Girls Just Like Me

-by Julie Colquhoun

Getting a chance to visit and chat to the My First Job girls was such a special and rewarding experience for me.  Hearing first hand stories of girls needing to leave school at grade 3 because of family needs, domestic abuse, being severely burnt by a stepfather and never wanting to show your face in public, coping with single motherhood living in tents on the grassland with no food to supply your children – it was all heart breaking to hear.

Words cannot express how much it means to these girls to be given life-skills, hygiene education, how best to care for children, how to clean apartments, toilets, using public transport, going shopping in supermarkets allows them to rebuild dignity, self-worth and value in the community and their family.  Many of these things we take for granted as we are taught them growing up.  A glimpse into where these girls are currently and the difficulties and hardship they have to deal with, allows me another glimpse into where they are heading with being given the opportunity to learn, grow, and be able to get jobs that will be able to care for their children.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to speak to them via a translator about how valued, precious and special they all are – all having gifts and abilities to change not only their own lives but their children and their communities. Some of the girls, as I glanced around, had tears in their eyes as I don’t believe that anyone has ever said that to them before.  When we left the girls, I couldn’t help but tear up as these girls are just like me – wanting to be loved, given value, hope, believed in and given a second chance at life to really make a contribution and be accepted into their community as women able to make a change and difference.

I am so thankful to all the individual sponsors of these girls and the Li & Fung Foundation that sit behind this program. To Carrie and the team at Shamtse who are bringing such hope to each one of these girls, you are all wonderful. Thank-you for your hearts and service.

“Beauty from ashes”

– One girl can make a difference but together we can change our world.

CHINA | EDUCATE GIRLS | VOCATIONAL SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS

72 girls are back in school and progressing well - thank you sponsors!

72 girls from various remote village locations of Western China are now back in school (and doing well) thanks to generous sponsors and a wonderful support charity called SHAMTSE. Each one of these girls had already dropped prematurely from school due to varying situations with all of them mourning the end of their dream of a higher education. Well, dreams can still come true it would seem.




CHINA | END POVERTY | PIGS FOR POVERTY

Excitement is building for 70 single moms ready to start their pig businesses

Dec 24th is the launch date of our next Pigs For Poverty program with 70 families (mostly single moms) starting their own piglet-breeding program. In fact, over the next 6 months in excess of 100 families will be recipients of this program thanks to support from individual pig donors throughout the world, the Shenzhen Captivating Charity Auction, and matching donation from Captivating's Chairman, Dean Beveridge. Once progressed through it's first 1 year cycle, this program will transition all of these families well above the poverty line. Great news.




CHINA | END POVERTY | LEAN, MEAN, VEGGIE MACHINES

How to build a greenhouse

During the past year, 171 greenhouses were built throughout Western China. This is no easy task and so we thought we'd share with you the steps to building a greenhouse.




CHINA | HEALTHY VILLAGE PROGRAM

Tserang can now tell her daughter and grandchildren about health and hygiene

223 women have just received vital information about health and hygiene in remote Western China. Each woman also received medicine and hygiene products along with a medical checkup which, in some cases, was their very first medical checkup. This is one of ten locations where Captivating is supporting Qinghai registered Shamtse Charity implement the Captivating Healthy Village Program - a program that will bring health education and support to 3,500 women and their families.




CHINA | EVENTS

Captivating's Santa Run- Thank you and photos!

Captivating’s inaugural Santa Run was a truly festive spectacle. 342 runners and 65 volunteers, donned red shirts, hats and Santa suits to run or walk the 6km or 3km around the new Shenzhen Bay walkway. We were overwhelmed by the response from the community, from runners to volunteers, and it was truly enjoyed by participants and spectators alike!

133 Children then got to meet Santa and received gifts, kindly donated by Gold Sponsor ZURU, while listening to carols sung by the truly amazing Freedom:61. It was a wonderful way to start the holiday season.




CHINA | EDUCATE GIRLS | PROJECT EDEN

Work Experience Brings Confidence to Kalsang

by Kalsang

Time is like a river, flowing day and night, never stopping.  It flows quietly by us, and we slowly grow older and wiser. It’s like everything has changed, and yet our dreams of a better future never change.

I...