Half the Sky Foundation

Half the Sky was created in order to enrich the lives of orphaned children in China. We provide model programs and caregiver training designed to offer loving, family-like care to children of all ages and abilities. It is our goal to ensure that every orphaned child has a caring adult in her life and a chance at a bright future..
Sep 11, 2012

HuiHuan Makes Friends through Smiles

HuiHuan is a three yearold girl whose medical conditions included spina bifida, a tethered spinal cord, split cord malformation and cholesteatoma on the back.

Due to the complexity of her conditions, she was sent to the China Care Home for medical assistance in May.

HuiHuan came to our Home with another child from the same institution who needed a cornea transplant.  When they arrived, HuiHuan followed her big brother everywhere and didn’t play with other children.

In order to help HuiHuan get familiar with the environment, the nannies asked the big brother to join them playing games.  Then HuiHuan also got involved. She began to interact with other children and wouldn’t cry when her big brother left for awhile. She could answer questions clearly, such as “What’s your name?” “How old are you?” “What do you want to eat?” and so on. She became more talkative as she got used to life here and made good friends.

After several days, HuiHuan’s big brother had to leave for the institution. Though she didn’t want him to leave, she calmed down after the nanny explained it to her. Later, if someone asked her about his brother, she answered, “Brother has gone back.”

HuiHuan was hospitalized two weeks after her arrival in Beijing. The surgery fixed all her spinal problems at one time.

When she came back to our Home for post-surgical care, she shouted excitedly when she saw the familiar faces of her nannies, teacher, and other children. It’s obvious she still remembered them. The nanny who took care of her in the hospital said, “When HuanHuan was in the hospital, she often talked about how much she missed JunBing, MingHe, YiYao, Nanny Yuan, Nanny Gong…” The nurses and nannies paid special attention to her wound and it healed well. HuiHuan is a happy girl and smiles at everyone who comes to see her. She is quite interested in the camera and sometimes poses for photographers. Then she asks to have a look at the picture. In addition, HuiHuan loves it most when her nanny tells her stories. She can listen carefully and asks questions about the story now and then. She also retells the stories to her nanny.

In her preschool class, HuiHuan can dance, do arts and crafts, and share. She can help the teacher tidy up tables, collect and wash toys, and throw away trash.  The teacher often praises her for her intelligence and industry. 

HuiHuan continues to recuperate and gets better every day.

Jun 15, 2012

A Second Chance for XingYou

XingYou was admitted to the China Care Home last year when he was only one and a half months old.

Though he has always had healthy-looking chubby cheeks, XingYou was born with complex heart defects including two ventricular septal defects, pulmonary stenosis and patent foramen ovale.  Because his Beijing doctors said it was too risky to do heart surgery on tiny XingYou, he stayed at the China Care Home while waiting for surgery. He needed oxygen periodically, but otherwise grew well under the watchful eye of our nannies.

At first he was very serious, but soon XingYou began to smile when his nannies called his name. When he lay under the baby gym, he would pull the toys that were hanging on it. Then he would stop and listen to the rattling sounds. He became very attached to his nanny; when strangers wanted to hold him, he would hide in her arms. All of our nannies spent a lot of time helping him practice sitting until he learned to sit by himself for awhile. When he’d had enough sitting, he would raise his arms so his nanny would hold him

The doctors were so pleased with XingYou’s growth that he was able to have heart surgery right after Chinese New Year. When he came back to the China Care Home to recuperate, he was very weak. But he is getting stronger every day and his oxygen concentration and heart rate are normal. XingYou is due for another checkup soon, but we expect now that his little heart has been repaired, we trust that he will continue to grow bigger and stronger.

Jun 15, 2012

HuiJun -- A Delightful Boy

HuiJun: A Delightful Boy

2-year-old HuiJun was admitted to the China Care Home in July, 2011. He was born with finger and toe deformities called syndactyly in which several fingers are fused together. That of course affected the function of his hands and because he also had a deformed toe that turned upward, he had trouble walking and wearing shoes. After his arrival, our nurse also found HuiJun had a hernia.

HuiJun cried for a long time because he was not used to the new environment. His nanny gave him a lot of toys, but he just turned away. Finally, he stopped crying when his nanny carried him to the window and asked him to look through the window at the cars running on the street.

In August, HuiJun was hospitalized for surgery to separate his fingers and cut off his deformed toe. After the surgery, the wound was bound with gauze and he came back to the China Care Home to recover. Then HuiJun went back into the hospital for successful hernia surgery and returned again to recuperate.  

At first HuiJun was timid. Sudden or loud sounds frightened him and he ran to his nanny crying. Then he would bury his head in his nanny’s arms and gradually calm down as the nanny comforted him by patting his back and talking to him gently. If visitors came in, he would hide behind the door or his nanny. Soon after the visitors left, he would come out and play happily.

Now HuiJun is an active boy. He doesn’t like to stay in the nursery -- he likes to walk around in the corridor. Whenever the nanny tells him “Let’s go out,” he opens the door and walks out quickly. He walks better than he used to after the surgery and his hands function well. He can pick up and hold small objects.

HuiJun is good at imitating others. When his nanny teaches him a gesture or movement, he does it to perfection. HuiJun can say some simple words like “da, ayi, mama, bye bye…” and understand his nanny’s instructions like: “JunJun, give me your socks. I’ll help you put them on.”

After months of recovery from his latest surgery, HuiJun was released from the China Care Home. HuiJun is a delightful boy who often made the nannies laugh. The entire China Care staff misses him, but everyone hopes he will stay healthy and that he will be adopted soon.

 

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