Monday, 18 April 2011


A second chest infection - thankfully over quickly, but with some worrying interesting new symptoms. A second GA, a hated new night time regime, far too much vomiting for any child to live with, a bladder full of nasties, a garden full of bits of bathroom, and a house full of builders. And a missing camera cable. Night feeds, night wees, night time niggles and not enough coffee.


An extra weekend of respite offered by the hospice, some unexpected respite nursing and the promise of a new and cat-proof pressure relieving mattress; the joy of seeing my brother and family after an 18 month absence, a general gathering of the clans (although sadly but understandably incomplete); a shiny new fully functional wetroom and rather jolly lovely bathroom well on its way; some very gorgeous cuddles with a cousin's baby; watching Grannie playing cricket and cousins renewing relationships; beautiful weather; and the realisation that we are just about halfway through the Easter holidays and haven't yet had the "what on Earth are we going to do now" panic when it's 9.30AM and the day's activities are already complete.

And breathe.

And, the chance to try out a super duper fancy whizzy wonderful wheelchair which goes down to the floor and up to the sky and sits and stands and would generally make the Little Princess far more able to just be a part of life as a six year old. And a £20,000 quote for that same wheelchair which, oddly enough, isn't a sum I have just lying around under a mattress somewhere. Especially not after nice new shiny independence-enabling wet room. Time to start thinking about some fundraising.

And, speaking of fundraising; here's a challenge. I don't know about you, but once I was old enough to go to school, my parents found me a place, found me some uniform and whatever else I needed, and supported me for the next thirteen years until I'd collected a few A levels. My Mog started school (on a very part time basis) once she was two, and LP is now very happy at my old school. It's not quite the same story for Sarah's children in India. Sarah sent me this letter yesterday, and I'm passing it on.

Hi Friends of SCH!

If you're receiving this letter, it's probably because you love our vision for rescuing abandoned, institutionalized, and neglected kids with special needs and giving them everything--tons of kisses, lots of prayer, corrective surgeries, nice clothing and toys, physiotherapy, and everything that a much-loved child born or adopted into one of our families would get. We want to be the next best thing to an adoptive family, and you've helped us to be that. Our children are so happy because they're deeply loved and they know it. Almost all visitors remark that they've never seen such happy kids in an orphanage.

Part of giving them everything we can is making sure they have the best education available in Ongole. Being able to do this for them really excites me. These kids have been educationally neglected and are behind in many ways, and they need quality education to help them to not only catch up, but to get ahead. NONE of the 82 children in our care were sent to any type of school while in government care, but now 16 of them attend the best private, English-language schools we could get them into. Next year, starting in June, we'll be sending 21 children to top schools.

In India, competition for jobs is fierce, and if our children as orphans with special needs are going to compete, they've got to start preparing early. To get a good job, a child needs a private English education--without one, he or she can not get into a good college and will not get a good job. The free government schools are pathetic--often the children wander around, teachers rarely show up, and five or six grades are shoved into a classroom. Our children would be lost in the government school system.

We love it that we've been able to get so many of our children into good schools. Can you help us afford their education next year? It costs around $500 on average for one child to attend school for a full year, including tuition, fees, transportation, books, uniforms, shoes, backpack, water bottle, etc. When I sent my 3-year-old to a Christian preschool in America for 3 days a week ten years ago, I paid $330 a MONTH for tuition alone. My friend's brother in China will have to pay $50,000 to send his twin kindergarten daughters to an international day school in Beijing for a year. In comparison, the best education we can obtain for our SCH children is amazingly cheap, but the contrast between that and the free government schools is phenomenal. It would be a shame if we couldn't afford to do this for our kids.

And we may not be able to: I've raised only $200 toward this need in my several months of fundraising. We need $10,750 to send all 21 children to school next year. I can't imagine having to pull these kids out, when it's taken so much advocating to get them in.

Can you help? Can you sponsor a child or two? Maybe you can meet the whole need--a single donor did it last year...

Anyone feeling generous? These are Sarah's school children
and I know how hard she has worked to find schools who will take them. Here you can download a spreadsheet detailing the costs of each child's school placement, including uniform, transport, and all supplies. And here is Sarah's original post requesting help with school fees. Since she posted that in January, she has had just $200 donated towards these costs. The school year finishes in April. Without help, there will be no school for these children next year (new term begins in June). I can't imagine being in that position. Can anyone help? I see I have 59 followers. If every follower donated just £5, that would be one child's school costs paid for the year.



Anna said...

Right, I've donated that £5, and I'm not even one of your followers (nothing personal, just not sure how that works) so that should help a teeny bit.

Talking of fundraising, do let us know when that wheelchair appeal gets rolling. I'm not especially wealthy unfortunately but would love to make a small donation, I enjoy your blog so much.

may said...

I've donated. And will do so again if you decide to go for that wheelchair.

Linda said...

Same here! Thanks for reminding us that we CAN help, even if it seems like we don't have a lot to donate.

Immi said...

Hey Tia,

I'm so pleased you found the SnapDragon. I actually do some volunteer work for them and was planning on leaving a comment encouraging you to check them out for LP. I know they're not cheap, but they really are amazing chairs .. not to mention how wonderful the family are who run it :)

Out of interest, is LP's Nippy Bi PAP or CPAP? I suspect you've tried a heap of masks, but there are quite a few out there. It's also possible you could find someone to cast LP's face and make a mask that works better for her.

I would love a chance to pick your brains on some things at some point, if you don't mind. I'm a foster mum also, to the most wonderful young man with some extra needs.

Sending lots of love to you all,


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