In July of 2016, our family travelled to China to see first hand all of the hard work and dedication Half the Sky and its partners puts into caring for young, abandoned and disadvantaged children. Our trip was eye opening and enriching to say the least.
Quite frankly, we weren’t really sure what to expect. Our initial expectations were that it would be an emotional and heartbreaking experience. However, once we met the young children, we were all so impressed with how the children were managing in the circumstances, that we couldn’t keep the smiles off our faces. Whilst we did bring donations of clothes and toys, intangible actions such as a conversation, a hug, or a hi-five were much more meaningful to these ever-grateful children. Listening to the children’s dreams and aspirations made us realise that determination is a special quality in each and every one of them.
In fact, the happiness of the children opened our eyes to a different way of thinking. Today, we acknowledge how lucky we are to be part of a loving family and environment and to live such a fortunate life - but seeing how happy these children were with so little, made us appreciate everything so much more. This experience not only allowed us to contribute to this incredible organisation, but also gave us a different perspective on life. Clearly, the small and trivial things that we may deem important are so insignificant in the bigger picture.
We left this special place with lots to think about and value and we thank the children for this. We will never forget the special children and their caregivers and they will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
Alessia and Carla Riccio