Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A New Playground!

Every child has fond memories of playing in a playground at school or at a park near home. On a Monday in June, the Group Home children attending the Chunmiao Education Learning Center arrived to school to find a new 65-square meter playground where there had previously been an empty concrete space. The playground was planned and constructed by Sean, a 17-year old high school student from a local international school. Sean has been a Boy Scout for seven years.  Boy Scouts of America is an organization for boys aged 6 to 18 who learn through service, leadership, and outdoor activities. After beginning Boy Scouts in the US, Sean moved to China two years ago and joined a local Boy Scout troop in Beijing. To earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout, a scout must plan and lead a large service project. Sean began this project when he learned that the Little Flower Learning Center was moving to a new location which did not have any formal playground.

The Chunmiao Learning Center currently has 15 children ranging from 3 years old to 12 years old. The learning center provides individualized special education, rehabilitation and psychological services to disabled children. The school is based on the Montessori education model.

For this project, Sean needed to design a plan for the playground, fund-raise, purchase material, and then build the playground! He enlisted other scout volunteers to help him with the actual building of the project.

Sean raised over 3,000 USD to fund this project. He did a total of three bake sales at his school and church and asked family and friends to contribute funds for his service project. He actually ended up raising slightly more funds than he needed to build the project, and so with the extra funds he plans to buy other supplies that the students need at the school.

To build the actual playground, Sean first had to lay a matting, so the children would not hurt themselves while playing. He then constructed the three play structures: a log cabin, a castle, and a pirate ship-themed play structure. Lastly, Sean built a sandbox (2 meters by 2.5 meters) for the students to play in, and he built a fence around the play area to keep all the students safe. Sean really thought about everything in his plan! And we are so grateful for this new playground. The children are already enjoying playing on their new playground!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

March 2015 Featured Child Post: Yu

For the month of March, we are highlighting little Yu’s story. Yu was born as a premature baby and came to the Beijing Infant Care home last October. She was 3 weeks old when she arrived, and was just 3 lbs 9 oz (1630 g). Other than being born early and needing extra care, she seemed healthy.

Like all of our premature babies, Yu needed special attention and care to become stronger and bigger. We try to provide all our tiny babies with as much kangaroo care as we can. Nannies, volunteers and staff take turns holding and loving our babies. We also use Embrace Warmers to help regulate the temperature for our premature babies. Often, premature babies do not have enough body fat to regulate their own temperature and so we need to help them do that. The picture below captures Yu staying warm with a Embrace Warmer.

Unfortunately, Yu had some feeding trouble initially. She was pretty tiny and so had a hard time drinking milk by herself. She needed to be fed via a tube. But despite this, she slowly started to gain weight. Eventually, she started drinking milk by herself as well!  And of course, she started becoming healthier and stronger!

December 2014

January 2015

 Later this month, since she no longer needs special medical care, she will be transferred to another organization. We hope she can find her forever family soon!

November 2014 Featured Child: Ning

For the month of November, our featured child is Ning. Ning came to the Infant Care Home earlier this year in July. He was one month old when he arrived. Ning was born with a cleft lip and palate and needed surgery as his treatment. When he arrived at the baby home, he was too young for surgery. So, our goal initially was to help Ning stay healthy and get big enough for his first surgery.

Slowly, Ning started to grow and become strong. He has such an easy-going personality and makes all the visitors at the Infant Care Home smile.

We hope Ning will be healthy enough to  have surgery this December.

In December, Ning successfully went through surgery. Look at his beautiful smile now!

Since Ning successfully completed surgery and is healthy, he will be transitioning back to his orphanage soon. We hope that he will find his forever family soon.

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 2015 Featured Child: Yi

This month’s featured child is Yi. Yi is one of the older children in our Group Home project. He  was 8 years old when he arrived in our program in 2005. Yi was born with a severe cleft palate and a heart defect. This May, he just turned 18 years old, and so we have been lucky enough to see him grow and become a young adult!

Yi is an extremely outgoing boy and his usual response to any question is ‘okay!’. He loves chatting with anyone he meets. And he is especially fond of one of the other group home children, Xiang. They both attend school together and enjoy spending time together. Like any other teenage boy, Yi enjoys having fun with his friends!

Last September, Yi started attending a vocational school. His focus of study is Building Automation Systems, which provides him with skills relating to heating, lighting, and ventilation systems. After Yi completes his vocational training, he plans to look for a job. Our wish is to provide him all the support he needs to live a fulfilling and independent life.

Yi still needs one more cleft repair surgery. This surgery will cost around 6,000 USD or 30,000 RMB. Please consider partnering with us to provide Yi this last surgery he needs. We hope to raise enough funds to provide him the surgery this summer.