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June 1998


Goodwill Hiking

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A group of Canadians from the Bruce Trail Hiking Club hiking in the Yellow Mountain region of southern China in 1995 asked the hospitable local people if they could visit their school.

The group, which included a number of teachers, watched and listened as the children learned some basic English phrases in a tiny classroom. On one wall of the room was a remarkable painting. The group inquired about it and soon discovered the artist was one of the students – a shy and withdrawn boy named Li.

The group discovered the reason for the boy’s shyness – he was severely deaf, and had been since the age of five. The hikers pulled some strings to get Li’s hearing tested and eventually, helped him get fitted with a hearing aid. Today, at 15, Li is enrolled at the College of Art in China.

And so begins the story of the China Children Hearing Aid Foundation. Since it first met Li, the CCHAF has helped more than 100 hearing-impaired children in China. Where many live in impoverished conditions, it is nothing short of a miracle, according to Tony Pau who has spearheaded the cause. In 1996, 60 hearing aids were presented to the city of Huang Shan, all donated by Canadians from across the country.

For more information about the CCHAF, or to inquire about hiking tours in China this summer, visit www.china-hiking.com , or call (416) 605-7479.