First Shopping Trip
Here and in China, children of families visit town to shop for new clothes, shoes, etc. Children living in an orphanage do not have that same experience. As a life-experience outing, the BIM Huainan, Anhui children, ranging in age from 8 to 15, who also attend public school, went on a shopping trip.
Each child selected an outfit they liked and they paid for the clothes. To say the least, this was an experience like no other for the children. Here is the program manager, Kathy’s account of the day:
“Today was a big happy day for our children. They woke up early in the morning and waited eagerly in the orphanage compound for me to pick up them for a shopping tour to buy new clothes for them. The 24 children were divided into six groups and took 6 taxies. Every child appeared very excited and couldn’t wait to jump into the taxi.
As they arrived at the shop, they started to feel at a loss. The kids had never seen so many clothes before. Every dress is so beautiful to them! I was busying with choosing and fitting clothes on them and taking photos from time to time. Eventually all the kids got their favorite dresses and they paid the money to the shop assistant themselves. They looked beautiful and all smiled happily.”
Kathy shared a story of a special, very sweet little ten year old girl named Hope. Hope was so exhausted from the outing that she fell asleep in the taxi.
“Hope is a beautiful and shy girl. She appeared a bit nervous when she entered into the shop. It might be because that she had never been on an outing. She followed me around closely. I said to her in low voice, ‘Go ahead. Choose whatever you like for yourself.’ She nodded and started to look around. The shop assistant was very patient and asked which color and style she likes. She pointed to one. The shop assistant took the dress and put it on her and then asked her, ‘Are you sure you like this?’ She nodded her head shyly. I gave her the money and asked her to pay to the shop assistant. When the shop assistant gave back the change to her, she counted and confirmed it was correct before giving the change back to me. She started to smile after all this was done. On her way back home, she was very curious to outside view and had been looking out of the car window all the time.”
I found Kathy’s final few lines of the report so touching:
“Shopping is one of the very common activities for a family child, but it is so special to an orphanage child. These orphanage children hardly go outdoors, let alone for a shopping experience. To most of the children, the shopping tour was the first time in their lives. Though the arrangement was a bit tiring to me, but it was very worthwhile. This was a social practice for the children and this reminded us that in the future we need to conduct more of this kind of outing activities to enrich their lives and broaden their mind.”
The children in the education programs are children of the wonderful and loving LWB sponsorship & donor family. They have now had the experience of visiting town, learning how to shop, and learning how to pay for goods. What life lessons! Thank you education sponsors for making this day possible!
Sandy Hartman is the BIM Huainan, Anhui Coordinator for Love Without Boundaries. She lives in Columbus, OH with her husband Mark and two daughters, Zoe age 9 and Alice age 6, adopted from Anhui Province, China.