An Independent Girl—Zhen

I felt heartrending when reading Wang Li’s story for the first time.

I thought we did a great job for the orphans and actually helped them. But we could never understand their feeling of loneliness and hurt of losing their loved ones. The wind is gently breezing and the leaves begin to fall, and the children want more love and care, they want their dear ones’ hugs. There is still a lot we can do….

—Rachel Xing Chief Operations Officer

I got a phone call from Zhen today. Zhen is a girl grown up in the orphanage. She is in her twenties and has been working in Shenzhen for three years.

Zhen has nothing to say when calling me, and we just chit-chat. I could tell she feels lonely, and what she wants to do is just get someone talking with her and listening to her. She works in a fast food restaurant, with the minimum wage of 9.7 RMB per hour. She earns almost 1700 RMB with whole attendance. She rent a room in the city with the price of 250 RMB per month. The place where she lives is just among in a residential area. When she walks out from her house, she can see big skyscrapers around her.

Zhen complained that it’s really hot in Shenzhen and now it’s in the flood season. She feels scared when thunderstorms come and lightning flashes in the dark night. The house she rent is a shabby room just covered by some iron sheet. She sometimes fears that her shelter could be destroyed at any time, and she had ever considered changing another room. But she gave up the idea when seeing other people around her all living in the house of this kind, plus high-priced house in the downtown, she chickened out. Since most of the people in her “neighborhood” live under this condition, she didn’t think too much. But she does mention her shelter is not safe because she had witnessed thieves and gangsters robbing people. She said her door is not fastened, and it could be open when people push. She doesn’t care because she knows there’s nothing worth stealing in her room.

When Zhen came to Shenzhen, she worked in a factory. But the boss delayed paying her wages and unreasonably deducted her paychecks. She had no choice but left. She worked in several factories from that time, but the salary she could get is so little. Zhen failed to save any money since she worked here.  All the money she earned could only support her living and food. She often got sick and she could not even afford her medical fee. Once her wallet was stolen, she cried for a long time.

When she was asked whether she would consider changing another city for working, and she said the rental fee for a house is too high for her to afford. She will wait to see next year, because she has signed one-year rental contract with the landlord.

Zhen’s tone is very stable when she talks to me, as if she is stating a story not happening to her. She had no complaints, no intention for seeking help from me, she just needs me to listen to her.

Zhen was an abandoned girl before she was sent to the orphanage when she was very young. She had no family member in this world. I know there are a lot of warm-hearted people would like to help her. But she finally decides to live on her own. I had ever thought I got a deep understanding on the abandoned, but eventfully I am far from knowing anything about their inside. We could never fully understand those who have no family members in this world.

Let’s hope, let’s pray for the children!