Like several other groups working in China on a fairly large scale, LWB has made such a big impact on the lives of children living in Chinese Social Welfare Institutes. They have developed excellent programming to address needs that simply were not being met, and so many kids have benefited as a result of their work.
Yet, the group is run mostly by parent volunteers, most with children adopted from China, and the scope of their work has not caused them to lose their "personal touch". Here's an example: Recently, Holly, one of the moms of a child adopted from our son's SWI, mounted a fund-raising campaign for the SWI through LWB. Now, this SWI is relatively small and relatively poor, and has not been involved with any of the international charities serving Chinese children. When Holly contacted LWB, she was immediately put in touch with the volunteer who coordinates the Orphanage Assistance Program. This woman was able to contact the SWI and ask the Director what they most needed for the children. It turns out that they needed diapers for the babies and clothing, especially for the older children. All of the funds donated from our families went directly for this- and within a few weeks of having made the donation on-line, we were e-mailed several photos of beautiful children posing in their new clothes, standing next to the hugest pile of diapers I have ever seen! On top of that, we received at least 2 e-mailed and 2 hand-written Thank You cards from different program coordinators at LWB (and, believe me, the donation was not all that large!).
One mom I know who recently returned to China on a homeland visit commented that she was amazed at how much China had changed in the 5 years since she had last been there. She also said that she thought charities like LWB and Half the Sky seem rather out-of-place in this new modern and ever-changing China.
I think she's right on one count, there are many cities and regions of China experiencing a growing wealth and, with that, more means to address basic needs- like life-saving surgeries- for children. But, the fact that these charities are still operating on the ground, providing significant services to children who otherwise would not be helped, tells me that the charitable work there is not finished. Not by a long shot.
Read LWB's May Newsletter on-line by clicking HERE.