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..
Dec 11, 2012

ZhenNan Learns to Walk and Loves to Eat

ZhenNan was one year old when he first came to the China Care Home from Ordos welfare institution with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. After two-week pre-operative care at CCH, he was hospitalized for lip repair surgery in early November. The surgery was successful thanks to his stable health condition. The nanny who took care of ZhenNan in hospital said he was a delightful boy and smiled a lot. His bright eyes, long eyelashes, and fair skin left a lasting impression on everyone. He recovered quite well from the surgery and was sent back to the institution in the end of November.

In May of 2012, six months after the lip repair surgery, ZhenNan came back to the China Care Home again as it was time for him to undergo cleft palate surgery. The doctor and nurse checked him and decided he was ready for surgery. Therefore, ZhenNan was sent to hospital a few days after his arrival. After the operation, he was discharged back to CCH and stayed for one and a half months for rehabilitation.

ZhenNan gradually learned to walk, and improved each day.  After a while, walking around the activity room couldn’t meet his curiosity any more so he always wanted to go out to play in the corridor or adjacent room. If the nanny agreed, he would become very excited, shouting “mama, mama” and clapping his hands. Whenever someone called his name and said “ZhenNan, come here.” he would walk towards the person and fling himself into his or her arms for a hug. When he saw the camera, he knew to pose and show his sweetest smiles. When people said “bye” to him, he waved his hands, almost as if he were dancing.

ZhenNan liked to play with toy bricks and balls with other children. After he piled up the toy bricks, he pushed them down and babbled “ah, ah”, as if saying, “Look! It’s fun!” When he saw interesting toys on the table, he would go to get them. If he couldn’t reach them, (even while standing on his toes), he would turn around, go to his nanny, and pull her hand to go to the table. He thanked his nanny by hand gestures after she helped him get the toys.

ZhenNan never cried loudly. Even if he was unhappy, he just sobbed or whined. When the nanny told him not to take others’ toys, he would look at his nanny and the toys, and then put them back. ZhenNan had a good appetite and was not particular about food. He kept staring at the food before the nanny fed him. After he began to eat, he looked up to his nanny and narrowed his eyes. It seemed that he enjoyed the food very much.

Once ZhenNan had fully recovered from the surgery, he was sent back to Ordos welfare institution.  We all hope he remains happy in the future, and grows into a healthy child and adult.

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.

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