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Story and Photos by Cheng Peilin | Senior Program Manager | Heifer China

He Ming and He Changlin stand with Wang Tingcong and his family. Wang donated two years college tuition to He Ming and her sister.

On May 20, 2013, He Changlin and his older daughter He Ming, accompanied by Heifer China Senior Program Manager Cheng Peilin, attended Heifer Hong Kong’s Annual Charity Dinner and Wine Charity Auction. They shared their story with donors and others in attendance.

One day, many years ago, He Changlin and his wife left for work. Unfortunately, He Changlin's wife ran away and never came back, leaving him a single father to care for their two daughters as well as his mother. Life was very hard, and still is at times, but things are improving for this family of four.  

He Changlin, now 43 years old, played the roles of father and mother, and worked day and night to support his family. He became a participant in the Heifer Jiange project in 2010.

He Changlin, who lives in Fengya Village in the Sichuan Province, began breeding chickens, which brought extra income for his family. He still does hard labor during the day. His daughters are in college, with tuition of more than 10,000 yuan, or about $1,625, per year, so he still has a lot of financial pressure.

He Ming and He Changlin on the streets of Hong Kong.

Last year, when Heifer Hong Kong donors visited Fengya Village, Wang Tingcong, a board member of Heifer Hong Kong and the chairman of Nameson Group, learned about He Changlin’s family and immediately agreed to sponsor his daughters’ tuition fees.

During the dinner, which was held in the restaurant where celebrated Chef Harlen Goldstein works, Lan Kwai Fong, Central, they shared their stories with donors, including Wang. Wang handed them tuition money for the next two years on the spot, and He Ming was deeply touched.

This visit to Hong Kong was He Ming’s first. She received a warm welcome. In addition to the special dinner, she participated in other various activities to experience Hong Kong.

She had never traveled by train, but this time He Ming traveled by train, car, boat and airplane. Everything was so amazing to her. When she was with a group of warm and enthusiastic donors, He Ming told them some stories about her family, her future and her tuition fees, and she could not hold back her tears.

He Changlin said, “I never expected that I would encounter such a good thing. First, I could participate in the project, and then my daughters no longer need to worry about their tuitions. That was really nice.”

The sensible daughter told her father that he could now consider finding a new life partner. In the past, He Changlin was worried about poverty and raising his two daughters, so he had been reluctant to date. He worried that no woman would want to marry him, and that his daughters would be looked upon as a burden and be disliked.

He Changlin enjoying the sights in Hong Kong.

The two spent an afternoon seeing and experiencing the fundraising ambassadors at work. This was the most challenging fundraising task for the Hong Kong team, but the young people soon became acquainted. Peilin, He Changlin and He Ming were assigned to three groups. They completed tasks together, and participated in many activities such as experiencing breakfast, going to the hospital and transportation in Hong Kong. Fundraising ambassadors also taught them how to stop strangers in the street and to persuade them to donate.

He Changlin and his daughter were touched that some of the people who helped them were not as rich as the people they had seen the day before. Many ordinary citizens had supported them. Many people who participated in the fundraising worked hard in Hong Kong and were considered the “low-income group.” This was an unforgettable experience for He Changlin and his daughter because they saw the low-income people in Hong Kong and the lives of the people who came from other cities.

Isn’t this what Heifer does? We always make the impossible possible, and remove the barriers of communication. Let’s work together to create the change.

 

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Heifer International

Heifer International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.