Sometimes children are relinquished to the care of the social welfare institution at a later age.
In our Youth Services Program, we welcome these older children with open arms and strive to make them feel at home. We provide encouragement and guidance, tailor our support to their needs, and encourage them to believe in their dreams, and follow them.
Jing joined our program at the age of 14.
Here is her story:
I was mostly raised by my aunt though for a time I lived with my father and brother.
For awhile my father spoiled me, but he was very harsh with my brother and beat him.
Because I was treated better, my brother was angry and held a grudge against me.
Finally, my brother left home.
After that, my father’s behavior deteriorated. He became very negative and started to steal.
He was not a good father, so I escaped back to my aunt’s and learned later that my father had been sent to jail for stealing.
One day, I overheard my aunt and uncle talking. They were going to send me to a welfare institution.
I lay awake that night and wondered: “Is life supposed to be like this? Why did all bad things befall me? Do I bring bad luck to others?
I was sent to a new city and a new home at the institution. It was hard to make the adjustment, but I still had a passion for life.
I began to take guitar lessons through Half the Sky’s Youth Services Program. Music soothes me and I also met lots of new people.
I now have a new best friend, Ms. Peng, my Youth Services mentor. I can talk to her anytime I want to. I talk to her when I am in trouble, I tell her about my happy moments, and I tell her about my progress. She is always there to listen to me. The staff of the Youth Services Program are my new family.
I still believe that there are good people in this world. I still believe in beauty, faith, love and courage, and believe that my experiences will only make me stronger.