Wenjing and Wenya: Proud Sisters who Consider Themselves Lucky
China, May 2015
Wenjing and Wenya are twin sisters enrolled at Chongshi Girls’ High School in Zhenjiang. Wenjing considers her and her sister “two quiet girls,” just like the meaning of their names. She says they are “lucky” not only because they are twins, but because she and her sister are sponsored by “warmhearted Americans”. Some people consider themselves lucky when they win something big, but for these two girls, luck translates as being able to continue their education.
Their father earns minimal money that barely makes ends meet. The twins’ mother farms, but what she grows is only enough for the family of four to eat. They also support the girls’ grandparents.
Sending a child to school would be a challenge under these circumstances, let alone sending a set of twins at the same time. This placed great burden on the family who reached out to their relatives for help. There was much relief for their parents when the girls were admitted to high school and matched with a child sponsor at the same time. Wenjing recalls how it also came as a great relief to her and her sister because they felt that they had in a way helped out and relieved some of the burden on the family.
Wenjing explains, “I feel happy to be in the same school and the same class with my twin sister. It is really good to have a twin sister around me. But it was a bit challenging for our teachers because sometimes they mistake us for each other.”
The girls joined clubs at school based on their individual interests and find it fun to try new things. Wenya participated in the flower arranging club. Wenjing chose the Spanish club.
“Our Spanish teacher is Maria, from Spain. She taught Spanish in America for three years and she will stay in China for one year. We like her very much. Now I can speak a little Spanish. Hopefully, next semester I will have time to go on learning Spanish.”
The girls describe life at the Chongshi girls’ school as different from co-ed schools. “At this school we feel quite quiet and more focused. It’s really a totally new experience for us,” Wenjing wrote.
Both girls are proud to be able to study at a school which celebrated its 130th Anniversary and lists Pearl S. Buck as a former student and teacher. The girls enjoyed a grand anniversary celebration that was held at the school with many alumni from China and abroad in attendance. Pearl S. Buck International President and CEO Janet Mintzer who is an honorary principal at the school in Zhenjiang attended the celebration.
The girls are working hard to make their sponsors proud.
“My sister and I are really grateful for our sponsors and Pearl S. Buck International. With your help, we can enjoy a colorful school life. With your support, we believe we can do better at school! Thank you!”