When Wai Jia was 18 years old, a five-week visit to a children's home in Nepal changed her life.
Amidst bomb blasts, curfews, water and power cuts, she was moved by the exuberant joy and audacious dreams of 30 young girls who had been orphaned, abused and abandoned.
Due to rising rental costs, the girls were evicted from their premises yearly, disrupting their education and their lives.
What they really needed was a permanent place to call home.
Touched by the radical love of their house parents, Wai Jia wished she could do more.
As the children shared with her their dreams to become teachers and doctors, a tiny dream birthed in her to write and illustrate a picture book, to raise funds for their needs.
Yet, she felt so small - how would it happen? Who would even publish, let alone read her book?
Through what she believes to be God's miraculous provision, Kitesong was published in 2006, when she was 19.
Within six months, more than $100,000 was raised through Kitesong to build a new home for the children.
Today, more than ten years later, many of the girls have graduated and fulfilled their dreams.
Some are teachers, some are doing bookkeeping. One is now a nurse.
Two have become mothers, with baby girls around the age of Wai Jia's.
These are photos of (almost!) the same girls, sitting in nearly the same positions, 10 years apart.
Since then, Wai Jia has travelled to over 20 countries for various humanitarian trips.
She has continued to paint and write picture books, which have each raised funds and awareness for needy causes, to catalyze change and transform communities.
In 2018, Wai Jia started Kitesong Global in USA, a non-profit social venture that uses the power of narrative and illustration to spur civic engagement, promote social justice and catalyze change in communities.
Kitesong represents the dreams we each have to make a difference to others, to help others fly and sing their own kitesongs.
It is Wai Jia's prayer that these stories will inspire those who dream of making a difference to others to take that first step.
With prayer and hard work,
many things are possible.