From Our Founder
Welcome! I’m very excited to announce that Dr. Olivia Wei Li is the new Secretary General of the Philip Hayden Foundation in China. Olivia will oversee all of our projects and programs in China, the centerpiece of which is 7Acres, located on the campus of Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village in Tianjin. 7Acres provides life skill and vocational training to orphans who have aged out of China’s adoption system at 14 years old. Our 7Acres team will provide therapy, education and training to those teens, with the goal of finding them jobs and guiding them to independent lives.
Experience in Nursing
Dr. Li comes to us with more than 20 years of international nursing, teaching and leadership experience in China, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Dr. Li gained her nursing and teaching experience through a wide variety of settings, including intensive care unit, acute surgical-medical, orthopedic/trauma, long-term care, occupational and community health in both public and private sectors. She obtained her Master’s degree in nursing in the United Kingdom and her Doctorate degree in Global Executive Education Leadership at the University of Southern California. She holds numerous qualifications and active licenses as a registered nurse in the U.S., Canada and the UK; an adult education certificate and certification as an Occupational Health Nurse.
Experience in Higher Education
Dr. Li’s contribution to higher education, teaching, nursing and the wider healthcare field are substantial. She is highly regarded for her work and regularly called upon for her expertise, and has established and maintained influential connections in multiple international nursing networks, education institutions, healthcare facilities and non-profit organizations. She is fluent in Mandarin and English, and has a passion to serve the teens and young adults at 7Acres.
Dr. Li was originally scheduled to arrive in China at our 7Acres campus on April 1, but due to the coronavirus, her starting date has been delayed. The Chinese government has restricted entry into the country for foreign travelers, including those holding a valid work visa. As a result, we’re now waiting for the doors to reopen and for the travel restriction to be lifted. Once that happens and it becomes safe again for air travel, we’ll reschedule Dr. Li’s arrival.
Offering 25 Years of Hope
By Tim Baker
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Philip Hayden Foundation’s work in China. In our very humble beginnings in 1995, our team was made up of my wife Pam, our four daughters – Bekka, Sarah, Rachel and Esther – and me. We began with family projects at local government orphanages, mostly by purchasing things they needed. These included washing machines, baby formula, diapers, beds, blankets and toys for the children to play with. After four years of getting to know the people and kids at these orphanages, we felt we could do more.
Langfang Children’s Village
We opened our first foster home in Langfang in partnership with the Tianjin Social Welfare Institute. That home would soon become five homes and the beginning of the Langfang Children’s Village (LCV) – with a school and a clinic – serving between 80 and 100 special-needs orphans daily. A few years later in 2002, the government in Dawanggu Village in Tianjin donated seven acres of land to us, and we began the construction of Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV), which opened in the spring of 2006. By 2008 we closed LCV, and all the kids from there moved to SFCV.
Over the past 25 years, we’ve seen lives changed and transformed. Not just the kids’ lives, but those of our staff, volunteers, interns, guests and adoptive families. I can testify that my own life has been forever changed by being a part of these amazing kids’ lives. Most of them were born with a disability – some minor and others life-threatening – and abandoned by their families.
25 Years of Love and Acceptance
That would be enough trauma to sideline any of us, but witnessing their courage, strength and determination to overcome huge obstacles has always made me feel foolish whenever I’d complain about my own circumstances. The kids have opened my eyes and revealed a whole new world to me through their eyes. Like all of us, they just want to be loved and accepted – and that’s exactly what we’ve attempted every day for more than 20 years.
Now as we move to the next phase of our work and focus on those orphans who have aged out of the government system, we’re confident that they too will have their lives changed through our love and acceptance. Our mission is always to help them become who they’re destined to be, living fruitful independent lives.
Delayed, Not Stopped
Though the coronavirus has delayed most of the citizens of the world’s plans in 2020, we know that we will soon overcome, and our plans will get back on track. The virus restrictions in China are already beginning to lift as people try to get back to some level of normalcy.
Let’s endure these trying times and fight the virus together, then let’s get back to work! Thank you for hanging in there with us – we appreciate your continued love and support for China’s orphans.
Partners in Hope
Our mission is to provide compassionate medical care, therapy and education to orphans in China – and that’s unchanged. But the type of resources needed for these vulnerable children has changed – and so have the methods to effectively meet those needs. At this time, our Child Sponsorship Program is concluding. The children have lived in their respective provinces of origin for more than a year, and it has become much more challenging to stay individually connected with them, as the policies in China have continued to evolve.
To offer stability in the midst of ever-changing laws and situations, we’ve developed a new recurring giving program called Partners in Hope that will ensure that your generous donations are maximized in their effectiveness. You’ll now choose which fund(s) to support with your recurring donations: Bright Stars Therapy, 7Acres (vocational training), Medical or our General Fund. Visit our Partners In Hope page read more!