In China, eighty percent of the citizens live in rural areas, especially in Henan Province. This area is one of the poorest areas in China, with the annual income amounting to about $80 U.S. dollars a year per family. Life is difficult there: most people farm to support their families, and many peasant farmers struggle to pay leases on their land and their homes. In the mid-1990s, a large number of people in the area made money by selling their blood to private companies, who then sold it to clinics. Unfortunately, many people contracted HIV/AIDS through repeated use of contaminated needles when giving blood to these private blood collectors.
Since 2004 Global Ministries has been working in this area with a small humanitarian non-governmental organization, Zhecheng Succor Society. One area of support is the Housing Project
Homes were already unstable from age and the elements and many were further damaged or destroyed by rains and flooding in the region in 2005-2006. People in the area were unable to repair or rebuild their homes due to a lack of funds and a lack of physical ability because of the effects of HIV/AIDS. Each house generally requires between $500 and $2,000 for materials. Transportation of materials to the building site is increasingly expensive as fuel costs rise. Homes may cost as much as $5,000 depending on the availability of volunteer labor or the size of the family they need to accommodate. Often, neighbors from the villages provide the labor. They felt that if people from the United States were so kind to help their neighbors so far away, they could do something for their neighbors close to home.
Recently, Global Ministries has received information about several houses for families affected by HIV/AIDS in Henan, China. These are their stories:
An elderly farming couple ages 73 and 74, care for two grandchildren, one age 15 and the other age 18. In 2004-2006, two of the couple's sons and one daughter-in-law died as a result of AIDS. They became infected by selling blood to earn money for their family. With the aid of funds for the Henan Province Housing Project, they are building a 700 square foot house, utilizing some usable old materials and additional new materials.
Global Ministries helped fulfill the dream of another farming couple – to leave a simple house for their two teenage sons. Both husband and wife died of AIDS, leaving the home to their sons.
The photos below show the old "open air" house and the new house made possible with funds through Global Ministries.
A third family was able to build a new home with the help of Global Ministries. Notice the old home does not have glass in the windows, and soot on the bricks above the window are evidence that the window served as ventilation for any cooking and heating. The new home is labeled "CGMB" as a tribute to the Common Global Ministries Board, or Global Ministries.