Daytripping with Friends from Baoji
Remember the Baoji Children’s Center? MSF ended our management of the project March 31, and it was reborn as Baoji Xinxing Aid for Street Kids, to our knowledge the first domestic NGO serving the needs of street children to be registered and recognized in China. As you can imagine, I’m rather proud of this and of my role in encouraging and supporting the staff to push for this outcome to MSF’s exit from the project.
Managing Xinxing now are our former national staff colleagues, advised by the former FieldCo for MSF, who’s chosen to stay on for some time to help the new NGO get up and running, establish a stable funding stream, and hopefully find ways to make this model viable for other regions of China, by reducing costs while maintaining appropriate quality and so on – essentially making it a development project, away from its roots in a humanitarian aid organization. In any case: I remain in touch with the center, and last week I hosted a visit from Margaret, the now-consultant. At the same time my Baoji friend Davey – who showed me around Xi’an last December – took up my invitation to visit Beijing. He’s just graduated from technical school in Xi’an, and is spending the summer volunteering at the center before continuing his studies in a related field in Xi’an.
I used their visit as an excuse for an overnight excursion, which ended with the Qing tombs you’ve been seeing, but which began with a bus ride to Jixian, the nearest town to the tombs (50km) and an overnight in a lovely courtyard building there. Here we are enjoying our bus ride and a beery dinner after the late bus arrival in Jixian.