My name is Ellie.
I am 17 years old and live in Scotland with my mother, but I was born in China. My mother adopted me from the Xiangtan Welfare Institute* in Hunan Province in 1998, when I was 11 months old. Last summer, my mother and I visited Xiangtan and saw some of the children. Seeing the sweet little children – some of whom had special needs like missing limbs, cerebral palsy or albinism – made me wonder what I could do for them and others like them. Staff at the Institute told me about Half the Sky.
At my school, St Leonards School in Fife, Scotland, we sometimes raise money by having a ‘non-uniform day’ and charging pupils for the fun of dressing up in their own clothes. I planned a day like this, themed around the colors red and gold. Later I added the twist of giving a prize for the most creatively dressed person. With the help of some friends, I made posters and put together a PowerPoint presentation to tell pupils about Xiangtan and Half the Sky.
The Half the Sky contact people were very helpful, so was my tutor, Mrs Denise Johnston, and my whole group of friends at school. This was truly a great experience, and very rewarding.
*Thanks to funding from our generous partners, Half the Sky Australia, Xiangtan became a Seed Initiatve site in 2014.