LWB Community

Let the Light Shine

In Cambodia, over 60% of homes do not have access to electricity. In remote rural areas, once the sun goes down at night, people are plunged into complete darkness. Some families choose to use kerosene lanterns, but the risk of fires is high since most of the simple homes are made from wooden planks. We’ve sadly seen many severe burn injuries in children, due to spilled hot kerosene and flames. For children who are old enough to go to school, not having access to electricity can also have a big impact on their studies. Kids often have many chores to do after school before they can think about doing their homework. Once the sun sets in the evening, they have no way to study in the darkness.

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Little Heart Needing BIG Love: Baby Nina

We first learned of baby Nina when her orphanage contacted us asking for emergency help. This tiny newborn had come into the world with multiple medical issues and needed to get to a hospital as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, a major snowstorm in her province closed all the roads and airports, making her transport impossible. By the time she was finally able to be moved, she was in critical condition. Dehydrated, malnourished, and in severe breathing distress, her prognosis seemed grim.

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Twins Ana and Lisa

Sweet Ana and her twin sister Lisa came to the Mukono Baby home in January under very sad circumstances. Their mother had died soon after their birth from post-partum complications, possibly as a result of malaria. When the twins first entered the Mukono Baby Room, blood work indicated that Lisa was suffering from congenital malaria, in which the parasites are transmitted either during pregnancy or during labor. Congenital malaria can result in prematurity and slower weight gain in newborns.

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A Visit to Loudi Foster Care

Having farewelled the children, families, and staff in Xinzhou, our Foster Care Director Cindy and I were soon speeding towards Loudi, central Hunan, on another fast train. With a short stop in the capital Changsha, I had four hours to enjoy the changing winter landscape and blue skies outside my window, the latter a rarity in most Chinese cities. Flat plains of fallow fields changed to mountains and tunnels as our train approached Changsha. As the city outskirts came into view, I recalled my much-loved book, Doctors East Doctors West, that sits on a bookshelf at home, and marveled at how much China has changed since its author Dr. Edward H. Hume opened the Yale-in-China Hospital in Changsha 101 years ago. I thought about the medical exchanges LWB has had over the years and the medical exchanges and sharing of knowledge that will happen in the future.

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Oliver’s Struggle

Oliver is a beautiful baby with Down Syndrome whose heart has been sadly failing. His impoverished mother traveled to several hospitals desperately searching for help but was turned away repeatedly. Several weeks ago, our wonderful community came up with the full amount needed for Oliver to have heart surgery through our Unity Initiative. This week, Oliver and his parents arrived at Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai to prepare for his big operation.

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From Helplessness to Hope

When I first started going overseas almost 20 years ago, I encountered an all-too-familiar sight of children begging for money. Like so many, my first inclination was to dig into my purse to help out, but a visit to one particular city opened my eyes to the horrific realities of many children on the street. I will never forget getting out of the taxi and having children who were painfully thin begin to crawl towards me, pulling themselves by their arms. Many of the children’s legs were bent in such completely unnatural ways, and I stupidly asked my guide why so many in this one location were severely disabled. She whispered to me that there wasn’t an orphanage in this region, and so it was secretly known that gangs would pick up any abandoned babies and children to use for begging. To make the children even more pitiful, she told me that “bad men” would break the children’s limbs repeatedly so they’d be more effective beggars.

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Help Protect Cambodian Children From Malaria and Dengue Fever

Without a doubt, one of the most disliked insects on the planet has to be the dreaded mosquito. Did you know it is also the most deadly creature on earth? The World Health Organization states that mosquito bites result in the death of over one million people each year. In Cambodia, two of the diseases seen most frequently in the villages where we work are malaria and dengue fever, and both can be extremely dangerous to children. Dengue fever cases have spiked by more than 130 percent at the beginning of 2018 as Cambodia enters into what is believed will be an epidemic year. We want to do everything possible to make sure the children in our programs stay safe, so this week we’re raising funds for every child to be safely covered at night by a mosquito net.

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Celebrating 15 Years of Love: Jaci

Back in 2004, the government of China launched an unprecedented medical project known as the Tomorrow Plan. This ambitious program would help provide surgeries to thousands of orphaned children with medical needs. Love Without Boundaries was honored to become the first foreign charity to provide funding for the Tomorrow Plan, and we helped arrange the first eight heart surgeries ever done under the program. We chose four children from the Haikou orphanage on Hainan Island and four children from the Shantou orphanage in Guangdong province. The tiniest baby to receive heart surgery was a baby who came to be known as Little Monkey.

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A Visit to Xinzhou Foster Care

As my flight from Australia descended into Beijing, I looked through my notes that I had written about the more than 50 children I was intending to visit over the next eight days. I wondered if I was being a little overly ambitious: five cities in four provinces. The schedule that Cindy, our foster care director, had put together was a tight one, and I hoped for good weather. Much of the time would be spent traveling from one city to another, but once there, nearly all our time would be spent visiting the foster families and children in our programs: Xinzhou, Loudi, Tongren, Qiandongnan, and Lanzhou. It was with excitement and optimism that I stepped off my flight, negotiated Beijing International airport and eventually laid my head on a pillow

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Art Contest in Sokhem Village

We have been working hard to get art, music, and creative writing integrated into the curriculum of our Believe In Me schools in Cambodia. To get the parents excited about art education, we recently held our first Believe In Me Sokhem School Art Contest and are proud to announce the winners!

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