2015 is the Year of the Yang (Sheep). There is a saying in China: “three yang makes for great happiness.”
We are excited to share some updates with you about a very special PATS child named Zhen Zhen who has been blessed with happiness despite a very challenging beginning.
Zhen Zhen- who is now approximately 9 years old- came to PATS several years ago as a toddler. A police officer found her abandoned in a park and when they learned that she was HIV-positive she was taken in by our partner organization AIDS Orphan Salvation Association (AOS). AOS settled her in a small, loving home along with 4 other HIV-positive children who did not have any relatives or friends who would care for them. On her first day she cried and cried and was so scared and disoriented that it was painful to imagine the number of losses she had been through already at such a young age. Fast forward just a few months and she was thriving in her new “family” and was so warmly accepted by her new brothers and sisters. One afternoon not long after she arrived she was helping the older children celebrate a birthday. She was at the center of the gang, face covered in frosting and smiling so joyfully as the older children doted over her.
PATS has ensured that Zhen Zhen receives nutritious food, hygiene supplies and that her medical needs are closely followed to be sure she does not need to start on ARVs to treat her HIV. Our health workers visit her weekly, check her overall health status and speak with her caretakers about any health developments. They also take her to her doctor’s regularly and for regular blood tests to be sure she does not need to initiate ARV treatment.
Zhen Zhen was initially homeschooled as a result of stigma that prevented her from entering mainstream school; however, she is now at the local school and is thriving. She studies extremely hard and is very diligent in all of her subjects.
This past winter AOS' Director Zhang took Zhen Zhen on a trip of a lifetime- she flew to Hainan Island and joined a winter Camp there. She so enjoyed the good weather and scenery and it really opened her eyes to the world outside of Fuyang, Anhui where she lives.
Zhen Zhen loves to learn new dance moves- as you can see in the picture here- and enjoys putting on performances with the other children in her home.
Thank you for helping us to support children like Zhen Zhen whose lives are enriched and made possible by your generous support.
*The US operation of PATS is completely run by volunteers. Over 98% of the funding goes directly to China and the program.
Hello PATS Supporters,
As we welcome fall, we wanted to share a few nice updates with you. One of the PATS children and the work of our sister organization (Fuyang AIDS Orphan Salvation Association- AOS) is highlighted in a recent newspaper article.
"American woman who adopted HIV-positive child tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'." The child adopted is not a PATS child but the photo of the girl featured is one of our kids. You can access this article here:http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/american-woman-who-adopted-hivpositive-child-tells-parents-there-is-nothing-to-be-afraid-of-9748632.html. We are very proud to be working to reduce the stigma that comes along with HIV/AIDS in a community where AIDS is still reason to shun classmates, neighbors and relatives.
Also, we have a fun update from the field. One of our PATS volunteers visited AOS this summer, and arranged a performance of Charlotte's Web with the PATS children. They did a really good job with this story of friendship. Their performance touched the hearts of every audience member. Attached is a picture from the play.
We wish you a wonderful fall and holiday season. And as always, we appreciate your support of our mission to give the PATS kids happy and healthy childhoods.