake. It was indeed a big happy birthday party, big chunk of the cakes were dished out to the delight of the children with eyes sparkling, mouth watering.
I think there was one more person happier than all the children put together was the House Mother, with all her 20 children surrounding her, kind of like Christmas, New Year came together, those children studying away from home called her to tell her how much they loved her and missed her. Could these little phone calls from children that the House Mother had so loved and cared for were enough to compensate all her years of serving these children so lovingly? Maybe love looks like this – to give selflessly – to receive generously. They deserve our love and care.
The stability of the children could take place because donors like you care for those without care and love, your support is valuable to provide the much needed care for the children in education and daily food intake. Make a commitment to help those deserve a helping hand. Thank you.