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China: A family affected by AIDS receives assistance from Heifer International

by Heifer China

One day when Wang Haoran was in third grade, he remembers his mom quarreled with his dad so badly that no one prepared breakfast for him. He knew his dad had serious illness afterward. But he is too young to know what it is. Actually, his dad is an HIV-infected person, and now the onset of AIDS means that he can not do any work any more. Zhang Min, Haoran’s mom, is a strong woman who carries the whole family on her shoulder.

They live in Wangzhuyuan Village, Jiangji Town of Lixin County, Anhui Province. Zhang Min is 33 years old while her husband is 43. They have two children: 11-year-old Haoran and his 9-year-old sister. There must be a lot of happiness in other children’s memories, but what Haoran remembered is that hundreds of chickens they raised died and they were too sad to have dinner, which made him feel so hungry that day. These chickens are all they had then. We could not understand what they’ve been through, but we know, when Heifer came to the village, Zhang Min said, she regained hope.

Zhang Min earned 5000 RMB (about US $780) to buy 4 goats recently as a Heifer project farmer and took part in the self help group that includes training on livestock management, the 12 Cornerstones, self help group fund management and agriculture techniques. Zhang Min now participants in community activities, such as dancing. In her saying, although they are poor and her husband is sick unfortunately, she is still in love with him and feels full of hope when Heifer encourages her by all means. As for the future, she says the fact that her husband is alive is the best gift for her and she also hopes when the kids grow up one day, they could help her support this family. “That would be good if they can go to college in the future” Zhang Min said. “I don’t want them to be farmers any more.”

This was supposed to be a sad story, but now we could expect it will have a happy ending.

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series that follows the progress of specific families, starting at the beginning of their work with Heifer. Initially, this series will focus on our programs in Asia/South Pacific, where our colleagues have chosen one family in each region in the countries where we work and will bring us quarterly updates.


Casey Neese