Zhang Xinming, who is a teacher in Yongxu County in Southwest China's Sichuan Province, has contributed a lot to the healthy growth of 143 "left-behind" children in Hongxing Village since 2016 when she was employed as the "mother" for those "left-behind" children.
In October of 2015, the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) launched the Children Partnership Program to care for "left-behind" children in rural areas, with support from the Sichuan Provincial Committee of the Communist Young League (CYL).
Under the recommendation of local officials, Zhang was appointed as the "mother" for "left-behind" children after several selections and relevant training courses.
In order to learn about the family conditions of those "left-behind" children and establish information files, Zhang learnt to ride a motorcycle to finish relevant work as soon as possible.
During a home visit, she fell off her motorcycle on a muddy road when she was frightened by a dog who appeared suddenly. As she couldn't use her phone, Zhang had to go home alone along the gloomy road, with her clothes covered in mud.
Confronted with this situation, her husband advised Zhang to quit. However, Zhang said: "I cannot give up, as those children still need my help."
After three months of strenuous efforts, Zhang's notebook was full with notes about the children's information, which laid a solid foundation for her to further help them.
Every weekend, Zhang carries her backpack to the local children's home at dawn.
Children arrive at about 8 a.m. and Zhang, acting as a mother, starts to enjoy a happy weekend with the 100 children.
For children in remote areas, Zhang organizes activities in the yard with help from college volunteers, who are organized by the county's CYL committee.
Volunteers play games, sing songs and draw pictures together in the yard, whilst they also give special training courses and psychological advice to some children. All these activities combine education with fun and help the children become more confident.
Zhang shows her love and care for the "left-behind" children by carrying out home visits, chatting, and organizing different activities.
"Some children couldn't remember ever calling their mothers. When they called me 'mother', I felt very sad, moved and happy, all at the same time," she said.
"We will continue to take care of the left-behind children in the village to help them grow up healthily," Zhang added.
(Source: gongyi.cnr.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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