Meng Yi is four years old and lives near XinXiang, Henan. Our Henan Province PATS worker first heard about her in the summer of 2010 and her situation was so worrisome that we took her into the program immediately. Meng Yi’s living situation is extremely unstable. Her parents both passed away from HIV/AIDS and her only relative, an 18 year old brother, isn’t in a position to care for his younger sister, though he is all she has at the moment. While she has yet to initiate ARV treatment, her situation is particularly precarious as she suffers from malnutrition and lack of proper care. Her brother does his best, though his care is inconsistent and intermittent. Nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, consistent love and support are all lacking.
When PATS workers met Meng Yi, she held one worker’s hand so tightly it was as if she was never going to let it go. Her stomach was disproportionally distended from her frail frame. Our worker recounted a time when she brought Meng Yi some bananas; though she had never seen a banana before, Meng Yi was so hungry that she immediately ate three!
Watching Meng Yi wrap herself around our worker is bittersweet because she does not receive the care and love every child deserves except when she is visited by a PATS worker. There is still a long road ahead for Meng Yi, but we hope that by joining the PATS program we can provide her with consistent nutrition, encourage proper hygiene and provide access to medical support. We hope that we will be able to find a better living arrangement for her within her community as well, though that will undoubtedly prove to be more difficult.
This article is excerpted from our latest newsletter, which can be downloaded using the link belowhttp://patskids.org/sites/default/files/NewsletterApril2011.pdf
To find out how you can sponsor Meng Yi's care or that of another child for one year, check out our Sponsor a Child program
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