Journey to Guizhou – Day One (Guiyang)
Over the next week, we want to share more information about our recent trip to Guizhou, China, as it is a region that hasn’t received as much international assistance in their orphanages as other provinces. While the blog posts might be longer than normal on some days, we hope you will enjoy reading about this very special region of southwest China. Guizhou is one of China’s poorest provinces, but definitely one of its most beautiful. It has one of the highest populations of ethnic minorities, including the Miao, Dong, Yi, and Bai people.
Our first day in Guizhou was spent in Guiyang, the capitol city. We met with the provincial leaders of Civil Affairs and learned that this province does approximately 140 adoptions per year. We had been invited to visit 5 orphanages on this trip in the SE, north, and western parts of the province. We discussed some of the challenges these orphanages are currently facing and how LWB best could help. After a wonderful lunch at a local Miao restaurant, we headed to the Guiyang Children’s Welfare Institute, which is definitely considered the model orphanage of the province. They have multiple buildings, on site foster care apartments, and a PT center with over a dozen trained staff. We spent some time with the older kids and watched them playing Chinese jump rope.
When I asked the director what their major needs were, she told me they were doing very well overall, and that what they hoped for most was help in getting their kids adopted. There is a locally run foster care program in Guiyang that serves 200 children – and then the orphanage is home to about 200 children as well. The staff went and got several kids for me to meet who have had their paperwork filed for adoption but who have not been chosen yet by families. What great kids! This beautiful young girl has epilepsy as her special need. She was so kind and polite and has the greatest smile.
Another little girl that I was introduced to has vision issues and some other delays. Well, she sure didn’t have any trouble seeing my silver hoop earrings, and she had them out of my ears within seconds! She has a very devoted foster family who watched closely as she toddled all around.
It was a wonderful first day in Guizhou, and it gave me an insight into the warm hospitality I was about to experience throughout the province. All too soon it was time to meet our driver and begin the journey to one of the most beautiful areas I have ever been in my life – the absolutely gorgeous and scenic region of Kaili.
Amy Eldridge, Executive Director