China – Elim Special Needs Children Rehabilitation Center, Xi’an
Cathy Murphy recently travelled to Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, PR of China. During this time she met with Sherry He the Director of Elim Centre and visited with children living in their group home and foster families. Elim currently supports 41 children with special medical needs, some of these needs include children living with HIV or other special medical needs such as cerebral palsy (CP).
Elim currently provides private schooling through the Lighthouse Program in Xi’an and an afternoon teacher/tutor who supports the children’s individual learning at the group home each afternoon. Children’s Bridge Foundation provides funding for the children’s teacher and for training for the caregivers and foster families who care for the children of Elim. On Monday March 13, 2017 Cathy Murphy provided a workshop on Child Development and Trauma for the caregivers, foster families and parents. 29 people attended this training workshop with was translated by Esther Yeung and Sherry He.
Cathy Murphy with Sherry and Esther to her left, celebrating after the completion of a workshop for Elim caregives, foster families and parents, in Xian, China.
We were delighted to receive a VOscar last month in Ottawa, for Best Non-Profit agency! Sue Christie, Cathy Murphy, and Jessica Gould attended the event, and were presented with a framed certificate, commemorating our accomplishments. Our work in developing countries was highlighted for those present. We had our picture taken on the red carpet (well, in front of the banner), by the paparazzi who were present, and had a chance to chat with other award winners and local dignitaries.
We would like to thank all of you whose donations make our work possible, those who volunteer at our functions, and all the members of the volunteer board. Without you this award would not have been possible!
New program added in Zambia!
We are very excited to introduce our newest program! Children's Bridge Foundation will be partnering with Kids Alive, in Zambia, to provide health care for children who attend the Lilato Children’s Village in Mongu, Zambia. Mongu is, a remote African village that has been devastated by the AIDS epidemic. Each of the six Lilato houses that make up the Lilato Village, are home to about twelve children who are lovingly cared for by their house parents. Children's Bridge Foundation will be providing health support for the children. Check our Zambia page to learn more!
Trip to China
I was thrilled to be able to return to the GOF orphanage in Watamu, Kenya, this month, to visit with the children and see first hand the results of our work there.
Many of the children were visiting their "home" communities when I arrived. The Kenyan government asks that all orphanages arrange for the children in their care to make regular visits to the communities in which they lived before entering the orphanage, if this is possible. In this way, children can maintain ties to extended family or other members of the village, even if there is no-one in the community who can take care of them on a more permanent basis. This adds to their sense of belonging, and provides a place where they can go when they "graduate" from the orphanage and are able to support themselves. Despite this, many of the children who found sponsors this year through the Children's Bridge Foundation were there, and I was able to visit with Justus, Juliet and Zabibu, three charming young people who are excited to be able to attend the Sawa Sawa Academy.
We have started an indiegogo campaign to raise the funds to pay for cleft lip and palate surgery for Zhi En and Ling. Please go to our page at bit.ly/GottaGetaGrin and help us reach our goal! To give a smile for christmas, make a $25 donation, and we will send you a beautiful card that you can print off or email to a special someone, to let them know that you made a donation in their name. Cards also include instruction for the receiver to follow up, and see what that beautiful new smile looks like!
Best Gift Ever!
Following our trip to China, is the exciting news that we are able to provide surgeries for three more children in China! Zhe En and Zhe Ling, both have fairly severe bilateral cleft lip and palate, and Xiao Chen suffers from hypospadia and cryptorchidism.
A huge THANK YOU to those of you who donated money to support orphans at the Elim Kids Home in China. This orphanage provides much needed love, medication and education for orphans who are HIV positive. These children are often isolated from others in regular orphanages in a misguided attempt to prevent spread of the virus, so the work that is done in this special care facility is vital. Cathy Murphy, Executive Director of Children's Bridge and an important volunteer member of our Foundation Board, is in China at the moment, and will be personally delivering the donations to the home, when she visits there later this week.
Cathy will also be visiting the Beijing orphanage where we have recently provided funds for much needed surgery for three children. We look forward to hearing more about her visits to these children, and eagerly await an update on their progress! Pictures and news to follow soon!