Attached is Liu Yan Fang's first letter to Givology. If you are compelled to write her a letter in reply, we would love to send it to her--we'll even translate the letter for you!
Name: Yunfang Liu
My name is Yunfang Liu and I am a middle school student. I live in Xibuhexiang, Lijiang, Yunnan, China. There are five people in my family and both of my parents are farmers. I have a younger brother and a younger sister. People might think that I have a happy family in spite of our poor economic condition. I used to believe that we can keep this happy life for ever until last September when my father was told by the doctor that he has serious lung disease. Since he has to be hospitalized, all the burdens were suddenly on my mother’s shoulders. We have to not only support my father’s medical treatments, but also pay the tuition of us. My two siblings go to the elementary school in the town so they have to live in a relative’s house. Their spending is even higher than mine.
Every time I go home, I have to help my other with all the works. My father cannot do any work, so my mother has to support the family. One day, I saw her working tiredly, and I suddenly told her that I want to quit school and help her. She was so mad that she shouted at me, said: “ What can you do if you come home? What else can you do beside studying? You are the hope of this family!” I cried so hard that day because I love reading and never thought about quitting; however, I could not stand them torturing themselves. There are only two way to escape this poor village: study or find a job. Many of the villagers find jobs outside yet my parents believe that only study can change our life. They have their faith in us because they do not want us to live same lives as they did. I will not give up, in fact, I will work harder.
I think I am fortunate because I have a chance to study. For families like ours, it was impossible to get into a school years ago. I want to express my thankfulness to my country, to my parents and to society at large. I want every children who live in poverty can face the challenges and fulfill their dreams. We should work hard for those who helped us. I know my dream and future are beyond the mountains and I have to fly over them in order to achieve my goals.
We go to school much later that normal children. I can still remember on my first of school, we have to pay a lot of tuition because there was not yet Nine-year Compulsory Education back then. My score was really bad so I told my father after the second day that I did not want to study any more. I can remember my father looked at me and said: “ Can you do farm work? If you cannot, go to school.” He sometimes carried me there and I missed those days. I hope that I could be a doctor when I grow up so I can help more people fight against sicknesses. This is my dream and I am confident in it.
There is no turning back in real life, and all I have now is my dream and family. I am no longer a blank paper but a poem and I will keep writing on it."
Translated by Jung Hong Chen
Yun Fang Liu's Blog
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