So far this year, we have considered the work of Amity in terms of their missionary & outreach work and also their humanitarian work in response to natural disasters. In this issue, the focus is upon their continuing work to improve living standards of people in rural communities across China.
Walk for Living Water
Simply put, water is life. It is estimated that over a billion people in the world lack safe drinking water. In China alone, some 200 million people still struggle daily to get safe drinking water. As an independent non-governmental organisation (NGO) working in China for 27 years, the Amity Foundation has witnessed the consequent human tragedies, including poverty and water-borne diseases that disproportionally affect the young and lead to high rates of child mortality. The Amity Foundation is privileged to have provided assistance to millions over the last quarter of a century. In the last six years alone they have built over 650 water systems or well projects across China.
As part of Amity’s response to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, they have also organised projects, such as the so-called ‘Walks for Living Water’ in Hong Kong, to raise awareness—and raise funds—of this issue still affecting so many people in mainland China. The walks have seen up to 2,500 people and a variety of schools, churches and other groups taking part and have in themselves raised money to provide clean drinking water in eight remote villages in Guizhou Province, thereby benefitting over 10,000 people directly.
Another focus of Amity’s work is education & fostering and their main project for 2013 is to help left-behind children in rural villages, often adversely affected when their parents leave to find work in other provinces. Thousands of children have been sponsored over the past few years. This sponsorship has allowed orphans and left-behind children to still have hope in the future with many progressing from primary school to high school and even on to university.
Here is Jia’s story.
Jia’s father died from cancer in January, 2002. Shocked by her husband’s death, her mother suffered from mental illness before she also died, in a car accident, in October, 2003. They left behind four children. Due to financial difficulties, Jia’s three elder sisters dropped out of education and Jia was sent to live with one of her uncles. After her uncle and his family left to work in another province, Jia was left to live alone.
With Amity sponsorship, she was able to enter the best local high school in July, 2009, ranking sixth among all the contestants from her county. She tells Amity that in the future she wishes to be admitted to Beijing Foreign Studies University so she can realise her elder sisters’ education dream.
These are just two of many concerns Amity currently is helping to alleviate across China.
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Written by the Minister & Members