Hui Liu in China


Whilst the corporate world seems to view the opening up of China as just one big commercial feast, it is easy to forget that the large Chinese population has created enormous problems in terms of providing the basics of electricity, water, etc. Controlling the population by limiting the number of children allowed by a family has provided its own problems with daughters viewed as less of a prize than a son. This makes us especially pleased to be helping the young Chinese girl, Hui Liu. Though the history timeline can only briefly indicate the illustrious past of this large country, the BBC gives a rounded view of where China is today and UNICEF will present you with some facts and figures.

Hui Liu lives to the north of Jiu Xian County on the southern edge of the Mao Wusu desert. She was born in 1998 though is too young for school. Her favourite pastimes are playing with her dolls and singing - clearly, one to watch for future Mr Kite Benefits. Liu Panpan and Liu Qigi are her best friends and, so, perhaps we can think in terms of a Chinese trio? Her parents are her sole companions at home where they work the land - something that Hi Liu will soon be well used to. Her serious look in the picture only reflects the unusual situation of having her photo taken - she'll need to get used to that if her singing career takes off!

The family home is made of stone with a tile and slate roof and, unusually, has its own private latrine, water connected to the house and a metered supply of electricity. However, the stove is fuelled by straw which shows the difficulty that the family has to keep themselves supplied with the basics of life. Despite this, all of the family loves playing music which - obviously - means that we are delighted to be helping them. Who knows, maybe we'll hear some of their music in the future.

Plan International has developed a large, global network of support for children. From this, they were able to introduce us to Luis-felipe. The organisation was started in 1937 by a couple of journalists shocked by the orphaned children in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Today, the organisation operates at a number of levels in 45 developing countries. They get involved by working with governments, development partners and communities to help to improve specific facilities in deprived areas. They key point is that everyone can buy into the local projects to safeguard the future of the community and, in particular, the children. When a local family is involved in these projects, people like us get the opportunity to sponsor their children for the duration of the community project. These projects are based around five key elements that support the development of the children and, hence, the future of the community. These are health, education, livelihood, habitat and building relationships. Nobody can argue with that and Plan International does a wonderful job across many parts of the world. Pretty obviously, Mr Kite thinks that it would be great if you got involved, too. Read about sponsoring a child here.

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Omar in Senegal

Hovan in Vietnam

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