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A Small Gesture from the Heart

A Big Difference to a Child’s Future (Part 4)

World Vision Sponsors’ Visit to YongSheng ADP, China (25 Mar – 1 Apr 2012)

by Jesper Chang

Day 3 ADP visit:

The final plan for our sponsors’ visit today would take us to Yongping Village, where we’ll visit the Secondary School.

I was told that this school is a brand new project that World Vision YongSheng has taken under its wings just slightly over a year ago. The school was previously in a bad state, and since it got help from World Vision, it has changed immensely. The grounds and the premise have been rebuilt and everything looks neater, cleaner and more organised.

When we entered the school’s main entrance, we were given an overwhelming welcome from the kids with hands clapping and cheering. I felt on the top of the world! I guess this is their way of thanking us for what we have done for them.


A grand welcome for our entourage by the children of the Secondary School

Today’s visit would be longer as it’s the last day of our sponsors’ visit, thus Pei Ling said we would spend as much time as possible with the kids.

The tour started off with the usual introductions and speeches. The highlight of the event was when our group was split into smaller groups of 3-4 and we were asked to go into some classrooms to mingle and to  “teach lessons” to the kids. As I’m illiterate in Mandarin, I was fortunate enough – AGAIN – to receive great help from my fellow team members who were always ready to take the helm in conducting the lessons.


“Lesson” in progress as the child sponsors become “temporary teachers”

Although the students in my class were rather shy at first, but they soon warmed up to us and went with the flow. After all, it was only a “casual class lesson” – nothing serious whatsoever. The initial soft & shy chatter soon turn to laughter, and it proceeded even further until it became like somewhat a “brainstorming” session as everyone wanted to give their input to the questions thrown at them 🙂


Group shot of our class after the lesson ended

Our session at the school ended close to 1pm. After lunch, we made our way back down the hilly mountains of Yongsheng again.

As I was leaving the premise, I looked back at the school one more time and said to myself, “Not bad, not bad at all. What a great transformation”.

For a school that was on the verge of “sinking”, World Vision YongSheng has done a remarkable job in turning it around and bringing it back up to the surface. It has saved the school from submerging and rescued the children from “drowning”. And because of this, the children now have a brighter and more solid future to look forward to.

A Small Gesture from the Heart

A Big Difference to a Child’s Future (Part 3)

World Vision Sponsors’ Visit to YongSheng ADP, China (25 Mar – 1 Apr 2012)

by Jesper Chang

Day 2 ADP visit:

This would be the happiest and most memorable day of my entire trip to YongSheng.


Because this was the day I was going to meet my sponsored child. After sponsoring her for 5-years (beginning in 2008), I was finally going to meet her for the very FIRST time.

We began our trip into Shui Jing village that morning. Thereafter, we entered a community hall where we waited for our sponsored children to arrive.

When I first saw her walking in with her mom, I knew that was her. My heart skipped a beat, I was lost for words and I didn’t even know how to react. She was so different from her photo – different in a sense that she looked very mature and seemed to have grown exceptionally taller. But she was still who she was – my dear sponsored child. I immediately shook hands with her, and took pictures with her and her family.


Couldn’t wait & just had to take a shot with my sponsored child, Yu Xiang upon meeting her for the very first time at the Community Centre

We exchanged greetings before World Vision staff organised a lunch for us and the families. What a great plan! Thank you, World Vision for organizing it this way.


Lunch time with Yu Xiang, her parents, child sponsors and World Vision staff


A family portrait with Yu Xiang and her family

As I am illiterate in Mandarin, I was very lucky to have 3 sponsors who were very willing to lend a hand in becoming my “official translators”. I felt like a V.V.I.P that day 🙂

After lunch, we proceeded to her school in the township of Guanghua where again, we met up with the rest of the other kids and interacted with them through games and sharing.

But the time that I was really looking forward to, was the one-to-one meet-up session for every sponsor and his / her sponsored child. And when my time came, I was all too eager to proceed with it. We were ushered into an empty classroom, where the World Vision YongSheng staffs were at hand to act as translators too (due to the different accents of Mandarin). Together with my 3 “official translators”, we all sat down and I began to present her the gifts I bought for her. Her eyes beamed with joy when she opened the presents one by one. We explained to her what some of the gifts are and showed her how to play with some of the games, and she even wrote a Thank You note for me there and then itself.


The one-to-one meet up session. Thank you Karen, Eloise & Catherine for being my interpreters!


Karen, Eloise & Catherine being as helpful and patient as ever in helping with the translation throughout the session

Alas, like all happy journeys, all good things must come to an end. And the time to say goodbye and bid farewell came soon after. I took this opportunity to take a few more shots with her and used the last few minutes to give her a warm inspirational chat. At the last few seconds I shook hands with her and gave her a warm hug before she made her way back to her class. I promised her that I would come back to see her again when World Vision organize another trip to YongSheng in the future. Even as she walked back to her class, she turned and looked back at me a few times.

I’ve always been a strong person, but on that day, I felt really emotional and tears did flow a little. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay and talk to her more, I wanted to guide her through her studies, teach her new things, play games with her – but I know it’s just not possible. The time has come and I had to let her go.

Sitting in the jeep on the way down and back to the hotel, many thoughts raced through my mind. Visions of my sponsored child and the “very few moments” that we had together came flooding back. Tears started to flow again. I do not know when I’ll be able to come back to see her again. But one thing I know is, the events & memories which took place today, I will cherish forever in my heart.

A Small Gesture from the Heart

A Big Difference to a Child’s Future (Part 2)

World Vision Sponsors’ Visit to YongSheng ADP, China (25 Mar – 1 Apr 2012)

by Jesper Chang

Day 1 ADP visit:

Prior to departing to our first designated venue, we stopped by World Vision’s YongSheng Office for an introduction session of the YongSheng ADP by its very friendly ADP Manager, Mr. James Leong. We were showed round the office, from its administration centre to its training rooms and even the dorms – which are used to provide lodging to students, staffs and visitors. After almost 2 hours at the centre, we began our journey to our first destination.

Today’s agenda was to visit the Liude Primary School. This school is situated somewhat on a hilltop, and the remaining 500m to the school was excruciatingly bumpy due to the rocky & sandy road.

Once we arrived at the school compound, we were surrounded by the many kids that were all too eager to meet us. Comprising mainly of primary school children, they were extremely enthusiastic when they saw us walk into their school grounds.

Pei Ling, our ever helpful tour and organizing team leader, gave an opening speech, thereafter, we joined the kids in playing games, interacting and taking photographs with them. It truly surprised me that many of them were actually very good at posing for shots – especially the girls!

While some of the team members met up with their sponsored child, I made my way out to the school compound and met up with the headmaster of the school (really neat guy!) and asked him questions about the school’s facilities and what the government and World Vision has done to assist them – and I must say the things he told me were very convincing. I was extremely impressed when he showed me the school’s Computer Lab. Flat screen monitors and high performance CPUs, coupled with internet access – now that’s an eye-opener for me, for a school that’s located deep in the woods & mountains of YongSheng County.

I was told that YongSheng has suffered drought for the past 3 years, and there hasn’t been a drop of rain since then. That said, the government has implemented water rationing for most of its areas – including schools. It broke my heart when I saw the kids queuing up and taking turns to feed themselves with water when “drinking time” came. My dad even wanted to give them his mineral water bottle but the official said it would be of no use. There just wasn’t enough to be passed around.

Our session ended at approximately 4.20pm when we had to bid farewell to the kids. We shook hands, took last minute pictures with them and said our goodbyes before boarding our vehicles for the long way down again.


Briefing in progress at World Vision’s YongSheng Program Office with ADP Manager, Mr. James Leong


The children at Liude Primary school. Didn’t I say they were photogenic 😉


Our team members having fun with the kids


The impressive & real neat-looking computer lab

A Small Gesture from the Heart

A Big Difference to a Child’s Future (Part 1)

World Vision Sponsors’ Visit to YongSheng ADP, China (25 Mar – 1 Apr 2012)

by Jesper Chang


25th March 2012 marks the day that will change my life forever.

It was to be the beginning of a week long adventure that would be filled with joys, tears and passion for me & everyone that was involved.

Since becoming a child sponsor (for a little girl in Yongsheng) with World Vision Malaysia back in 2008, I have always longed for the day when I would have the chance to meet my sponsored child face-to-face. And thanks to World Vision Malaysia – my wish came through in late December last year when I received an email from them announcing they will be holding a Child Sponsorship visit to Yongsheng in March 2012.

I wasted no time in signing-up for the trip because I did not want to miss out on this golden opportunity. I was told that the next probable time for the same trip to happen would mostly take another 3-4 years, and maybe even up to 6 years – so I had to go this time.

So, with 11 other participants and 2 World Vision Malaysia staff – and armed with a bagful of gifts & presents which I bought to give to my child –  I started my journey on an 8-day excursion trip to Yongsheng, China on what would become the most memorable and adventure-filled trip of my entire life.

For this trip, I decided to take my dad along – for one sole reason –  to let him see what World Vision was doing, how they operate, and most importantly, to show him who my sponsored child was and why I was so passionate to get involve in the child sponsorship program.

Hence, on a slightly cloudy but sunny morning of 25th March 2012, our entire entourage took to the skies and made our way to chilly Kunming. Flight touched down at 1:10pm, and we had to endure a 3-hour wait at the airport before boarding our connecting flight to the beautiful city of Lijiang.

After spending a night in Lijiang, we began our long journey into YongSheng in 4-wheel drives & accompanied by World Vision Yongsheng office staff. The journey through treacherous mountain roads and uneven grounds gave me a sore back but was well worth it as the scenery along the way was truly magnificent. If you love the outdoors and photography is your passion, then the mountain roads of China is for you!


The treacherous mountain roads leading towards YongSheng. You’ll have to be a real skillful driver to navigate these roads


The concrete bridge that connects Lijiang to YongSheng

马来西亚世界宣明会儿童助养计划中国黎平探访之旅 – 寻找你、我、他的足迹

by Cheah Wai Kit


我,马来西亚世界宣明会同工和这次之旅的助养人在机场见了个面!还没上飞机之前,在小聚会中有了这么的一个想法。我们每个人有不一样的背景,不一样的生活习惯,不一样的学历,不一样的工作,有很多的不一样,但是因为有‘他’ 我们聚集在一起,朝着同一个目标和方向,为一群小孩子们寻找他们心中的那个他!

Wai Kit


Wai Kit



Wai Kit



Wai Kit


Wai Kit





Wai Kit

Wai Kit




Wai Kit


我 喜欢这次寻找足迹之旅,也爱上了这喜欢。看到这群小朋友非常专注和开心的在玩,无忧无虑,那种感觉,一个字,帥﹗这群助养人也放下城市的压力,那种感觉, 还有另一个字能形容:棒﹗这次之行真的令我获益良多,也让我的生活经历又增添新的观感。这次之旅令我学习了许多,也更加了解世界宣明会儿童助养计划的整个过程。儿童助养计划的宗旨,在于为生活在水深火热之中的儿童及他们的家庭和社会点燃新的希望,并为他们的生活带来改变。这些资助不但能协助解决贫困孩童所面对的困难及疾病问题,还能让他 们感受到关爱及发掘本身所具备的独特潜质。真得非常感谢马来西亚世界宣明会!希望大家都能为这个社会出一份力,大家携手为这些孩子建造一个更美好的世界。

只需要一个月RM65就能助养一名儿童,写信给他们并在世界宣明会安排的探访团去探访儿童。今天就登记成为助养人吧,马上浏览或拨 03 7880 6414以获知更多详情。

Lee Sinje’s World Vision Visit to Bohol, The Philippines

The child gazes at this stranger in front of her.

She has strands of blondish hair and a petite frame hidden under loose clothing.  Her tiny hands rest on her lap as she sits cross-legged on the floor.


“I’m six,” says the child. When her parents and 7-year-old brother go to the dump site close to their home to collect garbage, she cooks and takes care of her four younger siblings.

She often feels hungry as she only gets two meals a day.

I hand the child some chocolate biscuits and she eats all of them immediately.

Tears swell in my eyes but I am determined to refrain from crying in front of her.


I am reminded of my mother’s family who was also very poor.

My grandmother had to carry two big baskets of sarong to sell at a hilltop, and every trip would last an entire week before she returned.

My then 7-year-old auntie has to wake up early every morning to cook, wash and take care of her five siblings.

“If we were hungry at night, we would mix the burnt rice in the pot with sugar water and drink it,” said my mother.

Once, my mother nearly died because my grandmother simply could not afford to take her to the doctor.

But fuelled by her optimism and strong will, my grandmother single-handedly raised all her six children.

I can still remember the times when she took me to the temple to offer alms to the monks or visit poverty-stricken families living at the hilltop. Her selfless acts of love helped her to raise and protect her family.

She is the source of my compassion for the needy today. Through her, I learn how to love the people around me, and I have seen how a selfless act of love can light up one’s life and even the world.


This is my fourth World Vision visit, and it’s a first for my husband. We are in Philippines, a country comprising more than 7,000 islands, with a population of over 90 million. Forty-one percent of the population lives below the poverty line, earning less than US$2 a day. This means that there are more than 40 million people who suffer from hunger every day.

The sun’s radiant ray shines through the crystal-clear sea water creating a breathtaking view of the sparkling coastline.

The leaves rustle as we take each step.

Finally, we arrive at an organic farm developed by World Vision in collaboration with the local community. We put a handful of earthworms into the organic fertilizer with our bare hands and join the farmers in harvesting at the organic rice fields with our sickles. The setting sun slowly lights up the youthful smiles on the farmers’ faces.



We decide to spend the night at a villager’s house, showering with the cold water that was carried from far away, eating the chicken the family had raise in their backyard, and sleeping in beds covered by green mosquito nets. In the dark, I can see the moonlight streaming through the wooden plank walls.

The living condition of the villagers has greatly improved with the support from World Vision. No longer are they living without electricity and water; they have started growing organic plants to increase their income and, at the same time, protect the environment; some of their children are World Vision sponsored children and they enjoy going to school.


I am overwhelmed by the kindness and passion of the villagers. Their homes may be simple and shabby, they may not be dressed in fine clothing, but they have the ability to impart the purest kind of love that touches the bottom of my heart.

On the other hand, our lives are built around concrete homes in dazzling cities and we are pampered by so much luxury. Yet, our hearts have grown distant from each other.

We own everything. We own the whole world. But the truth is, what do we really possess?


It is the second last day of our trip. We are at a dump site located in a suburb on Bohol Island.

The smell of rubbish which has been accumulated over the last 20 years is utterly nauseating. A group of children are playing in an abandoned dump truck. This rubbish dump is the main source of income for the community here. The adults and children wait for the dump trucks to arrive every day. Once the rubbish is unloaded from the trucks, they will proceed to scavenge for things that they can sell.


Afterwards, we visit a poor family who makes a living by scavenging rubbish.

We follow a trail in the bushes and arrive at a shabby wooden house. It is built out of branches and boards. There is only one room.

A one year-old boy is standing in front of the house with his feet soiled with faeces. His sister, who is only six years old, immediately takes him into the house and washes his feet as soon as she spots us approaching. The boy’s other brother and sister, aged 3 and 4, are sitting by the door. Their parents and their 7-year-old brother are at the dump site collecting rubbish. The 6-year-old sister is left to look after her three younger siblings.


I walk up to the house and sit next to the older sister. I hand out some chocolate cookies to all of them; the older sister instantly gobbles up the cookies, then she crouches and stares at the cookies left in my hand. I give her the whole packet. She takes it and eats the cookies quietly.

The children are hungry. The girl tells me she cooks them food and takes care of them every day. They only get to eat twice a day and they get hungry very often. When the children speak, their faces don’t display any expression… there is no sadness, no joy, no anger – just a faint response.

Have you ever experienced hunger? One hour, two hours… Can you imagine what it feels like to be constantly hungry every single day?

Their bodies are so thin and small but what clear, beautiful eyes and pure hearts they have! They have the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen and they speak from their heart. They should grow up being surrounded by the light of love. But here, these children endure immense suffering and hunger. They have been robbed them of their childlike nature. Every day just seems hopeless.

My heart feels as though it is being pierced with a thousand needles. I try not to cry in front of them. I remember how I prayed for hope and miracles during those sleepless nights when I was a child, and now, I am once again reminded of my childhood fears and insecurities when I look at her; I promise to love this child with all my heart.

My grandmother, my mother and my daughter have nourished my life with their love. Children are all the same – they are little angels that need to be loved and protected. When I held the child, I felt strongly about how love can be extended to others. I now understand that much joy comes from giving.

You probably never knew that with a mere RM65 a month, you can change the future of these children. You probably never realised that your heart can be so close to a child who lives hundreds of miles away from you. You probably never discovered that you have the power within you to give hope to others.

Please join me in sponsoring a child through World Vision. Together, we can create a world filled with love and abundant life.

Written by Lee Sinje, World Vision Child Sponsor
May 3, 2010

















































Day 4 – The Final Day

by Daniel Lee

Widow and her brood

Mother of 2 children, she is HIV-Positive, and just lost her husband 4 months ago. He died of the HI Virus. Right now she stays with her mother-in-law at a very small hut.


When we visited their house, the mother-in-law showed the picture of her loving son that has just gone, and she just couldn’t control her emotion, and tears just came down from her eyes. Well maybe she really needs some time for her heart to heal.

But we are happy to see that the family is healthy and we didn’t even see any signs of complaint through their eyes, their responces, even they are staying in that small hut, even if she lives with HIV…

They seem to cope very well. The mother still able to earn a living and the children go to school as normal.

Young Couple

A 20-year old young man with both parents who have passed away cause of HIV, he’s now taking care of his grandparents, and his newly married bride.

They used to be very poor and he grew up as a child labourer in a tobacco company since he was 12. But after a year, World Vision has started to help his family. From a house that didn’t even have roof to a bricked house, he now lives comfortably and plans to start a family soon with his young wife.

Final thoughts by Daniel


Now I can really feel that, many people in India have a lot of sad stories because of HIV/AIDS. But we are glad that the number of people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS has dropped. Many of them are taken care of by World Vision through education and regular medication.

Day 3 – Understanding the Complexities of HIV/AIDS

After a brief hiatus, we’re back to continue Daniel’s journey in India.

By Daniel Lee

HIV/AIDS Drop-in Centre

It’s a place where most of the HIV/AIDS mothers and children gather together. For them it is a safe space for them to share their experiences, get counselling and supplementary nutrition from the doctors.

The mothers shared their experiences of being neglected by the community, of their children being neglected in school; some were even chased out from their rented houses.

Through the help of this Centre, the community began to understand more about HIV, and the people living with HIV/AIDS have been accepted. And now the community treats them better, but they still wish to reach out to more HIV patients and to help as many as possible.

But I’m glad that they are coping well, I feel that they should have brought this issue to the court for being treated this way.

And they were really happy to talk to us especially the children. I guess they just want to live normal lives.

Family of 5

In a very rural area, we met Raju*, his 3 children and his old mother.

Raju is HIV-positive; his deceased wife passed away cause of HIV.

The current situation showed that he’s very sick and cannot work, while his mother is about 75, too old and frail to earn a living.

Raju’s simple house

So the villagers work together to give them food every day, while the children were sent to a hostel for their schooling. And they are taken care by the villagers and World Vision.

Meeting the community under a tree

Hope of a Family

Husband and wife are both HIV-Positive, with 2 daughters.

World Vision was able to provide them with better opportunities.

Both husband and wife seems to be living health lives and working as carpenters

The wife also runs a small grocery stores with a public telephone and a refrigerator. And in the future she hopes that she can afford to run a cafe with a small hotel business.

HIV/AIDS is not as simple as getting an illness and curing it with medication. The fact of the matter is, HIV/AIDS has no cure, many factors come into play to complicate the circumstances for a family and the community. Do click here to learn more about the work World Vision does in terms of HIV/AIDS.

* Raju’s real name has been changed to protect his identity.

Day 2 – Getting adjusted

By Daniel Lee

School Visit

World vision has help the primary school to level the ground, build a water pump, construct a wall for safety and security and most importantly provided school materials, food and nutrition for the children.

So that they can have place to train, especially in sports. And I felt so proud to know that, they have always been the champion among the 42 schools in the area of sports.

They performed dances for us, and it was a joy to see them sing for us, we really enjoyed that.


The tragedy of HIV/AIDS

Just about a week ago, World Vision got to know of this 20-year old young man, taking care of his family of six = the grandpa, grandma, mother, 2 sisters and himself. The father committed suicide over the pressures of being HIV-positive and couldn’t handle the burden of taking care of the family. The mother who is also HIV-positive, is quite ill.

The family lives in 2 simple huts next to a railway station.


And all the while, this young man worked as a hard laborer on a farm.

Right now, the situation is still not so good, but World Vision has just started to help them as they are able.

In a month’s time, World Vision will help him to open a sundry store next to the railway station. And will help to take care of his mother and the grandparents’ health, and as a first step, see that the sisters get an education.

And we feel that, at least everything will be okay for them.

Light at the end of a Tunnel

At the end of the day, we met Rehenna. She was a World Vision sponsored child for the last 13 years.

She came from a poor family, but with the help of World Vision, she was able to continue her studies, and now able to pursue her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Logistic.

We are thankful that World Vision Child Sponsors have given these children hope and success.

Conclusion of Day 2

Today, we have seen some very difficult stories, we see little children with so much energy, passion and hopes, we saw a family struggling to survive with the basics of healthcare and living in dire poverty, and we also saw a very successful child that has been blessed by World Vision.