In May 2017, staff of AFD China joined hands Morning Light in volunteering activities
May 2017 - on a beautiful Saturday in spring, staff of AFD China and their family members went to Beijing Morning Light Special Needs Children Rehabilitation Center to visit the sick child with cerebral palsy, who we have been funding over the years, to carry out volunteering activities.
We went to see the sick child and his mother first and brought a school bag, a remote control tool car and some books as presents, hoping he can be more and more cheerful, self-confident and healthy and eventually improve his future by hard study. His mother let us know that this this family from Shandong province has been through a lot, preterm birth and the illness of cerebral palsy made the child suffered and struggled in the brink of life and death. To have him under treatment, the family owed a lot of debts. However, they didn't give up hope. Because of the selfless assistance of the kind people they didn't know, the family sees a future for their child. They are filled with great gratitude and wrote a thank-you note to express their unspoken feelings. During the communication, we found that child is very sensible and well-behaved, he even helped other children around. The hardships of life did not take away the smile from his face, but make him a strong person, using his own example teaching us love, how to treat life, and warming the people around.
We then played with the sick children in the Rehabilitation Center, pinching dough, blowing balloons, playing soccer, painting, and sharing fruit bites with them. The whole time is incredibly pleasant. From the interactions, we felt that the children are quite capable in mind, in spite of the problems on their body, for example, some of them have to sit in the wheelchair. Their language skills, their way of thinking are very clear and logical, and are able to conduct smooth communication. they are also very polite and well-behaved. These facts refreshed our understanding of sick children having cerebral palsy. They are ordinary persons with just hardicap in actions but not intellectually affected.
We also were impressed by the the teachers and nursing staff in the Rehabilitation Center. Their work is not easy and should be very much appreciated. Seeing the designs and settings of the the library, music room, the treatment room, the children's dormitory, the dining room in the Rehabilitation Center, we felt the love and close attention the teachers and and nursing staff have put to the sick children in daily care, which is much more than that needs to be pay on a normal child.
These children are unfortunate but at the same time very blessed. Although they are deprived of a normal life since birth, they are being taken care of by numerous people who love them, help them, care for them, and help keep their hearts pure and beautiful.
The pictures hanging on the wall which are drawn by the sick children, the calligraphy works writing "I'm best" hanging in the classroom corridor, the innocent words the sick children spoke and the wish they make, all made us forgot their physical disability. What we saw is a great personality and hope for a good life in the future. They are less negative, more grateful, and more sympathetic than us normal people.
Charity is far from just donating money, it needs share of love. It is built up by those kind people who provide company and help to others and gives out courage and faith. Through the volunteering work, we saw the deep meaning of life which is other than being busy and making money. We helped the sick children, and at the same time the children provided more to us. Being called as a brother, sister, uncle or aunt is one of the best experience we got. The interaction with sick children enriched our understanding of life. We will keep doing the volunteering activities. Hope our small effort become a part of the rainbow drew for the sick children.