A Bridge for Children International

ABC's mission is to serve underprivileged children - orphans and migrant children - by placing them into families and providing education opportunities. Our mission statement is "Every child deserves a family. Every child deserves an education." We believe that through a stable home and a good education a child can achieve anything.
Jan 9, 2015

Celebrating Christmas with the Dreamers

Dream 2014 Christmas Party - 1
Dream 2014 Christmas Party - 1

Dear ABC Friends and Family,

On the evening of December 20th, ABC International held its DREAM Christmas party at Picture My Cup Café, a quaint photography themed café in Wangjing, North-East Beijing. For many DREAM students, this was their very first Christmas, so ABC threw a special Christmas party to celebrate with staff, friends, and volunteers. The night before the event, the foster homes and the cafe were hives of activity as Ma Laoshi and the DREAM students prepared dumplings, vegetable and meat dishes and the café prepared a variety of Mexican and American food.  Afterwards, the DREAM students decorated the Christmas tree and the café with fairy lights and tinsel and prepared for the live entertainment they would be providing their guests in less than 24 hours. On the evening itself, the DREAM students sat at the entrance of the café adorned with Santa hats and welcomed the guests as they entered, received their nametags, and helped themselves to plates of dumplings, vegetables, grilled cheese and cups of delicious tomato soup. The limelight was then on the DREAM students, who anxiously waited in line to introduce themselves in English before the audience. This was the perfect opportunity for them to demonstrate how much their English has improved during their time at ABC. Students described their hometowns, gave details about their favorite hobbies and wished the audience a Merry Christmas. Through these introductions, the audience was able to learn about each student’s personality, background and goals. Olive gave a detailed description of her interests and explained to the audience how she aims to become a translator and so she is working hard to improve her English. William gave a vivid description of his hometown in Yunnan and managed to convince half the audience that they should visit!

Following this, the boys sang a song together about friendship and their hometowns and then the whole group sang a song together about love. The audience applauded enthusiastically and there were calls of “Encore! Encore!” William responded by offering to sing a solo! He bravely stood before the whole audience and sung a traditional song from his minority group, the Li Su minority group. The whole group then performed a famous Chinese drama sketch, Tang Bohu, where Vanessa took the lead role as the man who has fallen in love with Qiu Xiang, who was played by Linda. The DREAM students added their own modern jokes, which made the Tang Dynasty sketch even more amusing and had the audience in fits of laughter. This was the first time many of the DREAM students had performed in front of an audience, and most said they found it really exhilarating, even if they’d been quite nervous!

The projector screen then slowly rose to reveal two tables stacked with presents of all shapes and sizes. Everyone then played “Pass the snowman”, where a cuddly toy snowman was passed around the room in time with the music. When the music stopped, whoever was holding the snowman got the chance to pick a present, and there were cheers around the room as each guest unwrapped a present. A variety of handcreams, scarves, lip-balms, laundry baskets, gloves, and picture frames were excitedly unwrapped and swapped until all guests had a present they were happy with.

Everyone then participated in a memory game, where participants were divided into two teams – the Santa team (those with Santa hats) and the non-Santa team – and given new names for the duration of the game. The aim of the game was for each team to get six members into the “hot seats” through remembering everyone’s new name and reorganizing their positions accordingly. The game became increasingly competitive as the students began to associate faces with their new names. Shouts of “Ma Laoshi! Charles!” and “Jiang Anming!” filled the air. Much to the mock fury of the non-Santa team, the Santa team finally managed to get six participants into the “hot seats,” and those winners were rewarded with prizes of Calvin Klein wallets, Polo-shirts and Cosmetics. The evening ended with a group photo, with many participants still wearing their Santa hats and with Jiang Anming posing at the front of the photo.

Overall, the DREAM students agreed it had been a wonderful way to spend their first Christmas. They had shared presents, eaten a variety of delicious food, played games and had the opportunity to perform in English and Chinese in front of an audience. But most importantly, they had celebrated their very first Christmas with fellow DREAM students, their teachers and their friends.

**Many thanks to Kate William for writing this update.

Regards,

Zadok Huang

Dream 2014 Christmas Party - 2
Dream 2014 Christmas Party - 2
Dream 2014 Christmas Party - 3
Dream 2014 Christmas Party - 3
Dream 2014 Christmas Party - 4
Dream 2014 Christmas Party - 4
Dream 2014 Christmas Party - 5
Dream 2014 Christmas Party - 5
Jan 9, 2015

Fall 2014 Talent Program Ends on Positive Note

Fall 2014 Talent Graduation - 1
Fall 2014 Talent Graduation - 1

Dear ABC Friends and Family,

On the weekend of November 22nd, a total of 622 participants comprised of 411 students, 96 volunteers and staff, and 35 guests gathered to celebrate the TALENT Graduation of children from six migrant schools. The event was a special opportunity for art, basketball, music and dance students to showcase their hard work and achievements to classmates, volunteers, friends, and relatives. Art students displayed their work in an exhibition, and everyone played an interactive game that led to a fuller appreciation of the students’ artwork. Those art students who had several pieces of work displayed felt extremely proud as they introduced their work and explained how they had created it. At Qinghonglan School, an art volunteer designed a special art event, where all participants could experience part of the art program by painting and drawing on a massive canvas on the wall. Music students performed a variety of songs and gave well-rehearsed performances on recorders, melodicas and percussion instruments. Dance students performed dances of different styles including Uighur traditional dance and modern dance. Finally, the activity reached a crescendo as the basketball students took part in a competitive tournament while their classmates cheered on their favorite team from the sidelines. The day ended with an awards ceremony, where the top students, the basketball champions, and the winners of the art game were recognized. Overall, the graduation was a wonderful opportunity to showcase and celebrate 10 weeks of hard work.

One week later, on November 29th, 80 volunteers, ABC staff, DREAM students, and guests gathered at Tsinghua Middle School to celebrate the last event of the TALENT program’s fall semester: the Volunteer Appreciation Event. The evening opened with an introduction from ABC staff and participants watched two videos reflecting on the highlights of the semester. The first was prepared by an ABC staff member, Kate, and the second was a special video of interviews by volunteers prepared by a very gifted music volunteer, Song Mumei. Following this, photo volunteers presented their best work, the achievements of all volunteers were celebrated and special recognition was given to outstanding volunteers. The evening ended with an interactive discussion between Steve, the volunteers, and Tsinghua students, which gave everyone in attendance the opportunity to get an inside look at ABC International. Volunteers gained a real insight into how ABC was founded, how the organization worked and how invaluable volunteers were to the success of ABC. All volunteers agreed this was a fantastic addition to the evening and that it made them feel that they were an important part of the ABC team. Overall, the evening was an enjoyable and meaningful way to reflect on the contributions of all volunteers and the success of the TALENT program’s fall semester. (Content written by Kate Williams)

Regards,

Zadok Huang

Fall 2014 Talent Graduation - 2
Fall 2014 Talent Graduation - 2
Fall 2014 Talent Graduation - 3
Fall 2014 Talent Graduation - 3
Fall 2014 Talent Graduation - 4
Fall 2014 Talent Graduation - 4
Fall 2014 Talent Graduation - 5
Fall 2014 Talent Graduation - 5
Fall 2014 Talent Volunteer Appreciation
Fall 2014 Talent Volunteer Appreciation
Oct 23, 2014

Welcome the Dream Class of 2014-2015!

Dream Class 2014-2015 1
Dream Class 2014-2015 1

Dear ABC Friends and Family,

After exhausting our orphanage networks around China, and after completing assessments and interviews all over a period of a couple of months, a Class of 8 adolescents, ages 16-20, has been formed. While each student brings their own unique personality and gifts, we were also impressed, overall, by a Class characterized by a common desire to learn. Throughout the application process, each student was able to identify and communicate the value of the program’s services. Although this adventure is only a couple of weeks in progress, the students have already been exposed to a lot - they have embarked on a journey that has brought them to Beijing, which for most it is the 1st time they have come to the capital; they are challenged to adapt to new living and learning environments; and they are faced with a situation where they are expected to excel, and aggressively seek opportunities for self-improvement. All of this to say, it is my honor and privilege to introduce you to the Dream Class of 2014-2015, and welcome them into the family. We hope they feel a sense of belonging and self-value that is commensurate to the gratification that we receive in helping them along the way.

Linda
Linda joins us from Yunnan. She hopes to improve her English at ABC so that she can travel abroad and improve her competitiveness in the job market.

William
William also joins us from Yunnan. He hopes that he can increase his exposure to new things, and improve his communication, presentation and Microsoft Office skills. William would like to enroll in a university post ABC and work towards earning a degree.

Olive
Olive joins us from Sichuan. She hopes that she can improve her habits, and work on controlling her temper. Olive would also like to improve her ability to get along with others.

Mary
Mary joins us from Hubei. Prior to coming to ABC, she studied Massage therapy. She hopes to improve her ability to take care of herself. Mary would like to find a job post Dream Program.

Dora
Dora also joins us from Hubei. She hopes to improve her English, communication, and problem-solving skills. Dora would like to find a job upon graduation.

Abel
Abel joins us from Shanxi. He has 2-3 years of work experience after dropping out of school. Abel has come to realize that without an education his opportunities are limited. He hopes to use his time at ABC to increase his knowledge and learn more about his own potential.

Kevin
Kevin also joins us from Shanxi. Kevin was kicked out of school prior to coming to ABC. Kevin likes art. He hopes that he can study art in college after graduating from the program.

Vanessa
Vanessa also joins us from Shanxi. Prior to coming to ABC, Vanessa studied computers. She was not satisfied with the environment at her previous school, and found that she was not learning as much as she desired. Vanessa hopes to increase her knowledge at ABC and to stay busy.

We invite you to follow along and observe the growth of each of these children throughout the year.

Regards,

Zadok Huang

 

Dream Class 2014-2015 2
Dream Class 2014-2015 2