Medicinal herbs such as snow lotus, Chinese caterpillar fungus, deer antlers and fritillary bulbs are all special local products in Hainan on the Tibetan Plateau. But those specialties won't fill the stomachs of hungry children, the majority of whom suffered from neglect and malnutrition.
With budgetary constraints to consider, the newly appointed Director Zhou of Hainan Children's Home was faced with that problem when the first 21 orphaned children were placed in the Home. The appointment of a visionary director like Zhou led to an unleashing of her passion to really care for the children and to be creative with her limited resources!
One of the difficulties of living in a remote location is that access to a variety of food is limited. But where there was a grass patch, Director Zhou saw a way! Out went the grass and Director Zhou split that large patch of garden into four. Her vision of filling those spaces with a variety of vegetables and fruit trees was soon underway.
Teaching children who knew nothing about gardening was part of her vision and before long four groups of children were having fun learning how to grow good things that they could eat and enjoy.
Since then the number of children in the Home has doubled. But in the 18 months since they started the vegetable gardens, the children have become highly skilled and enthusiastic. They often spend entire Saturday afternoons weeding and watering their plants, comparing their methods and discussing solutions to problems. They are currently producing 20% of the vegetables that they consume. Apart from growing potatoes and a variety of green vegetables, there's also a pear tree and plenty of sunflowers – everyone enjoys eating the seeds! The growing season lasts from April to October, after which the ground is frozen.
Christian Action trains the childcare workers and subsidizes the programs and activities at Hainan Children's Home, creating opportunities to equip children to become contributing members of society. Thank you for supporting Christian Action in making this worthy cause possible!