Your support saved “Li Mei,” a third daughter, from being given away!
When our fieldworker found out about Li Mei, she was four months old. She is the third daughter of a poor farming family in rural China. Third daughters are even more unlucky than second daughters. They are often aborted or given away.
The parents of Li Mei are in their forties, and never expected to have a third child. They both believed Li Mei’s mom was too old to become pregnant again.
When Li Mei’s mom found out she was pregnant, she was both delighted and terrified. Delighted because if her third child would be a son, she would be able to face her neighbors without shame. Terrified because she has asthma and was afraid that at her age she might die in childbirth. “Will I lose my life if I give birth to a child at such an old age?” she worried.
Both parents expected the baby to be a boy. They agreed to follow through with the pregnancy, despite the risks.
When Li Mei was born, they were extremely disappointed. She was not the son they had hoped for. Instead, she was an unwanted third daughter. Raising two daughters was already difficult enough, without adding a third.
To make matters worse, the COVID lockdowns had prevented them from selling any of the produce from their vegetable greenhouse, and they had lost all their savings. Due to the financial pressure, Li Mei’s parents considered sending her to a distant relative who did not have a daughter. But they hesitated because Li Mei is a very sweet girl, quiet and no trouble at all.
While Li Mei’s parents struggled to decide whether to give her away, our field worker visited them! She told them how important it is to keep the family together. She also told them that girls are as good as boys, and pointed out that in China, more and more girls are supporting their elderly parents better than boys.
Li Mei’s parents decided not to give her away. They said that our Save-a-Girl campaign has given them the encouragement, confidence and funds they need to raise all three daughters themselves.