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Volume 8, Issue 9 - Education Program EditionSeptember 2012

Sophie's Story

by Sara Silburn, LWB's Fujian BIM School Coordinator


Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Sophie.  She lived in an orphanage in China's southeast seaside.  The deep brown of her solemn eyes reflected her quiet life.  Tucked away, everyday was the same as the day before.  Sophie felt that she was waiting.  She wasn't quite sure what she was waiting for.

One day, a kind and smiling lady came to peek in on Sophie. Suddenly Sophie's waiting stopped.  Her world expanded and grew.  Sophie was going to school.

There were colors and sounds, words and tastes, and things to touch.  She had no idea all this existed before!  Sophie's days are now full at the Believe in Me-Fujian School, and what a wonder it has all become to her.

The longing that had been curled up tight inside of her unfurled, as she watched all the activity and listened intently to the worlds her teachers shared with their words.  Sophie learned about playing, heard laughter and discovered a myriad of colors. Now her life is more full.  In fact, Sophie is so full that her heart has blossomed and her countenance changed.  Sophie has found her smile.  Giggles are her trademark and the sparkle in her eyes matches the shining, joy-filled smile.

Sophie, the little girl who lived a quiet, tucked-away life, is now Sophie who sparkles and shines.  Her days are filled with laughter, learning, and love.  Sophie has found something very special in school, and the Believe in Me-Fujian School has found a smart, happy, growing, thriving little girl with enough curiosity to last a lifetime.

This makes all of us smile.  


Yvonne Hui-Cong
China Education Director

Education Director

Education Associate Director

Carol Mauermann
Believe In Me Schools Special Education Consultant
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John Ness's photo winning the Volunteermatch.org #WhyIVolunteer Photo Contest

And Then There Was One


Recently three precious young ladies in the Yunnan Province started the journey of life as older orphans. No longer eligible for adoption, they are beginning dorm-based schooling. They were the three musketeers, these girls; foster daughters, from neighboring families, who had been with their families for years. Now the three girls have entered three different programs, in three different schools. Each of them is missing the others, as well as their foster families, and each has entered a world totally unknown to them.

Sophia finds herself sleeping in a basement, because her school has too many students. While we've asked for her to be moved to a "real" room, it will be a few months before they have availability for her and the others whom she now calls roommates. This is her first taste of independence, her first look at the world outside of her foster family and small town, and it is a scary and lonely beginning. This precious young lady is currently studying nursing, and it will take her five years to complete her degree.

Keegan is in a three year program for electronics. She hopes to graduate with a certificate to allow her to be an electrical technician. Her friend, Isabella, just started high school. There is hope for her to go to college or university; she has great potential, but she is lonely and sad.  

We are thankful for LWB's Secondary and Higher Education Program that can offer not only financial support to these lovely ladies, but also emotional support. With amazing local managers in China who check on the students and visit them often, and sponsors who write letters to the students, we hope to brighten these children's futures and lift their spirits. We welcome anyone interested in sponsoring these amazing ladies and others who need support. Students needing sponsorship can be seen on our education program's sponsorship page.


Welcome Home!

What a joy to see these lovely children join their forever families!



From left to right: 

  • Ava, from the foster care, healing homes, nutrition and orphanage assistance programs; Dingyuan SWI, Anhui. 
  • Evanna, from the nutrition and orphanage assistance programs; Poyang SWI, Jiangxi. 
  • Garrett, from the healing homes, nutrition and orphanage assistance programs; Jizhou SWI, Jiangxi. 
  • Julia, from the medical, healing homes, nutrition and orphanage assistance programs; Anqing SWI, Anhui. 
  • Kaleb, from the foster care, medical, nutrition and orphanage assistance programs; Fuyang SWI, Anhui.
  • Kerry, from the education, foster care, medical, nutrition and orphanage assistance programs; Huainan SWI, Anhui.
  • Lienna, from the medical, healing homes, nutrition and orphanage assistance programs; Qidong SWI, Hunan.
  • Lilly, from the foster care, medical, nutrition and orphanage assistance programs; Xiaoxian SWI, Anhui.
  • Sol, from the foster care, nutrition and orphanage assistance programs; Xinyang SWI, Henan.
  • Joseph Ephraim, from the foster care, medical, healing homes, nutrition and orphanage assistance programs; Fuyang SWI, Anhui.

To transform the lives of orphaned and impoverished children by providing hope and healing.