Dear Global Giving Friends:
Recently a PATS volunteer- “Yi”-traveled to Fuyang, China to visit PATS children. Yi spent a lot of time with each child, took many pictures, did art lessons with them, visited many of their families, and listened to their stories. We are excited to share Yi’s update with you about one PATS child – Lingling:
“Lingling works at a local hospital as an intern nurse now, and she will return to school to finish her degree in nursing next year. When I asked her what is her take-away from this experience, she said that now she can understand how hard it is to work in the medical field. Before, when she came to hospital as a patient, she always complained about tedious paperwork and long waiting times. However, when she is on the other side now, she began to comprehend why these procedures and rules were set and why it is important for patients to follow them.
She is 18 years-old now, an independent and polite young woman who is grateful for the help she has received over the past 8 years through PATS. I didn’t see pity, senseless or other negative feelings she has against her health condition. On the contrary, she appreciates her stable and happy life and tries her best to fight for a better life in the future. Unlike many kids her age who tried to run away from Fuyang and have nothing to do with their AIDS identity, she talks about her experience with PATS proudly and fondly. She said if it wasn’t for all the support and activities provided by PATS as well as the interesting people she met and befriended, she wouldn’t have had the confidence to work in a hospital given her HIV-positive status. Yet now, receiving help from doctors and nurses worldwide, she wants to be one of them too. She said that there is a doctor she admires very much who encouraged her to help others through the medical field, and this inspired her to set out on her medical career:
“It’s hard to work as a nurse at a young age like mine. There are patients who distrust me based on my limited experience. Yet the only thing I can do to fix that is trying to achieve perfection.”
Lingling is very determined and goal-oriented. She mentioned that once one of her patients was very scared of a needle, but she managed to comfort him by sharing her personal stories and expressing her understanding to help him get through the blood test. Her positive attitude is very impressive as is her dedication to helping people through the medial field. She is very proud of what she has achieved and we are very proud of her! Thank you to all of our supporters on Global Giving for supporting youth such as LingLing to have the confidence to achieve their dreams."
PATS children always look forward to the International Children’s Day on June 1st of each year. On that day, there is no school, there is lots of playtime, and kids often receive gifts from their parents. For children living in poverty or without parents it can be a painful reminder of what they do not have.
To fill this void, for the past 10 years, PATS local partner Fuyang AIDS Orphan Salvation Association (AOS) has been organizing events to celebrate this day with children orphaned by AIDS. This year is no exception. PATS and AOS prepared favorite snacks and food and the staff also prepared special gifts for each one of the children. It has been a tradition for PATS/AOS children who go to schools all over the city to come together on this day, and meet friends they may not have seen for a while during the spring semester. When they come together it is like coming home to family: the girls like to exchange storybooks and share songs they like, while boys immediately jump into Ping Pong a competition with each other.
It is a day of celebration, fun, friends, and is worry-free. PATS is grateful to supporters like you that allow these kids to enjoy the simple pleasures of youth throughout the year just like their peers. Please enjoy the attached photos of some of our kids on International Children's Day! Thank you for your support!
Dear Global Giving Friends,
PATS has been fortunate to have a steady stream of dedicated volunteers willing to travel to Anhui, China to work with the children in the program. In December 2015 and January 2016 Yi Wang, a Hampshire College student, traveled to Fuyang, China to work with PATS children. Yi spent a lot of time with each child, took many pictures, taught them arts and crafts, celebrated the New Year, visited with many of their families, and listened to stories about their lives. Yi has written the update below about one of the children she met, Zhenzhen, who is 10 years old, and in 5th grade. We profiled ZhenZhen in a previous update almost a year ago and are excited to let you know how she is doing today. As you may remember, ZhenZhen loves to dance and that is what she most looks forward to when she comes to PATS activities during the weekend.
From Yi Wang, PATS Volunteer
ZhenZhen: A love of dancing and a compassionate heart
“Zhenzhen is a sweet 10-year-old girl. She listened to me very carefully whenever I spoke, and she made me feel respected. Probably due to her good manners, many volunteers speak very highly of her, from her easygoing personality to her strong desire to learn. It is well known that Zhenzhen is a talented dancer. She is such a natural when it comes to dance and is so good at improvising and keeping rhythm. In her daily life, she is often introverted and quiet and acts as a considerate listener, sitting for long periods of time very attentive and patient. Yet on the stage, dancing is her trigger to become a completely different person. Her eyes shine whenever she speaks of it, and her hands tap on her lap when she hears familiar music. I have no doubt in her to make the whole world into her ballroom in the future.
Dancing is something that can transport ZhenZhen to a place where she can be carefree and not worry about the challenges she faces on a daily basis as a result of her HIV status. Someone told a parent of one of her classmates about Zhenzhen’s HIV status last week and word quickly got out that she was HIV-positive. Some boys in her class laughed at her and called her names. Yet she seems to be able to deal with this matter in a very mature way despite her young age. She explained that she is very lucky to have Yue and Zihao (two other PATS kids who live with her in the House of Love) in the same class with her, so they can support each other in the face of teasing and ever present stigma. She is very strong and brave.
“When I heard of this teasing I felt very sorry and asked her how I can help her. Surprisingly, she gave me a big smile and comforted me instead. You can imagine how impressed I am by this little girl. The strength and spirit she has in her body to dance is matched by the strength and spirit in her heart to show compassion to others, even those who are unkind to her. The compassion she showed for other people is what I needed to learn from her. For me, knowing Zhenzhen is such a rewarding experience which helps me with my own self-discovery. Zhenzhen is a great teacher of mine, and I’m so lucky to know her.”