Ms. Christina Chua (Co-Founder / Chief Executive Officer)
It seemed like yesterday when Joseph, my brother, and I were walking down the street of Luoyang (Henan) looking for the “source” of baby cries that might direct us to find the local orphanage. We finally found the Children Welfare Institute, which housed over 400 abandoned disabled orphans – there born our Luoyang Family Anew Foster Care Program. Fast-forward 20 years, we saw hundreds of them find homes to call their own, experience tender loving care from parents, recognize their values, and for many, a chance to build toward their future through education.
I was mesmerized when thinking back on this journey of faith, and I marveled at the process over those years as we witnessed each person’s life change through our humble platform. To me, it’s a life worth living and with no regret.
One of our supporters once exclaimed after he visited and saw the sponsored children and family in our Luoyang program and said excitedly, “You and Joseph are planting “LOVE-bombs” (meaning the children with disabilities) throughout the villages in Luoyang! “Bombs” are destructive, but we understood what he meant. He explicitly understood the “explosive” power of charity hidden in the seemingly insignificant and neglected life of a disabled child.
After placing the first group of merely eleven disabled, orphaned toddlers into the initially selected and screened peasant foster families in the first village, fifty more children successfully gained their new families in the same town. After lining up to be screened, hundreds more became the chosen ones to embrace the once-abandoned disabled children. Many who thought it was an impossible task at the start attempting to rehome disabled orphans in a society where the traditional Chinese culture deemed disabilities as curses experienced the breakthrough. Outflowing from these children were fountains of joy and blessings to their family-anew for the following decade. Indeed, they were Love-bombs.
Extending from this life-changing river of hope, we came to connect with another ill-fated crowd, namely children in hardship due to various family tragedies. Little that I could ever imagine, our program for those misfortune youngsters gained recognition from the Central Government of China and named the collaborated Children Welfare Institute one of the four “program models” for children’s welfare nationwide.
Elated by all praises and accomplishments over the last two decades, I am more than ever before humbled by the realization that one’s life can dramatically and positively change other people’s lives simply by one act-of-kindness at-a-time and one day at a time. I shall never regret choosing an “other-center” life…it is indeed worth living despite unprecedented challenges.
As we advance, we are again on another pioneering journey, and this time, we are back in our birthplace, Hong Kong. In the last five years, we have seen some imperiling changes affecting this densely populated metropolitan city. People were shaken and torn apart to the core socially, economically, psychologically, emotionally, and physically. The quake extended to every fabric of Hong Kong into every family, community, and entire society. Effective communication seemed to wither and cease, especially with the young generation. We found a slow-to-recognize but promising solution, AAI (Animal Assisted Intervention). The unfamiliarity of the people in Hong Kong with AAI is our new challenge as we establish our new milestone, the HI (Human-animal Interactive/Interventional) Partner Program. The 21 years of CEO journey was challenging yet full of grace and memorable moments. We shall embrace the coming decades with our heads held high, knowing that many loving hearts like you surround us. Our one-act-of-Love at a time will ensure freedom to uncountable imprisoned young souls in Hong Kong through partnering with the trustworthy fur companions at CEO. Let’s celebrate, reflect and plan for the many years to come!