Getting to Know You, Lanzhou Style
It’s always fun to meet new friends and get to know new faces! Earlier this month, LWB opened a brand new foster care program in partnership with the Lanzhou orphanage in Gansu province, following a previous LWB visit in late March of 2014. We recently received photos of the children who will be starting in the program and want to introduce you to both their area of China and the children themselves.
This region of Gansu was part of the famous Silk Road in China and so has a long and interesting history. Surrounded by brown, treeless mountains, Lanzhou is an area covered in dry powdery silt. The mountains are dotted with caves, which served as homes to many people during the 1950s to 1970s. The local people say it is so dry here that your whole life depends on the gods. If it rains, you live. If there is no rain, your life is very hard indeed. Most rural people are farmers, and sheep are the animal of choice.
It takes about one hour to get from the new airport to the city center. The orphanage is about an hour and twenty minutes from the downtown section of Lanzhou, a long commute for many of its workers. It was built three years ago, and they now have more than 280 children in their care.
Lanzhou has a high Hui minority population, who are Muslim. There are many mosques in the city, and the Hui are famous here for their beef noodle restaurants.
When we have opened foster care in poor, rural areas, we have seen that foster care saves lives. The children in foster care have individual care and attention that cannot be provided in an institution. Their physical needs are met, and their emotional health is supported and fostered through loving interactions with foster parents. The children will have the best opportunity to grow and develop in a family setting. They can be part of the community, attend school, and have a much smaller chance of attachment difficulties upon adoption.
The Lanzhou SWI is operating with very limited resources. Our foster care program in Lanzhou will hopefully allow the SWI to use its funding to assist more children.
Our program has opened with nine children whom we would like to introduce to you here:
Our foster program will work in partnership with the orphanage, who will contribute towards the children’s foster care fees each month. Each child will require 3-4 sponsors at $40 each to cover their monthly foster care costs. We hope to see them all of these children adopted in the very near future and for new children to enter our program.
Won’t it be fun to get to know these nine sweet faces better and watch them blossom in foster care? Thanks for joining us on the journey!