These touching letters are from two young girls in a CWR-sponsored after school program. We thought it was important to share these with you, who have served as their “uncles and aunts of CWR” through donations, advocacy and prayer.
In parts of East Asia, the struggle to find a shred of employment sends many parents to the cities, forced to place their sons and daughters in the full-time care of tired grandparents. These so-called “left-behind” children often go a year or more without seeing their mother or father. We are watching depression and learning disabilities reach epidemic status among this young generation of borderline orphans. It is a slow-motion economic disaster.
Covenant World Relief has partnered with a local organization to create an after-school program, where the left-behind children are given space not only to play with each other and receive tutoring and counseling services, but also are able to video call their parents on a regular basis. Even this modest display of love has resulted in radical transformation in the lives of these children, as parents are noticing through the webcam and grandparents are communicating through sighs of relief.
To protect privacy, we are using English names for these girls.
Letter from Sue
Dear Uncles and Aunts of CWR!
I’m a student who is in junior middle school, my name is Sue. Today I write this letter with very grateful heart.
So as the other kids in the family, I’m also a left-behind child. In order to bring us a new happy life, my parents work in the other cities years and years. They seldomly look after us because they’re out; so, the responsibility goes to our grandparents. Because we have different ideas and opinions, I always have arguments with them, then it causes the problems of dislike to communicate with my grandparents.
Once before I thought myself just like a lonely helpless child. Nothing for me to count on when I was walking on the street and seeing other kids with their young mother. That reminded me once I had it before.
At every festival and New Year, others children were already with their parents together, but none of mine. So, my heart was attacked by the loneliness again. I wanted to yell out to my parents in the far away that do you know your daughter’s bitterness at all.
But, the school where I attend set up a “Left-behind Children’s Home” in the last August. My life has changed since that time.
Lots of the children like me are here to study, communicate with others, and do interactive activities. For example, table-tennis, soccer, badminton, volleyball, electronic piano, computers and etc. We could enjoy them. We didn’t even dare to dream this way of life before.
If we have problems on our daily lives and study, we may talk with our “Sister” [program counselor] and find help from our “Loving Mom” [program director]. They treat us just like their families. It makes us feel we’re in the paradise.
When we face the obstacles, “Sister” will always help us patiently. They cheer up our spirits, make us be brave, and give us enough energy to face beautiful tomorrow.
Gradually, I discover that each of us already has a new home in heart. A home that gives us happiness and comfort when we’re down. Also is a home gives us many blessing when we succeed.
Being in this family, I’ve learned to be strong, modest, magnanimous, understandable and to much others that I did not have before.
The “Sister” once told us that sailors are not trained from the small stream; towering trees are not growing in the greenhouse; and only in the rainstorms, sea swallows could grow out their wings.
Yes! Only after the severe test of rains, we may be stronger.
Now I already knew how to be strong, and surely it all goes to CWR, to the people who care for us. You gave us a new harmonious home, we also beg you to establish more and more homes like this for those who just like us—-the left-behind children. Please don’t let them feel lonely.
You all are my best examples. I promise to be a useful and dedicated citizen.
Wish you all the best!
Letter from Ashley
Dear Uncles and Aunts of CWR!
I’m Ashley, a student in junior middle school. My family has six people: grandmother, father, mother, and two little sisters. One of my sister is third grade in a primary school, another one is in grade one. Because there are a lot of family members, our parents have much pressure on their shoulders. So, they went out for work in order to raise our home. They’ve been out for two years more, and return back every New Year holiday for just few days. I and my sisters seldomly meet them, but we all know that they have no choices. When they left, there only have me, my sisters, and old grandmother in the family. My grandmother is 70-year-old, she got the rheumatosis and hyperosteogeny as the reason of long-year farm work. Life’s heavy task lies on her body when my parents are out. My grandma gets up before sunrise to clean the house, cook meals for me and my sisters, and do farm work. Each cloudy and rainy day, her waist and legs would not be able to move. When I see that happens each time, I wanna cry and hope my parents get back soon, so that she may enjoy the rest of time. Although we have the love and care from our beloved grandma, but she doesn’t recognize the words, she cannot help us with our school work.
Each time when I answer the phone from my parents, I’m very happy because I can hear their voices and can say what I want to say to them; but it’s also hard and sad for me to say goodbye to them on the phone. That time, I want to say: please come back soon, I miss you!
Now I’m studying grade 8 in District Junior Middle School. Love and care come from both teachers and students let me feel that I’m at home; especially the “Left-behind Children’s Home” by CWR. My “Sister”[program counselor] of left-behind children’s home always organize the activities for children to take part in. We learn a lot of things like drawing, listening to music, reading books, playing checkers, and other art works. The outdoor activities we have skipping rope, table-tennis, and basketball etc. For attending these groups, I feel more comfortable and happier. I opened many eyes on some things. We proved our knowledge during interacting and learning from each other. Through the learning in left-behind children’s home, we do get something that we couldn’t study on the school book. The most important point is that I can meet my parents through video call. That’s amazing!
So, from all these things I can see that we—the left-behind children, are not really left-behind. We’re so grateful that to have you to care and help us. Making our dreams come true, bringing happiness to each of us. Really, I here stand for all other schoolmates to say: “Thank you for your help!” to you.
We’ll use our great score and ability for the reward to your love!
Ashley from District Junior Middle School
Covenant World Relief is committed to serving powerless and vulnerable populations like the left-behind children of East Asia. As always, you can contribute to our fund established for vulnerable children.