This article first appeared in the Straits Times on December 6, 2015:
Mrs Jenny Bowen considers herself truly lucky.
She believes she has found out quite early in her life why she was put on this Earth.
“I have come to understand a simple truth. The most fundamental thing that defines us as human is our need to love and be loved,” she says.
She feels blessed that she has found a simple way to teach vulnerable children – deprived for whatever reason – what love feels like, how to overcome adversity and how to realise their potential.
It led her to set up Half the Sky, a non-profit organisation dedicated to enriching the lives of orphaned and abandoned children in China through model programmes and caregiver training.
As the 70-year-old remembers it, her life changed forever in 1998 when she was in her kitchen in her Los Angeles home looking out into her garden.
Her three-year-old daughter, Maya, adopted from an orphanage in Guangzhou a year earlier, had morphed from a sickly, silent and shut-down child into a happy toddler secure in the knowledge that she was loved.