Shortly after this year's 30th CROP Hunger Walk, my husband George and I were fortunate to take an extended trip to China where we met one of our global partners supported by Church World Service/Crop. In Nanjing, China we met Liu Rohong, a staff person with Amity Foundation. Our tour group had dinner with Liu Rohong and she gave us amazing insight as to the 25 year history of this Christian nongovernmental agency. This nonprofit agency has been very effective in communist China working in the areas of public health & HIV/AIDS Prevention, disaster management, education, orphans and foster children, and community Development.
Amity runs a Bakery, a child development Center, a Home of Blessings for mentally challenged children, and is able to respond to major disasters, such as the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province and floods in southern China. It even managed to provide some relief aid to the Philippines and Haiti. Ongoing initiatives include the response to the effects of climate change, pollution control, protection of water sources, and enabling farmers to access safe drinking water.
As Ruhong spoke to us, we better understood the historical setting of social service programs in this vast country. As the General Secretary stated in the 2009 annual report, "For social and economic development to be sustainable, local communities, whether rural or urban, have to be enabled and empowered." Ruhong told us of the loss of education years for so many Chinese adults, during the cultural revolution, when schools didn't function. She was one of 2 out of a class of 60 who was able to get into college by studying hard on her own. Her grandfather, a professor, told her that she could do anything she set her mind to (as a girl in China that is a big challenge).
We thank Amity for the wonderful work in almost all the provinces of China, and encourage them in their future endeavors. (Five years ago, members of Amity visited Monmouth County, and some of our Crop Committee, with Marie Varley, had a picnic hosted by Susan Day. This global connection is possible through the efforts of Church World Service and their work in 80 countries around the world! Janie Schildge