Making a difference, one child at a time.
We provide a safe haven for orphans who need hope. We advocate adoption for special kids who await adoption and transform lives with love, education, and medical care.
As we peer into the new year, we expect to BE THE CHANGE for even more children, teens and young adults on our campus. Renovations are almost done, and the registration of a newly formed Tianjin NGO to carry out this work on our campus is nearly completed. As I’ve shared before, this new phase of The Philip Hayden Foundation will allow us to focus our attention not only on kids from the orphanage, but on many more local special-needs children as well. This vital part of our work is really “orphan prevention,” and provides local poor families with the training, therapy, counseling, education and other resources they need to successfully raise their children and keep them in the home.
These types of services and resources have been nearly non-existent in China for families with special-needs kids, and especially poor families. While there are many for-profit businesses and services available, there’s a severe lack of good and affordable programs that focus on the family as a whole. It’s not just about doing things with the kids and for the kids – help for these children is infinitely more effective when the entire family is included.
In addition to all the new programming that will take place on our campus in 2020, our cross-country Therapy Training will also increase. Our teams have trained orphanage staff members throughout China, and will continue to travel to government institutions across the country, providing training and education for the staff and caregivers of these special kids. This training will equip them with the tools they need to give the children in their care better lives. We’re thrilled to see our orphanage partners and the kids in their institutions achieve new heights through training and higher education.
It’s exciting to anticipate what’s about to happen in 2020. I personally want to thank all of you for sticking with us through the past 16 months. We’ve worked hard to make our campus and staff ready for this new phase of our work, and we’re grateful to have you partner alongside of us. Thank you and Happy New Year!
It’s here – the beginning of the new year and the end to our major construction projects! Worn-out wood floors in the living areas of all five children’s houses have been replaced with beautiful gray tile. New self-closing doors with safety glass panels have taken the place of our former dark wood doors, creating much brighter living spaces. Every kitchen has been given a much-needed overhaul, with new tile covering not only the floor but also all the way up the walls. The bathrooms are now fitted for older children and young adults – large bathtubs have been replaced with roomy, tiled showers.
The houses are not the only buildings undergoing changes on our campus. Our staff now have a new lounge in the main office, where they can safely store their belongings in lockers at the beginning of the day. This space will also offer a quiet area for one-on-one meetings and conversations. As winter rages, we’re extremely thankful for the new radiators from Rinnai in our Forever Families Outreach Center. The staff was all warm and cozy in December, as our school children dazzled us with a wonderful Christmas show before the holiday. We look forward to hosting events, parties and other gatherings for our residents for years to come.
After visiting Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV) about two years ago, Dr. Li couldn’t sleep at night, and constantly kept thinking of the complex medical needs of the children she met here. This continued until she finally decided to BE THE CHANGE, leave her position at a large hospital in Tianjin and become our staff doctor. She began her full-time work here in early 2018.
While talking with Dr. Li, she smiled as she remembered children from SFCV she’s helped through the years. When official policy changed, and those children were sent back to their home orphanages in the summer of 2018, Dr. Li remained committed to helping our kids however she could, from arranging their medical treatment in Beijing to visiting them on our campus.
As we prepare for the next chapter of our work, Dr. Li will continue to use her skills to tend to the medical needs of the children who will join us on the new 7Acres Campus. Dr. Li is married and has a 15-year-old son.
Next year – 2020 – is a big year not only for our organization, but for some of our former kids as well. Two of our House of Blessings boys, Charlie (Shao Tiancheng) and Jason (Hu Tao) will turn 14 years old this year, and will age out of China’s adoption system. Our goal, in addition to caring for these kids, has and always will be to advocate for these boys to find their Forever Families.
Charlie came to SFCV in December 2016 after undergoing bilateral clubbed foot surgeries at a hospital in Beijing. He was very shy and self-conscious when he arrived, but with the help, encouragement and love from our Ayis, teachers and therapists, he soon warmed up and became a leader in the House of Blessings. Charlie came to us as a young boy and has grown into a beautiful young man. Some of his favorite things to do include school, video games, Legos, board games, playing with friends and going swimming. Charlie is a team player. He loves his friends and nannies fiercely and has a laugh that can brighten any heart.
Despite having arthrogryposis, which has caused joint contractures in his feet, ankles, hands and elbows, Charlie is extremely independent. He’s a wheelchair user, but is able to propel himself using his feet, which has opened up many new opportunities. Even with contractures in his hands and arms, Charlie’s able to feed himself and write all on his own. He does require some assistance with toileting, dressing and bathing, but with additional therapy and vocational training, he has great potential to be independent in these areas as well. Charlie loves to learn, is an excellent student and has learned a great deal of English. His tender heart is craving the love of a Forever Family. Charlie will age out on November 10, 2020.
Jason arrived on our campus in November 2014, and prior to his arrival had never received any education or therapy services. After enrolling in both our Therapy Program and in the Little Lambs School, Jason truly began to thrive. We soon saw his vibrant and determined personality shine. After joining our family, he soon gained physical, mental and emotional strength, and plenty of courage and stamina to achieve his goals of becoming more independent.
Jason is one of the most hard-working kids we know, and has never let Cerebral Palsy stop him from doing what he loves. Like other boys his age, Jason loves to play board games, watch movies, play video games, go swimming and play with friends. He loves arcade games, building and playing with Legos, and just about anything that has to do with superheroes. Jason has a spirit that radiates joy and is infectious. While he can be shy, he loves deeply and desires to have a family of his own one day. Jason will age out of the adoption system on August 20, 2020.
Both of these incredible young men have made a huge impact on our big SFCV family and crave the love of their very own families. If you or someone you know is interested in either of these boys or would like more information, please contact us at: [email protected].
We’re looking for someone to work in our Philip Hayden Foundation (PHF) Tianjin Representative Office to oversee the work of PHF with our orphanage partners and with other charity work we do in Tianjin. The job title is Director-General of the Philip Hayden Foundation Tianjin Representative Office. Responsibilities include overseeing our programs, which include residential care for disabled teens, young adults and orphans; therapy for disabled children, teens and young adults; and a new Hospice Care project for severely disabled orphans, in partnership with the Tianjin Social Welfare Institute. Candidates for this position need to be bilingual in Mandarin and English.
Are you tech savvy, know about internet wiring, routers, server set up, computers and all things tech? We’re looking to add an IT guy or gal to our team, who will work on our China campus this year. With our programs expanding, we need someone to help ensure that all of our technology functions properly.
We’re also hoping to expand our Therapy Team in 2020! We’re recruiting individuals with a background in Physical, Occupational, Speech or Behavioral Therapy to join our Bright Stars team this year. With so much growth and expansion, we need people to join us as we BE THE CHANGE. For more information and answers, please email our team: [email protected] or visit our website: chinaorphans.org/staff.
Over the last year, our Bright Stars Therapy team expanded our program while still providing beneficial services on our campus. Our goal in 2019 was to reach out to our local community and begin providing services for those in need. As a result, the team provided consultations, weekly therapy sessions and parent education to more than 15 local children, as well as their parents and caregivers.
We’re pleased to say that we’ve been able to do more than we had hoped. By caring for these families and caregivers, our team has been able to make a great impact in the lives of China’s future generations. The Bright Stars team has also continued to provide therapy training for the staff and caregivers at some of our partnering children’s welfare institutes all over China. We’re excited to expand this project in 2020, and look forward to making a greater impact in our community and China at large.