The needs of “at risk” children are worldwide

Gandhi children need help worldwideWhen she was a little girl listening to me tell “her story” at bedtime, I promised her that when she was a teenager I would take her back to her native country of China to see the orphanage at which she spent her first nine months of life before being adopted.

Last month that promised was fulfilled as we traveled from Beijing to Changsha, Hunan and eventually to Chenzhou, Hunan.   My daughter, who will be 16 years old next month, had no memory of the orphanage as our tour went from room to room.  As China has modified its one child policy over the past few years, fewer girls are being abandoned.  While there was still a room with perhaps fifteen to twenty girl babies whose parents chose not to keep them, the larger population of the orphanage was special needs children of all ages.

Gandhi children need help worldwideWe met an eight year old girl with legs that were not strong enough to support her.  She moved around the building with a walker or with the support of a caregiver.  We were told that the following day she was going to be adopted by a family from the United States.  We watched as the orphanage director used my daughter as an example of a girl from Chenzhou who had been raised by a family in the United States.  She was visibly and understandably scared at the prospect of leaving the only country and language she has ever known, to be cared for by people that didn’t look like her or speak her language.  This family will provide this young girl with the medical care that she needs to someday walk unaided.

India has its own unique children “at risk”.  The work of the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute is focused on helping as many of these children as possible.  Please join me in supporting this needed work.

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bob shallenberg The Board of Gandhi WorldwideRobert Shallenberg is founder/CEO of Prism Retail Services since 1992. He is a former member of the board of directors for CityQuest, an interfaith movement with focus on contemplative prayer, compassion and interfaith relationships. Bob is founder and board chairman of Journey Toward Wholeness, a nonprofit counseling center. He is married, father of five children ranging in age from 31 to 9. Bob adopted mixed race boy/girl twins at birth in 1998 and a 9 month-old girl from China. 

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