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 26, 2011

Loving Care for HuiJun

HuiJun before surgery
HuiJun before surgery

HuiJun came to the Special Care Nursery at the China Care Home in Beijing last year as a 1-year-old little girl who was born with a cleft lip and palate, a deformation in her left hand, and no right arm. In just 10 months, HuiJun underwent three surgeries.

Her first surgery was to repair her cleft lip. After HuiJun was discharged from the hospital, she recuperated quickly under the loving eye of her foster mom.

HuiJun didn’t let her disabilities hold her back. Because of her hand deformity, she practiced using her toes a lot. When her foster mom put a toy in front of her, she moved her body towards it and then used her foot to reach for the toy. Her foster mom encouraged her to keep trying until she could pick the toy up with her toes.

HuiJun would use her left arm to support herself and became very adept at crawling on her left side, which soon led to walking. Though balancing was difficult at the beginning, with persistent practice she learned to walk a few steps on her own.

Six months after her first surgery, HuiJun had surgery on her hand so that she could finally move her thumb and little finger separately. After she healed, her foster mom helped her practice lifting or pinching small objects. We were all so proud of the progress she made.  HuiJun’s final surgery in April was to repair her cleft palate.

Every time HuiJin would return to the Special Care Nursery from the hospital she would be thrilled to see her foster mom, holding on to her tightly and crying when other people held her.

Now, nearly a year after she arrived, HuiJun can use her fingers to reach for the cookies in her foster mom’s hand and eat them.  Sometimes she uses both her hands and feet to accomplish tasks.She can say and understand a few words, such as “come here,” “eye,”“ear” and “kiss.” We are all so happy that HuiJin has become such a healthy, happy little girl.

HuiJun today
HuiJun today
Jul 12, 2011

Pink Lips & Big Smiles

At the end of last year, when she was 6 months old, tiny YeWen arrived at the Special Care Nursery from the Chuzhou Welfare Institution struggling for every breath she took. She had complex congenital heart defects: Tetralogy of Fallor (four heart defects that affect the heart's structure), a hole between the upper two chambers of her heart, and lung complications as well. These conditions left her with a heart murmur and a blue pallor from lack of oxygen-- when she arrived, her doctors discovered that her body oxygen concentration was only 34 percent.

YeWen was immediately placed on oxygen. Our nannies were told to keep her warm and to feed her small amounts of food frequently to ensure that she received enough nutrition. YeWen's poor lung functions meant that the nurse had to use a suction catheter to suck out phlegm when she coughed. She also suffered from edema and labored breathing.

Our nannies worked extra hard to care for YeWen, holding her constantly and feeding her patiently. Despite the extra care, YeWen contracted chicken pox two weeks after she arrived. She became extremely weak, and we even prepared ourselves mentally to lose her. But no one gave up, and YeWen, our tiny fighter, pulled through. A few months ago, we took YeWen to see a famous cardiologist.

After a series of checkups, the cardiologist expressed confidence that YeWen could get better after heart surgery. The surgery was a success! After a week in the ICU, YeWen was discharged from the hospital. We were all thrilled to welcome her back and see her pink lips, a sign that her oxygen levels were finally normal.

Happily, YeWen's condition has remained stable since her surgery. She takes heart medication every day and eats and sleeps well--her improved health is obvious. She gets excited when she sees the bottle in the nanny’s hands and begins to wave her arms. When lying on her back, she also kicks her legs or plays with her hands.

We will continue taking good care of YeWen so her heart can make a full recovery and she can live a long and healthy life.

Apr 1, 2011

A Happy, Dancing Girl

Yang SiYu
Yang SiYu

With the help of Global Giving donors and other generous supporters, we have been able to establish and operate a Special Care Nursery at The China Care Home in Beijing.  We are so grateful to our generous Global Giving donors for helping make this dream for the children come true.

Over the last year, your donations have helped improve the lives of many children, including YiNa, a 10-month-old baby girl fully recovered from heart surgery; ZhuangWei, a now happy toddler who endured grueling chemotherapy for retinoblastoma with his loving nanny by his side; and NiNi, a happy infant girl expected to fully recover from spina bifida, Chiari malformation, and hydrocephalus surgeries. 

To continue our work, we are asking for donations to help defray the cost for the Special Care’s Nursery for the next two years.  We are confident that with your help we will be able to continue to provide specialized and often lifesaving medical treatment and nurturing for fragile infants like SiYu.

When SiYu first came to The China Care Home, she was less than one month old and weighed only 2.5 kg. Tiny SiYu was carefully nurtured at our Special Care Nursery until she was big enough to have surgery to repair her cleft lip. After recuperating for a month at the Special Care Nursery, SiYu went back to the Baotou Social Welfare Institution where she was enrolled in Half the Sky’s Infant Nurture Program. With the patient care of her trained Half the Sky nanny, SiYu became stronger.  When her doctors said she was ready, she returned to The China Care Home for surgery to repair her cleft palate. 

SiYu is at The China Care Home and recovering well for her second surgery. She has grown up to be a beautiful girl. She can walk slowly by herself and speak some simple words. She has curly hair and looks like a doll. What she likes most is looking into the mirror. She shakes her head or makes faces in front of the mirror and observes her reflection carefully.

When SiYu hears music, she can’t help making some dancing movements like stretching her arms, waving her hands, or shaking her head. All the nannies in the room love to watch her dancing and listen to her happy laughter, but when she notices others paying attention she gets embarrassed and covers her face with her hands.

Thanks to the love and medical care she received, SiYu is now a healthy and happy girl!

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