After spending ten days in the Anhui Province, China working with left behind children (LBC), this serious issue and GCV’s call to action are alive as ever. Words cannot express my experiences during this trip. I witnessed a grandmother break down in tears describing her concerns for her two left behind grandchildren. An elementary student told me that her biggest hope in life is for the day when her parents come home. I attended a church service and could count the number of parents present on one hand. In many ways my heart was broken for these children; however, these chilling stories affirm why we started Global Children’s Vision.
All children desire to be loved and to have hope. Unfortunately, the absence of parents can often cloud these desires and make a child feel as though their future is bleak. I heard this firsthand from children who feel lonely and helpless.
One story during the trip especially moved me. Cheng and I went to the house of an elderly grandmother who was taking care of her two left behind grandchildren. The house consisted of two rooms with dirt floors. We waited for her to come home until it was completely dark outside because daylight is precious when you are a farmer in the fields. This grandmother committed to do backbreaking work in her late seventies to provide for her grandchildren. She was adamant about not asking her son (who emigrated to the city to work) for money, thus, forcing her to work long hours in her old age. Her sole focus was to ensure that there was food for her grandchildren to eat and for them to go to school. Immediately after the parents’ departure, she noticed significant differences in her granddaughter and grandson’s behavior and performance in school. The root of the issue was obvious to her, but she did not feel that it was her place to discipline the children since they are not her own. She broke down into tears describing the lack of communication between the children and parents. This ultimately led the children to extreme resentment towards their parents. Not only did the children have the burden of growing up without parents, but they also had no toys. She explained that there was no extra money for toys, so the children’s only entertainment was watching the cars drive by.
Global Children’s Vision is excited to provide the necessary tools to help mend these broken families. Together, here’s to empowering the future.