This September, I spent an unforgettable 5 days travelling across the vast rolling hills and grasslands of Qinghai to spend some time with 120 amazing young girls – all students at the Seng Girls’ Vocational Training School and Home, which Captivating helps support.
The weather was beautiful as we left Xining to travel the 10 hours to the girls’ school. The grasslands stretched endlessly as we drove, dotted with the white tents of nomadic families tending to their yak herds and colorful prayer flags fluttering in the wind.
We arrived at the Seng Girls’ Home late in the evening and were welcomed as all visitors are, with the ubiquitous yak butter tea that is left simmering on the stove in every home in this part of China.
The next day, Dockpo, the school’s founder, gave us a tour of the school grounds and the many improvements underway. There are new dorms for the girls and their teachers, hot water heating in the girls’ rooms, a shower room, and a new building where the girls will be able to play games and hang out inside during the long, cold winters.
We also viewed the rooms set-up for the new cooking, painting and sewing programs that Captivating has helped fund. There was an art class in progress as we peeked in and I was astounded at their talent. It is hoped that the girls who complete these programs will be able to earn a living later in life with the skills they learn.
Later in the afternoon, I got a chance to meet some of the girls when they asked me to teach a Grade 6 English class. I pulled out a game of Jenga and the girls had a lot of fun learning colors, shapes and directions while they anxiously hoped they wouldn’t be the one to topple the tower!
The next day, the girls performed some traditional dances for us and I had a chance to meet the two little girls that my family sponsors – 7-year-old Cuca and 8-year-old Dyechan. It was so wonderful to spend some time with them and all of the girls at the school. While they spend much of their day studying their language and culture, as well as Chinese and English, there was still time for skipping and games of basketball, Uno and Jenga.
Too soon it was time to leave but I will forever cherish the opportunity I had to spend with the girls, and the opportunity to meet Dockpo, who has put his heart and soul into making the school a home. The love in the home flows as endlessly as the grasslands that surround it. And with the opportunity that getting an education will bring, I hope every girl will be able to follow her dreams.
15 new girls have arrived at SGVTS and need sponsoring. AUD/USD $40 or $80 a month ($480/$960 a year) connects you to an individual child and changes her future. Email email@example.com or go to our website and give us your details to be connected with a girl and reach out to give her a brighter future.
(Photo – Dana with Cuca, her sponsor child at SGVTS)
My world is not limited to a small mountain village. I want to reach a distance I have never reached. I want to go to the top of the mountain to overlook the world and blow the night wind on the top of the mountain.
Yangkartso, 17, lives with his brother and mother. Her father died due to an accident at work when she was still a child. Her mother then sought jobs so she could continue supporting them and send them to school. However, when her brother fell ill, their family's financial difficulty increased and she had to drop out of school.
Puyuxia, 19, comes from a rural area. She lives with her grandfather who raised her by himself ever since she was a little girl. Puyuxia's father died in an accident while her mother left them in search of a better life.