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 | END POVERTY | VOCATIONAL SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS

An Orphan's Life is About to Change

In August this year, 95 girls joined Captivating's Vocational School Scholarship program, bringing the total of girls in this 3 year program to 277. All these girls were found by our on-the-ground partner [Shamtse] to be out of school. Getting these girls back into school where they can learn a skill that will provide them with independence and job opportunities is important to us at Captivating. It's girls like Zhang who bring special meaning to this program.




CHINA | EDUCATE GIRLS | END POVERTY | HUSKY ENERGY TAILORING SKILLS PROGRAM FOR WOMEN

Determination to Support Her Family

The year is about to come to end, but for the women in Husky Energy Tailoring Skills Program for Women, this will mark a new beginning. They are more than excited to graduate from the program and start a new chapter, equipped with their newly learned skills in making beautiful clothing. One of them is Degerjyid.




CHINA | END POVERTY | PIGS FOR POVERTY

A Mother's Sustainable Efforts to Send Her Children to School

"I always firmly believe that education can change the future, so it's important to me to send my children to school no matter how hard or tired I am. I didn't have the opportunity to get an education. Because of this, I haven't had a stable source of income, but I have to stick whatever I can for the sake of my children. Fortunately, with your encouragement and help, I have hope in my life."




CHINA | EDUCATE GIRLS | END POVERTY | MY FIRST JOB PROGRAM

Diligent Mum Now with Stable Employment

When she first joined the My First Job Assistant Chef Program, she was nervous and worried that she would slow down the class' progress because other women may already be more skilled than her. Dongzhikyid doubled her efforts, working diligently everyday on the assignments the teacher gave them, and was able to keep up with everyone else.




CHILD SPONSORSHIP | CHINA | EVENTS | SHENZHEN

We are Thrilled. Shenzhen, You are Amazing!

On behalf of the Shenzhen Charity Federation, thank you so much for being a part of our 12th year, last Saturday, October 17th, 2020.  And, once again, our thanks to the wonderful team at the Futian Shangri-la, Shenzhen.

Together, as a result of the generosity of everyone who attended, 1,000 lives (single moms, young women, and their children) will one day look back on 2020 as a turnaround year for them. A year of new beginnings and fortune.




CHINA | EDUCATE GIRLS | VOCATIONAL SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS

A Thousand-Mile Trip

62 girls in our second cohort of Vocational School Scholarship Program graduates, completed their courses in July 2020. Most of these girls were only able to go to school up to grade 9, with many dropping out even earlier. The key reasons being financial difficulty, prejudice on the part of their parents not valuing education for girls, and varying family circumstances. Their dreams of a career and independence were gone. But thanks to the Vocational School Scholarship program, dreams are coming true again. Luma is one of our graduating girls and she shares her story.