My Seng Girls Home Adventure – by Julie Ponthier

(Pictures: 1 – Dancing with the girls; 2 – Prayer flags; 3 – Julie reunited with her Shenzhen students; 4 – card games; 5 – Teaching with Rebecca; 6 – Group photo with some Seng girls.)

Our Qinghai adventure began in Xining, after flying from Shenzhen via Xi’an. Xining looks like other large cities in China, lots of tall buildings and freeways, but has a desert feel with exposed brown sand around and dry air. Our host, Dockpo, and his friend picked up our group of seven ladies early in the morning for our ten hour drive to the Seng Girls Home. The drive took us from 2,300 meters to 4,200 meters, and passed through changing scenery. We drove through rocky mountains with lots of trees and a fast-moving stream, then a deep gorge area and finally into a tree-less alpine scenery. It was beautiful and unique, especially with the colorful prayer flags decorating the hillsides and the tops of each mountain pass. When we arrived at the girls’ home, we were treated to a grand welcome with about 100 girls waving the welcome scarves and greeting us.

During our three day stay, we were able to spend lots of time with the girls. We taught them several card games, like UNO, Go Fish, and Memory, which we played in large groups in the dining hall. It was sweet to watch the older girls, who caught on to the rules first, explain it to the younger girls. We also spent lots of time dancing with the girls. They showed us the dances they have been performing for the central government exhibitions and often invited us to join in. We taught them some group dances like the Electric Slide, Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes, and the Hokey Pokey. They wanted us to do them over and over! We had to eventually stop because we were so breathless from the altitude adjustment. We also enjoyed teaching an English lesson to the girls, which was a challenge because our first grade class understood no English and we spoke no local language. However, the girls were so attentive and eager to learn.

The trip was an amazing experience and so rewarding to see all what Dockpo, LOVEQTRA and Captivating International have created to change the lives of these young girls. They have truly created a home, not just a school, and a future full of opportunities. I feel so fortunate to have had this adventure, and I often think about the trip with a smile on my face.


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.


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.


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."


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.


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.


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.