The month of December marks a very busy time at the Come Together Community. With the 8th edition of the Come Together Charity Music Festival less than one week away, the CTC team is focusing not only on the last arrangements for the big day but it is also organising charity and home visits to see the results of CTC’s funding throughout the year. On Saturday 23 November, three CTC board members , Mark, Sunny, Andy, the executive committee member Alex, and their interns joined Teacher Li on three home visits around the Pingsha area in Zhuhai. Every year, the CTC donates 1500 RMB and gift packs to children living in disadvantaged situations in Pingsha to allow them to continue pursuing an education. While the main aim of this visit was to see the real-life impact and benefits of CTC’s funding, it turned out to be so much more.
12月是“一起来”社区非常繁忙的月份。离第八届“一起来”慈善音乐会只剩下不到一周的时间了，CTC团队不仅关注这一重大日子的最后安排，还组织了慈善活动和家访，以了解CTC全年的资助结果。11月23日星期六，四名CTC董事会成员和执行委员会成员Mark, Sunny, Andy, Alex和他们的实习生与李老师在珠海平沙地区进行了三次家访。每年，CTC都会向平沙贫困地区儿童捐赠1500元人民币和礼品包，让他们继续接受教育。这次访问的主要目的是了解CTC资金对现实生活的影响和好处，但事实证明它的意义远不止于此。
The first family represented a very enriching moment for all of us involved in the visit. This family is composed of seven people, and is unfortunately forced to live on the father’s only income as the mother and grandmother have to stay at home to take care of three children. One of the children has been battling with craniopharyngioma, a type of brain tumor, for several years now and requires frequent checkups and surgeries, having undergone three already. However, with a modest income of 3000 RMB a month earned by the father, they are often forced to choose between their daughter’s medical care (amounting to 2700 RMB a month excluding surgeries) and paying for rent, bills, and other essentials like food. The grandfather is sadly also unwell having recently suffered from a stroke. Furthermore, health insurance only covers a limited part of their medical expenses, and the family’s lack of a local hukou until a few months ago has meant that they have had to travel back to the province of Guanxi to get surgery. Due to the lack of funds for adequate medical care, this 8-year-old is likely to soon lose the ability to walk. This has also meant that she has not been able to attend school so far and receive an adequate education. However, regardless of the hardships that both the family and the daughter have had to experience, the whole team was warmly welcomed with smiles and gratitude for the allowance we were able to provide them with.
The second and third family had a lot in common. Both of the children that CTC has been sponsoring with a 1500 RMB allowance had been taken in by their relatives or grandparents, after their parents had passed away or ran away. The child from the second family is being taken care of by some of his far relatives after his father passed away and the mother ran away as a result of that. On the other hand, the third family’s father ran away and the child is now living with his grandparents while his mother works in the city centre of Zhuhai and sends them money whenever she can. Unlike the first family we visited, both of these families had a local hukou and owned land in Zhuhai, and thus had been given money by the state to renovate their house.
Even though all the children that we visited on Saturday 23 November have already been through traumatic experiences at a very young age, they did not stop smiling for the whole time we were there. The first 8-year-old girl, in particular, was happy to talk to us and carried on smiling, laughing and waving until we stepped out the door. This experience, however, proved to be a moment of reflection for all the CTC members that were present on the day. The CTC has been working hard so far to raise more and more money every year and be able to sponsor worthy projects and fund those members of the community that need it the most. For instance, the annual sponsorship of children in Pingsha has enabled around 700 children to continue pursuing an education regardless of the economic and living difficulties that their families are experiencing. Additionally, the funds given to partner charities like the Zhuhai Autism Society (ZAS) have contributed to the construction of safe spaces like the new Day Care Centre, which enables autistic children to develop their skills whilst allowing the parents to sustain a normal working life. Nonetheless, witnessing the harsh reality that some of the members of our community are forced to experience daily makes us at CTC want to do more to continue benefiting larger numbers of people. We thus renew our commitment to the community, and urge you to keep up to date with our social media accounts to get involved in upcoming projects and the Come Together Charity Music festival to make a difference, improve people’s lives, and help our community thrive.
尽管我们在11月23日星期六看望的所有孩子都在很小的时候就已经经历了创伤，但我们在那里的整个时间里，他们都没有停止微笑。尤其是第一个8岁的小女孩，她很高兴地和我们聊天，继续微笑、大笑、挥手，直到我们离开。然而，这一经验证明是CTC所有成员在会议上的反思时刻。到目前为止，CTC一直在努力工作，以筹集越来越多的资金，赞助有价值的项目，并资助那些最需要资金的社区成员。例如，平沙每年对儿童的资助使大约700名儿童能够不顾他们的家庭所面临的经济和生活困难，继续接受教育。此外，像珠海自闭症协会(ZAS) [insert link]这样的合作慈善机构获得的资金也用于建造安全的空间，比如新的日托中心，它能让自闭症儿童发展他们的技能，同时让父母能维持正常的工作/职业生活。然而，目睹我们社区的一些成员每天被迫经历的严酷现实，使我们CTC想要做更多的事情来继续造福更多的人。因此，我们重申我们对社区的承诺，并敦促您及时了解我们的社交媒体账户，参与即将到来的项目和“一起来，慈善音乐会”，以有所作为，改善人们的生活，帮助我们的社区繁荣发展。
So please come join us next Saturday at the 8th edition of the Come Together Festival at the wonderful LETS Livehouse, LETS Cultural District, Zhuhai from 3pm to 10 pm to help us raise money and fund this and other worthy causes in the year to come while having fun and enjoying music.
The CTC is also accepting corporate donations for this year’s Annual Charity Music Festival. 100% of earnings are used to benefit the local community, and aid Children in need as none of CTC’s organisers takes any salary or admin fees. You can still make a difference by donating or helping out in any way If you’re interested please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.