Welcome


Welcome to ONE WORLD: Chinese Adoptee Links (CAL G2 est. 2007) Blog!

FOUNDED BY A GROUP OF EIGHT, YOUR ONE WORLD HOSTS ERIN, ANGELA GEE, JAZZ, JEANNETTE LOAKMAN, JENNIFER BAO YU 'PRECIOUS JADE' JUE-STEUCK, DR. MEI-MEI AKWAI ELLERMAN, AND SABRINA SPAN 3 CONTINENTS and REPRESENT 6 GENERATIONS of CHINESE ADOPTEES. (scroll down for more details)

ONE WORLD Thanks SACAS: thank you for the beautiful BOOMERANG from Australia!

ONE WORLD Thanks SACAS: thank you for the beautiful BOOMERANG from Australia!
ONE WORLD (CAL G2) is Proud and Honoured to be an "Official Friend of SACAS AUSTRALIA"

Friday, April 18, 2014

Reflections on Freedom

Hello All,

Sabrina here. Hope you all are outside enjoying the spring weather -- well at least it's getting warm here in Beijing! (hooray light jackets, walks in parks, and dining outside).

As you may or may not know from my bio, I was adopted from Beijing originally and now I live and work here, for a non-profit NGO called Humana People to People China. My background is environment but I also wanted a chance to work on the more social aspects of sustainable development and gain skills in fundraising.  I've learned a lot about the social situation of China and it's huge inequality gap in this huge country. Something we see even in the richest countries -- in the US we also have a huge disparity between rich and poor and like all around the world, that affects the distribution of resources.

I'm adopted by a Jewish family and I consider myself culturally Jewish (or a secular Jew) - the community is important to me. Right now we are celebrating Passover, which is a celebration of freedom from when the Jews were enslaved in Egypt (the story of Exodus in the old testament) and also a time to remember the suffering they went through and how they came out of it. 

At Seder (the Passover meal) in Beijing last night, we went around and talked about what 'freedom" means to us today.  As a good exercise in reflection, I did think about what freedom meant to me, what it means for people. I work in poverty alleviation. I believe poverty takes away many freedoms in one's life, as poverty most of the time takes away choice (also if you are interested in development, you must read Amartya Sen's "Development as Freedom"). When you don't have a choice but to walk 3 hrs to get clean water, when you don't have a choice to go to school or not because there is no school in your village, when you don't have a choice but to leave medical conditions untreated because there is no clinic or doctors available. Poverty is oppressing, but I also want to make clear it does not mean someone cannot live a happy life (as we know rich certainly does not automatically mean happy). However people should be empowered so they have more choices -- so they are FREE to do whatever it is that they want to do. 

I wanted to share with you some of the situations I've learned about working in China and I also want to post this link: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/enroll-rural-kids-into-preschool-in-china/ 

I was thinking of more communities to reach out to, and I felt this would be a good one since we all have more personal connections to China. This is to support one of Humana People to People China's "Preschools of the Future" in Zhenkang County, Yunnan province. These kids are mostly ethnic minority (not Han) who live in remote rural areas. 


Michael our country representative visiting the kids at our Taozhizhai preschool class in Zhenkang Yunnan


Although urban children mostly all have access to kindergarten, 23 million children in China, mostly in rural areas, still lack access to three year preschool education. As many of you know as parents, this puts them at a lower developmental level, since the ages 3-6 are absolutely critical for social and cognitive development. Many of these kids do not get a lot of interaction at home as their parents have either migrated to cities to find work or they are in doing farmwork -- meaning preschool makes a massive difference in their lives. Early education is one of THE MOST cost effective ways to break the cycle of poverty; an MIT study showed for every 1 dollar put into education, you get a 13 dollar return to society. Early education (and indeed just good nutrition alone) at this age means the child is more likely to go onto further education, have greater job opportunities, and lead better livelihoods than children who do not attend preschool. Since I was adopted from a couple who were not married, in the 1980s I would not have been allowed to attend school, and I think of this and feel grateful about how many freedoms in my life have been enabled because of education! 

OK these are my thoughts recently and I wanted to share!

Also Happy Easter!! Someone eat a delicious Cadbury egg for me, will you?

Much love,
Sabrina 




2 comments:

Jennifer Bao Yu "Precious Jade" Jue-Steuck said...

Sabrina, I love this! Thanks so much for sharing, and for posting the pictures :). Happy Easter! I will look for a Cadbury egg for you -- yum. Looking forward to hearing more. Much Love, Jen

Susan Orlins said...

Sabrina, this is such a thought-filled post. Beuatifully written. I am so proud of you!
<3
Mom