Givology Staff's Blog

Interview With the PEACH Foundation

April 3rd, 2017
Members of the Givology Chapter at the Webb Schools interviewed with Ruth Jeng, who is the founder of the [url=http://www.peachfoundationusa.org/servlet/peachweb]PEACH[/url] Foundation, to learn more about the organization.
[b]Q: What inspired you to start the PEACH Foundation? [/b]
A: I started this organization from the pain of which I felt from the children. So when I saw a child not going to school, the feeling of pain made me very miserable. Even though I told myself that it was none of my business, my pain didnt go away. Therefore, I rolled up my sleeves to solve their problem. The bottom line of starting this organization is eliminating my pain by eliminating the pain of these children. If I had felt indifferent, then I wouldnt have done anything.
[b]Q: How did your organization begin?[/b]
A: When I first started, I would go to alumni parties to distribute brochures about PEACH. I distributed 15,000 brochures in the first year, 10,000 in the second year, and we had about 200 initial members. Then, those who joined would invite friends that donate. Thus, I could say that about 98% of donors are recommended by other people. From a grassroot-organization that relied more on traditional methods, now we partner with Givology and rely on word of mouth more.
[b]Q: What are some projects that you've worked on in the past? What was the impact? [/b]
A: There are five major projects that we worked on, providing financial aid, hosting a summer camp, giving children clothing for the winter, visiting them in school, and give them medical treatments.
1. Financial Aid- The aim of financial aid is providing children from low-income families the opportunity to go to school. Now we have over 2,000 children who have finished college, many of them becoming doctors, nurses, bankers, and government officials. The impact not only extends to giving them a full schooling but also to educating them in becoming financially independent so that they could help their families. Now, their parents are able to retire, so they dont need to farm to sustain themselves. Education breaks the vicious cycle of poverty.
2. Summer camp- We try to build up the childrens self-esteem by teaching them classes during a one-week summer camp. Even though it is only a one week program, youll be amazed at the impact. Before the camp, the children were not respected and loved, yet a little love and care will increase their self-confidence and brighten their smiles. However, one worry is that they will return to their old selves when they go back to their old environment, where they are bullied and stepped down. So I tell them that everyone being loved has a responsibility to those who love them. They should not abandon themselves in the face of unconditional love.
3. Clothing for the winter- We provide them with gloves, garments, and trousers. The impacts are pretty self-explanatory.
4. Visits in school- Every year we visit them in school. They would feel very happy and would come and hug me, something that they wouldn't do their parents.
5. Medical treatments- A sick child cannot study. When I talk about being sick, Im not talking about a simple cold, but something more serious. We would take them to a hospital and make sure they are cured.
[b]Q: What do you see as the future of PEACH?[/b]
A: Currently, we have six PEACH employees, five of them have been PEACH graduates. I want PEACH children to run the PEACH office. That is my goal from day one. Then, I want some of the donors to be part of the board of directors, overseeing the operations. Out of our employees, we have marketing people, chapter directors, and people that come to our office to work.
[b]Q: Since your organization's inception, how has your organization's plan change and modify throughout the years?[/b]
A: Our big picture and direction did not change. However, there are some small changes. For example, we tried to do teachers training before, yet we realized that the teachers didnt want to be trained, so we gave that up.
[b]Q: What are some of the largest challenges you face as an organization?[/b]
A: We met with schools that werent willing to cooperate. We wanted profiles of poor children, yet they recommended children who were above the income bracket that we were looking for. We would do home visits, and when children were not poor enough, we would reject the children and time would be wasted. Another problem that we face is children dropping out. When some of the children go to high school, they lagged behind. Some of these kids could not handle the pressure, so they dropped out. That is my biggest challenge because I cannot spend 100% of my energy on only 10% of these children that wanted to drop out. I told them that if they were to attend high school, they must stay in until college, otherwise, a vocational school might be a better fit.
[b]Q: What do you see as something that needs to be changed within the Chinese educational system?[/b]
A: The problem with the Chinese educational system is that teachers don't allow students to think independently. Students simply memorize things. The aim of Gaokao (the Chinese entrance exam to college) also emphasizes on memorization of concepts from a wide range of topics rather than allowing students to think critically. It is a reflection of the educational system.
[b]Q: How can Givology help you? [/b]
A: Givology has been helping us for many many years. In the past, Givology always kept 20 profiles of PEACH children until they graduate and go to college. If I remember correctly, Givology has helped more than 60 children. Every child carries the responsibility of 20 family members (parents, siblings, siblings children, uncles, aunties, uncles children, etc), who all count on our PEACH children to support them. Thus, by saying Givology helped 60 children, it actually helped 60 families, impacting the lives of more than 1200 people. The cycle of poverty for this family is then cut off, forever. The next generation of these families now has the opportunity to go to school. This is what Givology has done for us.

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