Saturday, February 02, 2008

Has She Been Born Yet??

For the first time in 2 1/2 years, I certainly hope not.

You may have already seen on the news the millions of folks in China who are trying to reach their Chinese New Year destinations but are stranded in train and bus stations because of the weather. Severe winter storms are hitting areas of China that just are not prepared to handle them and people are suffering. It made me sick to my stomach yesterday when I realized that Meili may be one of them.

Jenny Bowen, of Half the Sky (a charitable organization that works to improve the lives of children who live in China's orphanages) sent out an email yesterday that outlined some of the challenges being faced by some of the orphanages that she has been in contact with. The picture is pretty grim: No electricity, no water for cooking and bathing, no coal for heat, food supplies running thin, no transportation, nannies having to walk as much as 4 hours in icy conditions to reach the children, staff digging into their own pockets to go out and find food for the children and prices rising because of the disparity between supply and demand. The orphanages that have been contacted are asking for the basic necessities of life, including disposable diapers because the cloth ones that they are accustomed to using will not dry in this weather. My guess is that the orphanages that work with Half the Sky are probably in better shape than the ones that don't which means that things could be even worse for some of the children out there.

Half the Sky has set up an emergency relief fund here if anyone is interested in contributing. The least we can do is say a prayer that the weather will cooperate and that the SWI's will be able to keep the children warm and fed until they can get the help that they need.

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