Starlets Life at School
Living in Loving Environment
Most of the little orphans come from remote mountainous regions where they would walk for hours to go to school. To prevent truancy due to their arduous commutes to attend school, Fu Hui renovates existing school buildings into dormitories and hires nannies to oversee their day to day activities, subsidizes living expenses and health insurance so that the children can focus on studying at school.
Fu Hui starlets grow up in a caring school environment and stable living conditions, where they develop valuable life skills while they are getting the education. Fu Hui would like to spread their positive attitude and work ethics across the entire student body, recently helping local education boards in promoting this model for the whole school. Fu Hui subsidizes etiquette training, hygiene, infection control and addiction prevention for the whole school, with emphasis on AIDS awareness, in order to help the community in cultural and ethical socialization.
Fu Hui Project Inspector HUI Zhimin describes the starlets’ daily lives – Fu Hui provides more than education – every aspect of life is taken care of.
The Seven Lines
Alarm goes off at 7:20 a.m. – Sichuan Butuo nanny AhErMohZeNui Leads the Starlet Se- niors to provide one-on-one coaching for the freshman class – showing them how to brush their teeth, wash their faces, make their beds and tidy up their room. These helpers tirelessly demonstrate the steps to the junior students, then ask them to try one more time.
Everyone in the school knows about the seven lines in the Fui Hui dormitory rooms: bedding folded in a line, face towels a line, shoes lined up side by side, toiletries in a line (the cup handle, toothbrush and toothpaste tube all lined up in the same direction), eating utensils (rice bowl and chopsticks) in a line, washbasin placed straight and all sundry personal items stored in a line. This has raised the bar for all students at the school.
At 8:30 a.m. starlets from Sichuan’s Butuo County, MuEr Village line up outside their classroom, and serve themselves breakfast with their own bowl and chopsticks, as instructed by their nanny.
Nannies take photos with a camera provided by Fu Hui to document the day’s meal activities. To ensure good nutrition, Fu Hui recommends meat 3 times a week, legumes 4 times a week and vegetables 3 times daily.
Good Hygiene, Good Health
At bedtime, the Starlets line up to wash up, developing good personal hygiene habits from an early age in order to minimize illness, to be frugal and free from the struggle of disease. Fu Hui provides every day medicines for the starlets; nannies are required to keep a medicine ledger, tracking inventory and monitoring the Best Before dates. Medications that have passed their expiry dates are discarded. Nannies must have basic health knowledge, and know when the starlets need medical attention, or coordination with their guardians to care for their health.
The nanny inspects the dormitory at 9 p.m. – taking attendance, checking on the students’ cleanliness. At 10 p.m., a second inspection is done to ensure the children are well covered up in order not to catch a chill. Bedwetting requires special attention ensuring the children are counseled and cared for to avoid sleeping in cold, wet bedding.
Fu Hui requires the Starlets to bathe twice a week. On the weekends, Starlets do their own laundry – clothing and bedding. Nannies have heart to heart conversations with each starlet, counseling to ensure their emotional and mental wellbeing. If there are behavioral or learning issues, Nannies make the long trips to conduct home visits, working closely with the family to get to the root causes of the problems.
At the start of each semester, Nannies must register all students in their care – taking close up and full length photographs, measuring their height, weight, vision and shoe sizes. Fu Hui raises funds to purchase clothing and shoes for the children. Those with vision problems are provided with prescription eye glasses.
According to standard procedure, Nannies must complete 16 reports such as eating, medical care, test results, hygiene, behaviour and tutoring status in details in order to select seven Starlets who have demonstrated : Cultural/Ethics, Learning, Dormitory, Organizational, Hygiene, Discipline and Activity. Detailed documentation is kept for each starlet, to chronicle their growth and development.
Extracurricular Activities – Quiet and Active
Sichuan Butuo County LaDa Village Centre School administrator, Miss Mao Yan, has natural singing talents. MeiGu School Starlet Class Four has the distinction of being a class of good singers – having performed numerous times on regional television, and being invited to perform at all major Holiday celebrations.
Fu Hui provides each class with a library cabinet of books, and supplies students with their own fountain pen and journal, to help students learn more about the outside world and to practice their writing and penmanship. ChaoJiao Village School’s fifth Starlet class won top group prize in a calligraphy competition.
Growing Up in Warm Sunshine
Nanny Zhang Hung values teaching the students gratitude. She remembers once being so busy preparing for a Children’s Day performance she did not have time to make lunch. Five starlets in her class secretly cooked noodles and proudly presented her with a ready-to-eat meal. Zhang Hung was so moved, she held on to the students’ hands for a long time, tears filling her eyes.
For twelve years, Fu Hui has stayed the course - its unflagging commitment to raise funds and support education for those children who need help, and generosity for every child under their care – and has exemplified a purity of intent, a transparent agenda to help without any expectations. Fu Hui is not patronizing. Each child is helped with a spirit of gratitude. Fu Hui says to these students “Thank you for the opportunity to take this journey with you.” Because of Fu Hui’s love, LiangShan children can smile brighter. With Fu Hui’s help, the children of LiangShan can go far.
More students' stories:
Childhood in the Mountain TerrainsWork to Support my GrandmotherI Love Book CornersExhibiting Singing Talents in Shanghai and Beijing