Dr. Joyce Hill, a family medical practitioner, and her husband, Robin, began with a desire to help the Child Welfare Institutes in China in the work that they do caring for abandoned babies. The Hills have done this by providing personal care and seeking medical treatment for sick children, surgical interventions for those with correctable needs, and loving care for those requiring a palliative approach.
The Hills are Christians and believe that these children are very special to God. The Hills came to China with their two youngest (of seven) children in 1994. They also adopted a special-needs little girl, now called Kaitlyn Jayne, who was born in Tianjin in August 1999.
Robin, a British citizen, worked for a Swedish engineering company as one of their senior managers. Joyce, an Australian citizen, worked with the medical clinic at International SOS in Beijing as a family doctor. After being in China for four years, Robin resigned from his company with twenty years of service to help his wife set up a foster home.
With permission from the Beijing Child Welfare Institute, the Hills began taking children into their home in February 2000 in a small village southeast of Beijing. In November 2002, they started work on what would become New Hope Foundation’s Hope Healing Home in Beiwu, in the Shunyi district of Beijing. This new home cared for 26 babies at that time. This was done under New Hope Foundation Limited, which is a registered charity in Hong Kong and is wholly owned by Robin and Joyce Hill. In February 2003, New Hope Foundation began to support Sai Qi Foster Home, run by Ms. Xu, by raising funds and arranging for medical care for their children. This was handed over to Harvard China Care after approximately 18 months. Starting in 2004, the Outreach Foster Program, in conjunction with Love Without Boundaries, helped to extend the care of the children by placing them into local Chinese family homes. This program continued for the next eight years.
The Work Expands
In January 2005, New Hope Foundation opened a palliative care unit in Jiaozuo, Henan Province. This unit was designed to care for up to 36 babies who were severely disabled and not expected to live. The goal was “to comfort always, to relieve often, and to save sometimes.” In September 2006, New Hope Foundation opened its second palliative care unit in Luoyang, also in the Henan Province. This unit was designed to care for up to 45 babies who, as in Jiaozuo, had significant medical conditions and were in need of palliative care.
In October 2006, in conjunction with Love Without Boundaries, a small nine-bed “step-up, step-down” unit was opened. This unit was inside the New Hope Foundation Hope Healing Home and was called the “Heartbridge Unit.” It was used to care for medically vulnerable infants immediately following surgery, as well as those children awaiting surgery. During 2007, this was increased to 18 beds. The Xinyang Special Care Unit also opened in October 2007. This unit also cared for up to 18 babies with severe disabilities, many of whom were not expected to live. The babies who came into the unit were comforted and fed, and if they did not survive, they passed away in a loving environment. The babies who survived were cared for in the chronic care areas and received the very best care and physical therapy possible.
In 2009, with the generous help of Show Hope, a six-story, 5,820-square-meter facility opened as part of the Chinese government’s Blue Sky Project with the goal of upgrading the Luoyang Child Welfare Institute’s facilities. Luoyang initially cared for 140 babies in three groups: palliative care, long-term chronic care, and operable conditions. In August 2010, again with support from Show Hope, a unit was opened inside the Zhengzhou Child Welfare Institute. By year’s end, the Zhengzhou location was caring for 45 babies. A new floor was added in 2014, allowing for 105 beds at full capacity.
July 2011 saw New Hope Foundation being allowed to register a Representative Office with the China Ministry of Civil Affairs, putting the organization in a strong position going forward. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to be working with the Civil Affairs Office.
In July 2015, a unit was opened in Nanyang with the help of Show Hope to care for 36 babies. As in the units that came before it, these children have had severe medical conditions, and some were not expected to live.
The Next Chapters
During 2016, it became necessary to reduce the size of some of the centers in Henan Province due to funding constraints. The unit in Xinyang was closed, and since the Jiaozuo location had a very low admission rate, it was reduced from 36 beds to 12. Luoyang was restricted to housing children only on the first three floors due to revised fire regulations.
When new regulations began to affect the whole of China in 2019, New Hope Foundation was no longer able to care for children in the Beijing Hope Healing Home. All the children were required to leave, and the facility continued to function as the main administrative office.
The Hope Continues
In early 2020, New Hope Foundation experienced several significant changes. First, founders Dr. Joyce and Robin Hill retired to Australia, and in January, Dr. Steve Martin began leading New Hope Foundation as the new CEO. Originally a family practice physician from Texas, Dr. Martin moved to China with his family back in 2010 to help Dr. Joyce care for the children.
In addition to a shift in leadership, the Covid pandemic meant that basic daily care with minimal staff movements became our normal operating practice for almost the whole of 2020. Fortunately, no staff or child in our care contracted Covid.
Show Hope completed its financial commitment to New Hope Foundation in the summer, and we remain exceedingly thankful for the years of support and partnership with them. Generous supporters have since assisted New Hope Foundation to be able to continue operating.
With considerable changes in 2020, it is by God’s grace that the work of New Hope Foundation goes on. Wonderful staff, priceless children, and generous supporters all contribute to our hope of not only continuing but of being able to care for even more children in the years to come as God wills.
As more funding and prayer support become available, we are in a good position to expand our reach and to care for more children. Please join us by donating and/or praying.