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Finish the Last Mile of the Journey-The Story of a Village Child Welfare Director

录入时间:2013-05-27 14:31 来源:儿童福利网

Finish the Last Mile of the Journey

The Story of a Village Child Welfare Director

Time goes by, and things all change. But the hard work of the 120 village Child Welfare Directors of the Child Welfare Demonstration Project never stops. As the last mile implementers of the child sensitive social welfare policyand external support, these village child welfare directors strive to care and support vulnerable children in remote and impoverished areas. Day after day, they nourish the lives of these children like the spring rain.

Let us listen to the storytold byJiajia Wang, one of the village Child Welfare Directors.

I am Jiajia Wang, Child Welfare Director fromYahe Village,Tuojue Township, Butuo County, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, of Sichuan Province. I am proud to be one of the first Village Child Welfare Directors, but at the same time, I feel the enormous responsibility on my shoulders.

Most of the time, I don’t need to worry too much about the 305 children in our village. But there are still some children, including 26 with single parent, 27 orphans, 3 without caregivers, 2 disabled, 41 with parents living with HIV, and a child living with HIV, of whom need extra care and support.

Typically, besides household visits and organizing activities for the kids, my job is reporting children’s needs to the local government in Tuojue Town and the county Bureau of Civil Affair. For example, 105 children in our village had no birth registration. With support from the village committee and the township government, now there are only 11 childrenin the village, including newborns, without birth registration.

Riha (not his real name), already 2 years old, was one of the unplanned births. Her father died 2 months prior to her birth. Withassistance of the village committee, fund-raising from multiple sources to pay for the social maintenance fee, and the help from a lot of people, the girl finally got her birth registration on May 12th, 2012.

Shazuo (not real name) was about to drop out of school after 9th grade. Her parents died when she was 6. She finished the 9 years of compulsory education completely relying on external donations. Since her parents had not entered their residency information into the information system before they died, and neither does she have any document to show that her parents died, she was not able to receive the orphan assistance. I helped her obtain the necessary certificates and got her entered into the orphan registration system, so that she could receive orphan allowance. She is now a 10th-grade student at Zhaojue High School. When she entered the school, she was placed into the regular class. After her hard work, she got into the advanced class. Now she is turning 18 soon, and might no longer be eligible for the orphan allowance. I really hope that she could get external support to pay for her schooling.

Ziri (not real name) has an elder brother who goes to school in the town and only comes home on weekends. On weekdays, the boy is home alone. He is still young, and a lot of things are too difficult for him to do. I would always come and visit him, trying to do as much as I can for him. His father is in prison, and his mother went missing. No one works in the family so there is no income. I led the villagers to help him, and tried to find him a caretaker. Now, an elderly lady with no children is looking after the boy.

Yecong(not real name)’s father has died, and his mother is living with HIV. His mother remarried after his father’s death. His family is poor, and I often see his eyes shedding tears. I feel really bad to see him suffer, so I had him checked up in the better hospitals in Xichang on my own expenses, and applied for medical assistance from the Civil Affairs Bureau.

Rize (not real name)also lost his father and his mother disappeared.  He had a serious hearing problem. When I took him to Xichang for examinations, he was diagnosed with severe hearing impairment. He would have lostall his hearing if he had not started using hearing aids.

On weekends, I play movies and facilitate educational games at the village child welfare service centre.

 

We used to have 17 children who dropped out of school before 16 to work. Most of them are now back to school, after the Bureau of Civil Affairs and the local government’s hard work on persuading them. Some older children with little education participated in vocational training programs, such as Bureau of Civil Affairs’ subsidized driving lessons and training on sewing machine.

Thanks to the communication activities on postponement of marriage and childbearing,now there are no more early marriages at the age of 15 or16 in our village.

I havealso assisted the Bureau of Civil Affairs on 18 of the 29 children’s registration as double orphans, 15 of which are now receiving monthly allowance of 600 CNY. In addition, I learned that none of these children had winter clothes, thus I reported this issue to the Bureau of Civil Affairs. As a result, every child got a set of winter clothes before winter, and 20 vulnerable children each received a bed, a quilt, a desk, and a chair.

After thorough survey on dilapidated houses in the village, I reported the houses that need to be rebuilt to Tuojue Township. As we are undergoing a government supported Yi Housing Project involving 76 households, I helped children from single parent families without enough money for reconstruction to get the village committee’s guarantee for loans from the credit union.

In theproject-supported family income generation by raising livestock, I mobilized villagers to help poor families with repairing sheepfolds and pigpens, and with getting the vet to come and help.

In short, I am willing to do everything I can for these children. No words can describe the kind of challenges I encountered, but nothing will stop me from carrying on. I believe that in a country with 1.3 billion people, as long as we unite forchildren, these children will grow up healthy and happy.

 

In each of the 120 Child Welfare Demonstration Project pilot villages in Yunnan, Henan, Xinjiang, Sichuan, and Shanxi, there is a village child welfare director like Jiajia Wang, responsible for taking care of every child for their survival, development, protection and participation, and for delivering the support of government social welfare policy and external support to the village. They strive to keep every child covered by the social safety net, and provide timely support to children who may have fallen through the cracks.

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