It was about 2400 kilometers from Shanghai to Lianfeng Town, Weiyuan County, Gansu Province. Taking the kindness and expectation with them, the charity workers travelled all the way here, having undergone a hard journey, with the most sincere hearts.
At Po’er Primary School, we saw the children before they started to take their summer vacation. Dressed in uniform, they warmly welcomed us. Due to lack of nutrition, they looked much smaller than their age. Four tile-roofed teaching houses, rickety desks and blackboards, a few small barns for teachers’ accommodation and office area, a field that had never been flattened or properly built, teaching facilities without multi-media, and there was even no dining hall…… All these seemed to be in harmony with the mud houses, muddy roads, and tiered terraces far away. In the plateau area of 2500 meters above sea level, both teachers’ and children’s faces bore the vermillion of pleateau and naïve smile, looking rather accessible. Here has extremely long days with a sunshine length of 16 hours. Therefore here produces abundant of potatoes, chinese angelica, pilose asiabell root, manyinflorescenced sweetvetch root, and astragalus. In spite that, people living here hasn’t become well-off because of them.
At dusk, we went to two students’ homes for home visit. What impressed me most was Wang Yahong’s home. Wang Yahong, a 5th-grade girl, was pretty but had little words. She spoke with a very low voice but was always smiling. Although it was already 5pm in the afternoon, the sun was still shining high above. I and my companions climbed up the mountain, panting. After about 40 minutes’ mountain trip, on a very small hill, there were two most primitive mud houses, one for people and the other for the donkey. Due to leg problem, her mother couldn’t walk and had to sit under the sun to collect grass for the donkey. Her dad hurried out of the house after seeing us, smiling. His smile was the most genuine smile without any earnest hope for help, which brought pain to us from the bottom of our hearts. He beckoned if we wanted to smoke to express his most unvarnished welcome. Her sister didn’t utter any word apart from burying her head low and smiling. It was hot but she was wearing a very old jumper whose color couldn’t even be seen.
Yahong told us that both she and her sister came home and cook lunch during lunch break. In case of heavy rain or snow, they just brought some dry food with them and ate in the school. They could only taste meat during spring festival. Her head teacher told us that she studied really well. She didn’t have any pocket money, or sufficient clothes or shoes, or beautiful hair clips or school bags. I asked her if she felt any hardships, she just smiled and answered that it wasn’t hard at all.
To me, her home was the most genuine, profound, and straightforward explanation of poverty. Before we left, we said we wanted to take a photo of her. She stood on the mud road in front of her home with hands crossed behind her and her head leaning towards one side, smiling the most shy and lovely smile and presenting a very nice picture of her.
Charity isn’t all about donation. Every attention, every kind thought, and every kind action is all charitable. Charity brings us closer to our true souls and reminds us how nice it is when we are needed. It is those who need our attention and care that helps us realize the significance of our existence. The unbearable lightness of being and those responsibilities and burdens help us realize the weight of lives. Regarding the charitable path, I think it is a rather long process that needs our continuous effort and exploration. Let us work together for the cause of charity!