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20 Years of Hope: Ting

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In 2018, we first met Ting as a participant in our Life Skills Camp in Beijing, China. Our Life Skills Program focuses on older children who will soon be “aging out” of orphanage care in China.

Young woman holds up an orange lanyard with a name badge

At the age of 18, Ting joined other young people to receive lessons on personal finance, self-esteem, career counseling, reproductive health, and much more. Children who grow up in an orphanage setting rarely learn about these important life skills, and through these camps, we hope to prepare them for productive adult lives outside of an institution.

Teens in matching green shirts at a conference

Each day, Ting and her companions visited popular tourist sites in Beijing under the watchful eyes of our LWB chaperones and mentors. This gave everyone valuable first-hand lessons in navigating public transportation, ordering food in restaurants, budgeting, working as a team, and so much more.

6 teens in fluorescent green shirts and orange lanyards in Tiananmen Square

Ting tells us that during the camp, she came to realize that there were many things that she had never thought about regarding her future life as an adult. She is grateful for all the lessons learned, and equally appreciative of the love and care that she received from the Life Skills leadership team and fellow campers. She told us, “I got to know many friends of different ages, and I have learned that I am unique in my own way. Now I have gained more knowledge and broadened my horizons.”

Five teens in matching green shirts stand in water on a crowded beach 20 Years of Hope

This August, our Life Skills Program returned after a four-year hiatus. Having enjoyed the 2018 camp so much, 23-year-old Ting volunteered to serve as one of our five Life Skills mentors. By this time, Ting was in her final year of college, majoring in financial engineering. It seems she is well on her way to becoming an independent and responsible adult!

5 young adults in matching blue shirts hold up their arms to give the peace sign

Our leadership team praised Ting for being such a helpful mentor during the camp. Ting was well-liked by all the campers in her small group, and she took extra time and care to help a couple of children who had extra challenges. One of our staff members was so touched by Ting that she contacted a charity that specializes in plastic surgery to help smooth out the scars from the cleft lip surgery that Ting had as a toddler.

Two girls in matching fluorescent green shirts and orange lanyards visit the zoo

Ting told us: “This time I am participating as a volunteer to help others like me before. I want to help them understand this warm family, and I hope to spread this love and warmth to everyone. If there is another chance to participate, I definitely would.”

Two girls in matching fluorescent green shirts make friendship bracelets

We love that Ting has taken her positive experience and decided to pay it forward to help other young people like herself. Perhaps THOSE young adults will be able to help others, who will in turn be able to help even more!

And we are grateful to the wonderful donors like YOU, who started the whole process by supporting this very important program. Thank you!

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