Happy International Children’s Day!

Happy International Children's Day for MBL by Maya Cedergren

Happy International Children’s Day from MBL, Maya Cedergren, 9

 

International Children’s Day is a day to celebrate children, and a day to remind ourselves that many children in the world are still suffering from violence, abuse, injustice and lack of education. This holiday falls on varied dates in different countries. In the United Kingdom, it’s the second Sunday of May. In the U.S., it’s the second Sunday of June, while in China and many other countries, June 1st is the date of observance.

From the day MBL was founded, it has dedicated itself to children’s wellbeing and happiness. It collaborates with the UK’s V&A Museum of Childhood to hold annual celebration of the Chinese New Year. In its 2018 event, more than 4000 visitors showed up. It strives to help adoptive families and adopted children learn about China and the Chinese culture. It has also built 23 international libraries for children in rural China. By creating a bridge of understanding between China and the West and between adoptive culture and birth culture, MBL ultimately wants to help bridge the huge poverty gap, which still exists in many parts of China.

The children are our hope for the future.  Caring and education are important to every child. MBL’s proud volunteers from more than 20 countries are eager to work with you to help our children. Thank you very much for your support and encouragement.

Happy International Children’s Day! 六一儿童节快乐!

(A big thank you to Maya Cedergren, one of MBL’s youngest volunteers, for her beautiful artwork for the International Children’s Day. Maya is 9 years old and a fourth grader in California, the U.S. She loves gymnastics and horseback riding. She wanted to wish every child a happy holiday and a happy childhood — “Be a child forever!”)

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers in the world. Without our loving and dedicated mothers, MBL wouldn’t be where we are today.

Since its birth, MBL has been reaching out to Chinese children in all corners of the world: those who have been adopted by Western families, those who have been raised abroad, and those living in China, often in destitute conditions. Today, MBL has built 23 international libraries for underprivileged children in rural China, and has helped many adoptive families and adopted children to understand and explore China. Among MBL’s volunteers and supporters, many are mothers. We’re forever grateful for their love and commitment.

A big shout-out to mothers. Mothers, you deserve the best. Happy Mother’s Day. 母亲节快乐!

(Thank you to our talented volunteer, Rainy, for designing such a lovely card.)

Mei and Xue’s journey of visiting birth parents in China

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Holiday in China – January 2018

MEI

It had been 2 years since we last went to China. We’d embarked on that first journey to find our birth family, with the support of Mothers’ Bridge of Love. This time it felt a lot different, we were going to see our birth family for the second time. We had met our birth mother, father, three sisters and brother before and we knew what to expect. But my feelings were more hesitant this time. What if it was going to be awkward? Two years ago, I wasn’t as nervous and hesitant as this time.

Our plan was to stay with our birth family for 5 nights. 5 nights! At first, I couldn’t really get my head around that, because last time we only stayed at their house for 1 night. Also our birth family live in rural China, high up in the mountains, and there isn’t much to do. So I was unsure of what we would end up doing those 5 days. It was winter, their house was really cold. And I don’t speak much Chinese, let alone the local dialect.

Now a few months later, I have to ask myself, ‘why did I waste my time thinking negative thoughts’. Because guess what…..

I so much enjoyed seeing everyone in our birth family once again and I had a lot of fun! After we had got home, I was sad to be back in New Zealand. I wanted to be back in China with our birth family. I had a great time at their house, especially playing with two of our younger cousins. We bonded really well with them and every day we would play with them. We would either go for a walk up the mountain, throw cotton balls at each other, sit on the couch and communicate to them through an online translator or we would play with a ball in the front courtyard and getting dirty. It was such a special time.

Seeing our birth mum and dad once again was lovely, and so was seeing our brother and three sisters. Our younger brother had grown up a lot, as in his height. He had a slightly deeper voice and, for sure, a more mature looking face. And all three sisters had definitely become more grown up, but were still very fun. Actually our eldest sister had become very motherly due to her baby daughter who we got to carry and play with, which was very sweet. So all our siblings had changed during the last two years.

Anyway, seeing our birth family this year was so worth it. I felt a lot more comfortable being around them, at least after the first night. This time I wasn’t sticking so close to mum and dad, and I wanted to be around our birth family. I felt safer and assured, and knew that I wasn’t going to be hurt or more so, come across anything odd. Overall, seeing our birth family reconnected me to them, and I think they also felt reconnected with Xue and I. Hopefully we can make it possible for them to visit us in New Zealand. I am very happythat we went and I look forward to seeing them again, in the future, soon.

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XUE

Reflecting back on our trip back to China (January 2018), I wonder why I had been so anxious. I guess it was because I wasn’t so sure how everything was going to turn out. We found our birth family in April 2016 and had briefly stayed with them. This time when we visited, so many questions were buzzing around in my head. Would our sisters embrace us like they did last time? Would we be expected to be able to have long conversations in Chinese? Would it be awkward? Knowing that we were going to stay 5 nights with our birth family freaked me out a little bit. I was scared. There were some doubts. I thought time was going to tick by slowly and that we’d be standing around with not much to do. Little did I know that I was going to have some of the best times ever. These are moments and times that make me smile and really wish we could go back in time.

During our visit, Mei and I grew very close to our two younger cousins. They reached out to us. Even though we couldn’t speak Sichuan dialect and they didn’t speak English, we had so fun together. We bonded over sport. We played ‘piggy in the middle’, soccer, dodgeball, netball and did plenty of walking and racing each other up the mountain. Sometimes we would communicate through `Google translate’ which was lovely because we were able to get to know each other. I settled in and felt ‘home’. I felt comfortable. I was so so happy and full of energy and excitement. It was so nice to see our three elder sisters and our brother. My gosh he has grown up, I barely recognised him!! Mei and I didn’t spend a lot of time with them, but it was just really lovely to be around them. I was able to learn a lot about our brother and sisters, just being around them. I found it very interesting to see how our siblings shared similar personality traits (fun and outgoing but still shy, reserved and quite quiet). This gave me reassurance of who I am. Even though our birth family have very little, they were so generous and caring. We had such delicious home cooked food each day and they made sure we were plenty warm enough in bed. One night, I walked into mum and dad’s bedroom and I found our birth parents piling blankets over dad, who was tucked up in bed!! It was very funny and I can remember that I felt a warm rush of happiness run throughout my body.

Time flew too fast. Suddenly it was time to say goodbye. Our birth parents had given us such warm hospitality, I didn’t want to leave our two cousins and we had had started to break the ice between us and our brother. We were in constant communication with him as soon as we left, through `We Chat’. Today, I’m looking back at all the pictures and videos we took. I do this quite often and it reminds me of how much happiness and joy we had together. I am so so glad that we went back to see our birth family this year.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day falls on different days depending on the countries where it’s celebrated. In the UK, Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, March 11, while in the U.S. and many other countries, it’s held on the second Sunday of May.

On this special Mothering Sunday, MBL is celebrating the achievements of mothers and mother figures. Last August, MBL turned 14 years old. Since its birth, MBL has been reaching out to Chinese children in all corners of the world: those who have been adopted by Western families, those who have been raised abroad, and those living in China, often in destitute conditions. Among MBL’s volunteers and supporters, many are mothers. Their love and dedication have made MBL what it is today.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Want to know more about Mother’s Day? Please click here.

 

A long-time MBL volunteer Ping and her father’s memoir about China

LIN Ping is a long-time MBL volunteer, who now leads an MBL team, organizing events at V&A Museum of Childhood to celebrate the Chinese culture and holidays, such as Chinese New Year, Chinese Moon festival and summer festival.

When MBL’s late Board Chairman Toby Eady, who, sadly, passed away last December, first visited her family in Chengdu, her father, LIN Xiangbei, was in his eighties. Toby said to her, ‘Ping, tell your father that he should write about his life in China during the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, because in the West, people have no clue about what happened in those years.’

Mr. Lin started writing his memoir at the age of 84 and now he is 100 years old. He’s still writing about his life and his thoughts.

Ping has helped her father complete his memoir, and she has recently translated it into English. It’s a wonderful book about how an ordinary man gave his heart and soul to his country in the struggle to forge “The New China” and, in the end, to survive as a witness of the history.

Here is how Mr. Lin begins his memoir:

I am an ordinary Chinese man

Neither a hero nor a coward
If you are curious to know more
about a small corner
of a country in upheaval
about the distress and
hardship of resurrecting a nation
then please read this book.

If you would like to read more about Ping’s father’s life and to read about China’s history,  please click the link below and pledge for your copy. Thank you, Ping, for your passion and love for MBL! Thank you, Mr. Lin, for telling us a unforgettable story about China and its history.

https://unbound.com/books/xiangbei

 

 

 

 

MBL and V&A Museum of Childhood Celebrated the Chinese New Year together

On Feb 10, MBL partnered with V&A Museum of Childhood to host a celebration of the Chinese New Year. The activities included lion dance, Beijing opera, singing, classical Chinese Erhu performance, children’s art exhibition, and more. More than 4000 visitors showed up. Here are some photos from the celebration. A big thank you to MBL volunteers and supporters, and V&A Museum of Childhood. 

Happy New Year of the Dog! 

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2018 Chinese New Year Celebration on 10th, February

Please join us to celebrate the 2018 Chinese New Year at V&A Museum of Childhood in London. This year is the Year of the Dog.

Activities include, but not limited to

  • introduction of China’s ethnic tea culture and Chinese abacus
  • facial mask painting
  • lion dance
  • children’s art exhibition
  • Chinese classic instrument performances
  • Tai Chi and sword dance

Hope to see you there! Thank you very much for your support and involvement. Happy New Year! Xin Nian Kuai Le! 新年快乐,万事如意!

 

2018 New Year Poster

 

In memory of MBL board chairman, Mr. Toby Eady

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It’s with great sadness that we announce that MBL’s board chairman, Mr. Toby Eady, has passed away on the 24th, December, after losing his battle with cancer.

As an accomplished literary agent, Toby represented authors such as Bernard Cornwall, John Carey, Patrick Marnham, and Rachel Seiffert. He was widely respected for his knowledge and insights on writers from China and the Middle East, and represented Jung Chang’s Wild Swans and all the works by Xinran, his wife and also the MBL founder.

Since the foundation of MBL, Toby has been one of its most passionate and devoted advocates and supporters. He attended numerous MBL events and hosted volunteers from different countries in his house. He visited China with Xinran and other MBLers many times to help with the Books for Kids project, which has now set up 23 libraries in rural China.

Toby was keen on introducing more Chinese writers to the West. He co-organized “Open Eyes to China,” where he took Western publishers and literary agents to China multiple times to strengthen the communication between the West and China in regards to publishing and translation. He also played a key role in launching the Southern International Literary and Publishing Festival in China.

To many MBLers, Toby was a nurturing and caring father figure, as well as a mentor and a friend. They called him affectionately, datuo, the Big Toby. In addition to books, Toby enjoyed watching soccer and the news, taking long walks in Hyde Park, spending time with his authors and friends, and discussing everything related to China with Xinran.

We’re extremely saddened by Toby’s passing and miss him tremendously. His spirit and wisdom will remain with us forever.

To honor Toby and to celebrate his legacy, we invite you to donate to MBL. Please include in your note specifying that the fund is in memory of Toby Eady. Your kindness and support will help make a big difference. Thank you!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May your days be filled with joy, love, peace, and gratitude during this holiday season. We’re deeply grateful for your support and involvement, and look forward to another wonderful year ahead.

If you would like to make a donation, please visit here.

(A big Thank You to MBL volunteers Angela YANG & Jessica ZHANG for designing the card.)

 

MBL 2018 New Year Greetings

 

MBL 2018 Yearly Plan

MBL 2018 Yearly Plan

The Mothers’ Bridge of Love

(MBL Charity Registration No. 1105543)

MBL 3 Bridges: Between Birth and Adoptive Culture, Between China and the West, Between the Poor and the Rich

Sharing Chinese culture, helping Chinese children.

Head Office: 9 Orme Court, London, W2 4RL, UK

website: www.mothersbridge.org

email: headoffice@mothersbridge.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Mothers-Bridge-of-Love-MBL-母爱桥-304860622922897

Chinaese Weibo: http://www.weibo.com/mbllondon/home?wvr=5

Wechat: mbllondon_2004

Season

Social Media

(Fan WU, Leo, Frank, Chloe)

sailingwu@gmail.com

liuhaochong@hotmail.com

pzg@sino-uk.org

chloe.young@hotmail.com

UK CACH / V&A MOC Events

(Ping LIN, Patrick, Yanhua, Yuyang ZHANG)

pinglin999@hotmail.com

chenzhihao931107@hotmail.com

xiaomanyi@gmail.com

joyce.xu2008@gmail.com

China Volunteer Centre

(Julie ZHU, PZG)

juliezhu34@hotmail.com

headoffice@mothersbridge.org

pzg@sino-uk.org

2018

Q1

Jan to March

  1. Continue with Global Calendar and regular update on website
  2. Continue with FB, Twitter and Wechat coverage
  3. Discuss with Frank, Leo about details for the new website: design, art, content, banners
  4. Work with other leaders for a New Year message
  5. New member training
  6. More translators are needed

MBL & MOC Chinese New Year event on 10th , Feburay, 2018.

Porgrammes including:

  1. Invite children to write wishes and holiday messages on a red ribbon, which they can put inside a red pocket bag and take home
  2. Teach children how to say their wishes in Chinese
  3. Exhibit the artwork from schools in Nanjing and the audience can vote for their favorite art
  4. Dress up party for children
  5. A show of mental calculation with Chinese abacuses

Performances include: Chinese music instruments, Chinese tea cermony, lion dance, singing, Chinese folk dance, tai chi and martial arts, etc.

MBL supports CACH adoptive family’s yearly gathering

CACH CONTACT (Chairman)

Mr Kieron Wilkinson

kieron_wilkinson@ymail.com

Team leader: Ping LIN & Bin TIAN

  1. MBL Chinese New Year Party
  2. 2017 Books for Kids project report
  3. Thank-you notes for volunteers who have joined 2018 B4K donation activities
  4. MBL website update

2018

Q2

April to June

  1. Global Calendar
  2. FB, Twitter and Wechat
  3. decide on the website redesign plan and launch it if it’s ready.
  4. Regular website update and maintenance
  5. More volunteers and training

MBL volunteer yearly training by Xinran

  1. MBL 2018 B4K research
  2. MBL NT cultural education research
  3. Prepare for CN students’s visit of the UK and confirm their trip (date/expenses/schedule) 

2018

Q3

July to Sep

  1. Global Calendar
  2. FB, Twitter and Wechat
  3. Collect feedback on the new website, improve quality and work on new features 
  4. Regular website update and maintaince
  5. More volunteers and training

Summer event with MOC

Moon festival event with MOC (Need to confirm with MOC about budget.)

  1. CN students visit the UK
  2. MBL family visit the UK
  3. Collect books for B4K

2018

Q4

Oct to Dec

  1. Global Calendar
  2. FB, Twitter and Wechat
  3. continue monitoring the website performance and work with other teams on new features
  4. regular website update and maintaince
  5. more volunteers and training
  1. 2018 yearly report
  2. 2019 MBL work plan of events
  3. MBL volunteer yearly training by Xinran
  1. Collect books for B4K
  2. Build more MBL libaries
  3. 2018 reports
  4. 2019 work plan of events
  5. MBL Yearly Gathering at Volunteer Center

HEARTFELT THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT TO MBL

SHARING CHINESE CULTRE FOR CHILDREN! XIEXIE NIN!

MBL volunteers from more than 20 countries all over the world joined MBL Team and participated in MBL projects and events. Every year MBL needs MORE VOLUNTEERS to lead and support our projects and events. If you would like to participate in any MBL on-going Projects mentioned above or become one of the Project Leaders, please do not hesitate to contact the team leader or headoffice@mothersbridge.org


MBL Project Policy and Records

(MBL Head Office must have all of Points step by step on time)

— 3 Points of setting up a Plan

(You should NOT start working on the Plan until MBL Head Office confirms it. Thanks!)

a, MBL minute (team’s idea/decision, simple 5Ws: When/Where/Who/What/How)

b, The programme (ideas for MBL Head Office’s meeting, detailed 5 Ws)

c, A policy of your budget (cost, cover, gain) and its fundraising possibility

— 3 Points of Working Plan

(You should confirm all of these with Head Office before you send them out)

a, (1.5 months before) working timetable (with office/partners/MBL volunteers) + networking with office (VIP/Media/Students/Others)

b, (1 month before) invitation/poster sending (@, mails, handing)

c, (1 week before) final programme/timetable for guests + final day schedule for volunteers

— 3 Points of the Records

(MBL Head Office needs these in one-week time after each project)

a, (1 week after) work report of the activities (based on 5 Ws)

b, (1 week after) news for MBL web/Facebook/Weibo/Twitter/Wechat (500 words with more photos/videos)

c, (1 week after) a statement of cost/gain  (with all receipts and signed at least by two people)

General Guidance for MBL Volunteers working with Children/Adoptive Families

Since this might be the first time for some of MBL volunteers to be with MBL adoptive families (a very special group), for Child Safety, Security, Privacy, and Sensitivity purpose, we introduce a general guidance to MBL volunteers during events/activities involving children (including young people under the age of 18 years) and families below. 

Please read the contents below carefully:

 

You SHOULD:

• Always be aware of the Fire Exit before events/activities start

• Maintain a Child Safety environment for children

• Treat children with respect, listen to and value their ideas and opinions and protect their well-being

• Be considerate in your actions through your use of language, presentation, manner and punctuality

• Respect the privacy of children and their families and only disclose information to people who have a need to know.

You SHOULD NOT:

• Use prejudice, sensitive words such as “abandon”, or any oppressive behaviour or language with children

• Give advice or suggestion on adoptive families’ decision on searching for birth parents or their relationship with birth parents… If adoptive families ask for this, them you should forward their enquiries to MBL Head Office.

• Share children & families’ photos through your personal networks

• Discriminate on the basis of age, gender, race, culture, vulnerability or sexuality.

• Initiate unnecessary physical contact with children or do things of a personal nature that children can do for themselves.

• Enquiry about children/families’ contact details and develop ‘special’ relationships with specific children/families for your personal gains or your own needs

• Have contact with children/families outside of the MBL’s programs.