Last week we launched a new outreach program through our Family Support unit, working with Jingdu Hospital in Beijing. Jingdu Hospital is a large children’s hospital that includes one of the most well respected pediatric burn units in China. Families come from all over the country to seek treatment for their severely injured children at Jingdu Hospital, and many of these children require such extensive treatment that their inpatient stay averages not days, but weeks and months at a time. In China, it is expected that the parent or another family member will live with the child in the hospital as they recover. This places an overwhelming burden on the family, not only for financial reasons, but because it also impacts the parents’ ability to remain employed, to care other family members and to maintain a stable home to return to after they leave Beijing. We are specifically targeting the families of children who are in the hospital for long-term treatment due to severe burns. We are very excited about this new outreach, as it increases our opportunities to preserve families and prevent abandonment.
At the hospital, our Family Support unit meets the needs of the children receiving treatment by providing financial support, in-kind donations, emotional support, and medical support. Our “Let’s Share a Good Time Together” classroom provides both education and fun for the children at Jingdu Hospital. Our team of staff and volunteers takes turns in leading the classroom activity each day. We hope to engage the children in a variety of activities, such as drawing, cooking, dancing, learning English, and playing. Our outreach program also gives the children’s families a little respite from the intense daily responsibilities of providing the care and therapy that their child needs.
This week, one of the classes was an English class where the children learned “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” We went over the vocabulary first and then played “Teacher Says” (a version of Simon Says where we practiced the new vocabulary). And then of course, we sang!
Next week, we have a cooking class and a DIY handicraft class lined up. If you are in the Beijing area and have a special skill that you would like to share with the children at the hospital, please contact us! We are looking for more volunteers! Or if you have some fun activity ideas we can lead with children between the ages of five to fourteen, please let us know.