Lost in translation

One of the enigma's of China for me is the popularity of “Hello Kitty”; a Japanese brand of rather fluffy accessories, that are so soft centred that “cute” does not come close to the saccharine sweetness of the “Hello Kitty” image. Still, I don't think I was the chosen demographic for the brand anyway so my failure to be smitten by the “HK lifestyle” has not dented at all the profitability of the cmpany. I don't think the women who run most of the 13 projects associated with the upcoming “Sweeten the Pot” appeal are natural Hello Kitty fans either. Most are too poor to waste money on branded items, and if one were to find the brand in their environs, it is because the received a donation of this or that product. However, somewhat to my surprise they clearly are Hello Kitty fellow travelers. Chinese Chinese Charities tend to lather on the sweetness when naming their projects. “Love” appears so often as to, to this reader at least, to be devalued. I encourage a more robust naming convention, but even the most casual perusal of the thirteen projects will see that in this I have singularly failed. I suspect the problem is cultural, and as the main audience is Chinese speaking, I hardly can complain. However to you, gentle English speaking reader, don't be fooled. These are not cotton candy projects, they are making real difference in the lives of real people in need. Let me take only one example. Bright Eyes a cataract project is run by Sr. Zhang, a feisty lady if ever there was one. A convert, Sr Zhang runs a hospital in a county level city you have never heard of though it has doubled its population to 150,000 + since 1990. Such galloping development leaves many behind and the reality of socialized medicine in China is that an operation costing €200 is beyond the means of the (now semi) rural elderly. How “cute” is that! Tong de hospital is attempting to address those people by offering free surgeries as part of a bigger programme run by BRICKS partner Jinde Charities. All thirteen projects deal with similar gritty realities that is not captured in the clunky english translation. However I have chosen not to radically revise the English names and hope that you will see beyond the cutesy and clunky English and ensure by your support that the good work of these impressive people, won't get lost in translation. BRICKS building a great wall of charity in China brick by brick donations

These are the projects that you will be helping
if you “sweeten the pot”.
There are fuller descriptions (in Chinese) as well as, for those who use “Wechat”,  an opportunity to donate to individual projects here

Grandpa and grandma let's move up
Jinde Elderly Home, Xingtai
Serving the poor lonely elders to live in the eldely homes in Xingtai

Bending fate efforts to return
Liming family of Biancun, Xingtai
Securing the long term care of disabled children in Biancun Liming Family

Hand in hand support love of sailing
Mianyang elderly home
Bring stimulus to the routines of the elderly by providing extra events

Warmly sending by home visiting
Vincentian Famliy, Shuangshu-Tianjin
Brightening the lives of families left behind in Shuangshu, Tianjin

Warmly sending by home visiting
Sacred Heart of Jesus Sisters, Shannxi
Bring warmly care to the people left behind in Shannxi

Offer the seniors have a happy easter
Sigao elderly home
Cheering up the lives of housebound seniors from a base at Daming Sigao elderly home

For sightseeing by Tianji buses
Tianji Social Service
Organize the elderly people together reguarly, give them special love and help them establish a friendship for each other

Let's wave the red ribbon for rescuing the new life
Xiaoming star centre
Supporting people living with HIV AIDS and allowing the mot see they are not abandoned.

Bright eyes
Tongde hospital in Shanxi
Changing the lives of those with cataracts, giving those too poor for the operation a chance to see.

Would you like to take a snail for a walk
Tian Yuan Yizhi training school
Ensuring that Special Needs Children have the self confidence and skills to take their rightful place in society

Special loves to parents on Mother's day
Xin lian xin social service
Ensuring that seniors with families far away, especially mothers, are not left out at festival time

Special loves to the children who have lost
The Ark of charity in Yanjiao
Nurturing neglected children in Yanjiao town

Warmly sending to lonely seniors by home visiting
Vincentian family Nanhe group
Allowing seniors to stay in their own homes by offering day care services.