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2024 March Heartbeat

health care worker talks with a mexican woman attending a free health fair

From the Heart

The weather in March is tumultuous, fluctuating from gusty winds, a few inches of snow or heavy rains, or even a few sun-kissed afternoons with gentle warmth. Overall, the wild weather in March signifies hope to me – a new season is arriving!

Changes are taking place in China right now, economically and socially. China is experiencing economic woes post-pandemic, just like most of the world. Many young people are jobless, with China reporting a 15% unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds, excluding 62 million students. The population in China declined for the second consecutive year, partly due to a record-low birth rate. Coupled with an aging population, this means the workforce is shrinking. China’s economy grew by 5.2% in 2023, one of the lowest economic performances in recent decades, but still outpacing much of Europe. The government continues to address the issues, including the case of children aging out of institutional care.

The new emphasis on helping individuals with disabilities through government programs and local charities is a positive sign of change. Most of the orphans aging out of institutional care have disabilities and require training and support to reach a level of independence.

This year, the Philip Hayden Foundation is pleased to support one local charity with a program called Buns of Joy. Filled with compassion for the discouraged individuals with disabilities who did not have a job, one woman dreamed of opening a business that could train and employ some, providing hope. She set about to start a company that could be self-sustaining while providing jobs for those with disabilities.

She opened a bakery offering steamed buns – and called it Buns of Joy. After a successful first year, she is ready to expand. PHF is partnering with Buns of Joy to hire three more individuals: one social worker (who is a baker) and two individuals with disabilities.

You can help support this project in China! Check out Stories of Hope to learn more!

More Than Just Checkups: How a Health Fair Benefits Families in Yucatán

Every month, in a different location near Mérida, our local partner hosts a free health clinic. But why is a health fair needed?

In the state of Yucatán, two leading causes of death are heart disease and diabetes. A healthcare provider can identify these diseases with simple screening, like blood pressure checks and blood sugar tests. Catching these diseases in the early stages allows for better management and prevention of complications. Even more importantly, lifestyle changes keep the diseases under control. The educational part of the health fair is a crucial component – knowing what to change to prolong life.

health care worker discuses health screening with mexican woman

Philip Hayden Foundation cares about kids. So why support a health fair where the target group is adults? While the target group of the health fair may be adults, the impact extends to families and children. Preventing the early death of a parent can have profound effects on a child’s life, reducing the risk of poverty, educational setbacks, and malnutrition. Supporting the health fair aligns with the Philip Hayden Foundation’s focus on children’s well-being by addressing the root causes of family instability and hardship.

Providing a free meal at the health fair encourages attendance and promotes the idea of health as a family affair. Making the event a fun family day encourages participation and reinforces the importance of healthy behaviors for the whole family. Because of the time and expense, many attendees would not otherwise see a doctor.

Hosting a health fair in Yucatán is not just about addressing the immediate health needs of adults but also about promoting long-term community health, preventing family instability, and ultimately improving the well-being of children and families. Your support is instrumental in transforming lives and creating a healthier future for the community. You are transforming lives through PHF!

Renovation Readies Clinic for Opening

Our partners in China are making significant progress on renovating building space for a future pediatric therapy clinic. PHF is calling this project Blossom, and we need your help. The funds for the renovation are in place, and now that the Spring Festival is complete, work will continue. The space should be ready for equipment by the end of March, with the first children receiving therapy later this spring.

March is Disability Awareness Month and Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Children with CP, whether their muscle tone is too tight or too lax, benefit from regular therapy. More families in China are choosing to take on the challenge of raising their children with disabilities or even adopting a child with disabilities. However, the resources for medical care are still limited and often too expensive for families. Blossom will provide pediatric therapy and solicit subsidies for children who cannot afford the upkeep. Visit us on Instagram or Facebook to keep up on the progress! Choose our Medical Fund for China to support Blossom!

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