A small seed for the future of mentally and physically disabled children

Our colleagues from Polymer Chemicals in Tianjin are always looking for good opportunities to serve the local community and society. The employees were invited to express their preferences for 2009 and the main interest was to support the young generation, particularly children in difficult and adverse circumstances, who are often discarded by society.

The Tianjin Disabled Community was consulted and they pointed our colleagues at The Intelligence Challenged School of Hongqiao District. A visit was paid to the school and after talking to the teachers and meeting the mentally and physically disabled children they had made their choice and requested support from the Community Program.

The selected school was established for intelligence challenged children, and has been providing diverse training classes. There are 114 children, ranging from 7 to 22 years old attending the school. The teachers are not only teaching general courses, but also help the children to energetically overcome their physical and mental defects through a recovering exercise system.

For some older youngsters who graduated from school, but still have not succeeded to earn a living, vocational training is provided by teaching them China-carving as well as helping them to get orders from enterprises and society.

After several visits to the school, the Polymer Chemicals employees concluded that the children are being taken very good care of. However, they found out that the school facilities are quite old and lagged behind current study needs for disabled children. Advanced equipment was needed to stimulate their sensory perception in order to reinforce their understanding and open up their minds. With the funds from the Community Program, an LCD screen was bought as well as an electronic white board, a beamer and a multi media control platform which were installed with the help of 50 volunteering employees.

At the occasion of the International Children’s Day the volunteers were invited to attend a ceremony where the children made a performance for them. ‘We were shocked and deeply impressed by those lovely and studious children’, said Logistics Director Feng Zhongdon. ‘The performances were so wonderful. We could imagine that they must have paid tremendous effort to finish such a performance, which is even not an easy task for normal children. I even got tears in my eyes when I saw them doing their best to finish the performances’.

The volunteers are convinced of the important effect these children have on others which was underlined by Ms You Yang, a technical engineer: ‘In the past, I often felt annoyed with my kid when she was making a mistake or did not follow my instruction. But after participating in this activity, after getting to know these children, I realize that those mistakes should not be regarded as big problems and it should not cause me to be angry any more.’

Mr. Li Shijie participated in one of the performances with the children. When he saw that some children were nervous before the performance started, he gave them a hug and encouraged them by tapping on their shoulders. It clearly helped them feel more self-confident. His example was afterwards followed by the volunteers when they helped the children do recovering exercises and when they took them out of school to visit museums, parks, etc.

The volunteers regard their support as a small seed for a better future for the children. They sincerely hope that other people will be made aware that there exists a group of children in need of care and that it is so important to treat them the same way as their own children.