In September I had the wonderful opportunity to join "Heart to Heart" on a fieldtrip to the province Jiangsu. By bus we drove over 6 hours north of Shanghai to visit families of children who had heart surgery. The journey lasted over 4 days where we paid visits to 9 children at home as well as visiting rual schools in order to donate books for their libraries.
It was a mind opening experience for me. Yet a province next to modern Shanghai the families we visited live a very basic life out in the country side. Most of them live of the fruit and vegetables they are farming and selling. Some were living on as little income sometimes as 1800 Rmb per YEAR - for a family!!
Not much money in the first place to live on when everything is going well. But on top of that in many cases, besides the child suffering from heart faliure, the families had to cope with additional illnesses of other family members. In some cases family members could not be saved and had even passed away.
It would have been such a terrible story wouldnt "Heart to Heart" have helped fund raising for a life needing heart surgery of their children. The once we visited had undergone the operation within the past year and recovered well. Without the worry of expansive medical treatment most families were now stable enough to support themselves with the little income they had.
On this fieldtrip I didn´t just want to bring my camera along for my own sake - I wanted to bring a little light into their life offered each family to take their portraits which, once back in Shanghai I had printed and sent back out to them.
The smiles I got where the most honest and heart warming ones. Some of them I want to share with you today in this post. It´s part ONE of a two part series of my trip to Jiangsu:
Apart from taking photographs this trip was also a wonderful opportunity for my "Share the happiness project". Each family we visited received a hong bao with cash which was sponsored out of two very sweet family shootings:
Thank you for sharing your happiness with me and bring of your luck to those children!