This week we are featuring a letter from our founder and President with regards to some shifts at our Beijing location, the Angel Training Center. Please read and let us know in the comments if you have any questions!
To Our Donors,
Over the last ten years, Living Hope International has provided a brighter future to over a hundred Chinese children thanks to the generous support provided by people like you. As we continue to develop and shift the functioning of our programs, we want to make sure you remain informed about all that is happening in China.
As you know, we run our Angel Training Center out of Fangshan, a district of Beijing city. We initially cared for children from the Beijing area, and then branched out to providing residential care to children from rural Shanxi province, a few hours west of the city. Last year, new government policies were enacted to relax certain household registration policies as well as initiate population control in the capital. Part of this policy involves registration for schools and the eligibility of out-of-province children for enrolling in Beijing’s public school system.
At the time of this policy being enacted, all our children in the Angel Training Center were residents of Shanxi. Our children were able to finish the semester in spring 2014, and returned in fall 2014 as we had hoped rolling out of the policy would still allow for us to find a solution for our children’s school enrollment. While they were able to attend the first month of school in Beijing city, during National Week holiday in the beginning of October, the initialization had completed and our children, as orphans without Beijing residency, could no longer attend school in Beijing.
During National Week, our children returned home to Shanxi to spend time with their living relatives, either grandparents, aunts and uncles, or foster families, while we investigated next steps. I personally travelled to China and along with Li Chen, the Angel Training Center headmaster, pursued solutions.
Ultimately, our children have no possibility of becoming eligible for schooling in Beijing. Because of this we began to look within Shanxi, and after finding the top-rated elementary and middle schools in the province met with the leaders of said schools and arranged for all our residential children to be enrolled there. Following arranging enrollment, we found a location to rent, allowing for our children to again live together in large family units as previously modeled in the Fangshan Angel Training Center.
Mr. Chu, a long-term advisor of Living Hope International in China, will be joining as the full-time headmaster of this new location while Li Chen remains in Beijing. We will also maintain an office in Beijing, with a small staff overseeing the Beijing residency-holding young adults who still live and work there.
The transition out of Beijing has not been ideal, however we are happy with the end results. None of the children in our care would have ever been considered for inclusion in these top Shanxi schools prior to us taking them in. We can see the difference already made in their lives, and trust that being closer to their traditional homes while still being challenged academically will allow for them to reach an even higher plain of academic achievement, becoming the leaders we believe they can become.
Again, thank you for your long-standing support of Living Hope International and all we do. Without the love of people halfway across the world, our children would have never found a chance like this. As we look forward to helping more children in the next decade of Living Hope International, we are grateful to have you walking alongside us.
Founder and President, Living Hope International