Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Thank You Morgan Stanley!

Last month, Chunmiao Little Flower was proud to be Morgan Stanley China’s 2014 Core Charity Partner. With the firm’s emphasis on community engagement for employees as well as children’s health, we were excited to be chosen!

Not only did the company’s employees donate funds, with 80,000 RMB raised, they were also able to make the journey out from Beijing’s city center to Shunyi, where our projects are located, to volunteer with our older children—both our Early Education Center students and our older children in Little Flower’s Group Educational Foster Care Program. We worked together to organize two fun activities for the kids—a weekend outing to a botanical garden, as well as a sports day in early June.

The Sports Day was especially exciting—with games, prizes, and fun for everyone! The day’s activities included...
Egg and spoon races!

Ming was a little nervous about dropping his egg, but he got some help from a new friend.

But like Ming, many of our kids were just holding on to their hard-boiled eggs for dear life! They didn’t want to drop what would soon be a tasty snack…

One of the tastier competitions of the day was the watermelon contest. Teachers and volunteers alike cracked open some juicy, sweet summer watermelons, and the competition began.

But the most fun to be had was definitely at the end of the day, when it was time for tug of war—an essential component to any good summer sports day. For this game, everyone participated—Little Flower children, teachers, foster parents, and Morgan Stanley visitors.

After two big rounds of tug of war, both sides could claim a win. By the end of the day, everyone—especially the younger kids—was ready for an afternoon nap, and the event was deemed a rousing success. It was a great way to introduce some of Morgan Stanley’s employees to the children and foster families that they’d be supporting through their donations.

The day at the botanical garden the next weekend was just as fun--with beautiful weather and a great time had by all.

We at Little Flower just wanted to extend our thanks to all of the employees at Morgan Stanley’s China offices for their support!

And a special thanks goes out to Morgan Stanley’s Li Xu for spearheading this cooperation!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Xue and Jin

Meet Xue and Jin, two little babies born with clubfoot who have found their way to the baby home this year. They’re both staying in baby room #4, which is reserved for some of our bigger babies who are not yet toddlers. Jin and Xue have been through so many challenges together, both facing a birth defect that—if untreated—could prevent them from ever walking. Side by side, their different personalities really shine through.

Xue is an incredibly active 9-month old. Like most little boys his age, he enjoys adventure. Crossing rattles, books, balls, and even babies to get to his destination, nothing can get in his way. Xue has already finished casting! He now wears braces that keep his feet nice and straight.

He’ll wear these braces all the time for the first three months, and then just for night and naps for a few more years. He gets to take them off once a day right before bath time, when he really enjoys the freedom to crawl around for a few minutes before physical therapy time, which—predictably—he doesn’t particularly enjoy.

Along with clubfoot, Xue was also born with a congenital hand deformity. He is scheduled for surgery to have his fingers separated on his right hand in the near future. Because there is always a risk of infection for any kind of surgery, he will be having his fingers separated one at a time. We want to ensure that if there are any complications, he’ll still have the use of his other fingers.

Unlike Xue, Jin spends his time with a more contemplative attitude. Not to say he doesn’t enjoy doing things any 6 month old would do, but because of his heavy casts, crawling is nearly impossible. But those big casts also have decorations and drawings from supportive admirers and visitors to the baby home from all over the world (quite literally!).

Jin is very content to sit, watch, and listen to everything going on around him—which most of the time is a lot! There is never a dull moment in room #4. With so many little babies learning to crawl around, Jin has more than enough to occupy his time. Since coming to us in May, Jin has built some touching relationships with the nannies, and even the long-term volunteers. Watching him from day to day, you can see whom he especially likes to be held by, or whom he’ll laugh with. Getting him to smile is a challenge in itself, but so rewarding.

Jin has recently finished his 2nd casting! We’re hoping he’ll be out of those casts and into braces as soon as possible. Most babies graduate from casts to braces in less than two months,but it varies for every child. We just have to watch and wait until his little feet are ready for the next stage!

Xue and Jin are very unique, but they also have so much in common. Seeing their eyes sparkle and their faces light up when someone gives them kisses or takes the time to hold them—nothing compares. T­o be held, nurtured and cared for by the volunteers and faculty at the baby home means that they can get through each day, one day at time. We know they’ll be on their feet soon!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Visit to the Firehouse

A few weeks ago, our school kids took a field trip to a local firehouse, where they got to see how firemen train, work, and fight fires around Beijing! Check out the photos below: