It was quite amazing to capture photos of the very rural scenes a thro the window, then suddenly to draw up at the incredible new buildings of the Therapy centre.
The land in a remote area was gifted to Qingdao CWI by the local Civil Affairs and funding received from many agencies to facilitate the build.
Impressive doesn't quite do it justice!!!!!!!
No words for this beautiful angel.........
However what was even more impressive was the family care received by each of the children here,
many with severe special needs.
Conditions were warm and welcoming.
Staff bright animated, involved and providingone-to one attention for many of the children!
We were treated to a special ceremony which included so many of the children singing,
playing games together, making music
We were then welcomed to visit the group homes in the Centre and walked along corridors with children's photos and paintings on the wall.
There are apartments within the building where a foster family live with around 4 children. We arrived just as some were waking from a nap in bright, comfy bedrooms with warm foster mamas, fresh cooking, toys lying around...just a "home". The children were happy and confident, very comfortable with their carers.
Ms Zhang Ronghua's vision is that each child in her care will flourish and reach their FULL potential,
no matter what the need or disability....
And so, while she hopes AND prays that each of "her children" will find their forever family,
she is also aware that many have such needs that this is unlikely.........
So she has planned ahead.......
A large market garden grows all the fruit and veg for the Home
The children are encouraged to help and this is to be developed into future employment
for some who will not leave this home
For those not as interested in growing, she has set aside an area for machinery and has made plans to set up a business for her older children to begin making things and supporting themselves as far as possible
Therapy Centres are the "big thing " in China these days, recognising that many of the children in orphanages now have many special needs. Many are trying hard and succeeding, but far too often children are taken out of loving foster care, returned to SWI for therapy where staff are overworked and undertrained and children left to languish.........
The wonderful thing about the Therapy here is that it recognises firstly that the children need a loving family and then builds on that by providing therapy in a variety of different ways to suit each individual child.
This room just amazed us all.......it is a sand tray with many different kinds of objects. Children are encouraged to place different objects in the tray and use them to try and describe how they feel about different things in their lives.
Some fantastic toys for the children to play with.............
but I was really impressed by the good old cardboard box
which has always given kids everywhere hours of fun :-)
My daughter disappearing under brightly coloured balls