Saturday, March 17, 2012

Nanning Girls, Singing in the Rain.....

 Each year since 2005, one of our highlights has been to meet with our Nanning Girls-
 always in the sunshine, 
always in the People's Park
                                                  This year was clearly going to be different!
 Thanks to the ever helpful Majestic Doormen, we eventually found a taxi to take us to our new venue
                       We were going to meet in the Nanning church where our friends worship!

                                                    ( No, it wasn't raining INSIDE:-)

 It was lovely as we entered to see the banner made by our friends in Dunfermline 
hanging on the door of the children's room,
 symbolising our world, connected by the Cross to bring Hope to China's Children
          I don't think the pink balloons were there "just for us" :-)- there had been a recent wedding.

                                                             Our girls have grown up!!!!
 This year, we were meeting with our older girls, many who have been with us since 2005, many now left school, working, or at university, but still keen to come back to share with us. As well as the fun this time we hoped to have more time to chat to the girls, and more importantly LISTEN to them. These girls have all moved on in life, made their own choices, supporting themselves in different ways. They had so much to say and share with each other, always encouraging the younger ones who were still on their journey thro school
Matthew's beautiful wife showing off her "cool wellies"
                                      and the water that had gathered in them on the way!!!!!!
Matthew- looking not quite as cool in THE HAT!!!!!!

LOVED this photo of one of our girls 
showing us the value of the letters and photos exchanged over the many years with her sponsors.
She has copied each one in a book to treasure!
THIS is what we are all about!!!!

Sharing letters with an old friend :-)

 As some new girls had come along, and as Lady A was meeting them all for the first time, we spent some time designing our own name cards- but they were for more than just names. Each card had to symbolise "something" about our lives, our hopes and our dreams. We were able to move around and chat to each girl about their lives, and ours - very special


                     After we had chatted together, we shared a kinda grown up Circle time
- a sign of how focussed we all were in sharing together, is that we do not have a single photo or video clip of this time. Each girl wrote a question they wanted to ask and we popped it in THE HAT- pulled them out and chatted together about the meaning of life, how to cope and have Hope for the future.
                                                     I do wish I had taken notes :-)
                                  But the overwhelming memory is of Togetherness and Hope!

                                                The girls loved to see photos from home!

                                  We had great fun singing together - not always tuneful, but fun!

                                                       This was poignant and beautiful,

                   in contrast to to the McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken & Pizza Hut song
 we sang just before our food came :-)

 For the first time ever, it was not practical to go to KFC, 
so BIG THANK YOU to Echo and Xiao Ju 
who ventured out in the crazy rain and brought KFC and Pizza Hut to us!

                                                                     It was good!
                                   But would not have been complete without the Birthday cake!

                     And of course to end our day, a good old rendition of Auld Lang Syne, until we meet again !

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Smile for Julianne

Sweet Julianne is nearing her second birthday. She lives with her foster family in Xiao Xian, China and loves playing outdoors. She is described as graceful and quiet but with a streak of stubbornness. Julianne can say a few simple words, but we hope that her speech will progress once she has her cleft palate surgery during the LWB 2012 Cleft Medical Exchange in Kaifeng in April. We need £350 to make this possible..every little will help...could you go without extra coffees this week, give up chocolate for a month, ask your children to save some pocket money...a little from everyone goes a long way? 

We have an Everyclick Page where donations can be made and we can see how much we have raised to make this possible

Please share, and see if together we can bring a smile to this little one's face?
Thank you so much

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Nanning SWI Therapy

There has always been lots of fun and laughter at Nanning SWI when we have visited.
But this time, on our first visit to the brand new Therapy Centre we were bringing something special to add to the fun.

The Therapy Centre has been set up to meet the needs of the many children around Nanning with needs of varying kinds, mainly cerebral palsy, downs syndrome etc.
Children from the community as well as from the SWI, foster care and group homes come to the Centre for therapy as required.

It is a wonderful new building but much has has still to be added in terms of specialist equipment and staff training.
So on this day, the SWI staff were really excited to have Alison ( Lady A) along to share her many years of experience teaching music to children with learning difficulties and varying needs. 

On arriving at the Therapy Centre I was encouraged (and more than a little nervous ) to see that a lot of the staff and carers who work with the children on a daily basis had come along to learn how to use music to help the children communicate better.

Siona and Eilidh were very Happy Helpers setting out the instruments!

 Xiao Xiao very ably translated instructions for the staff and the children.
Five very eager little ones waiting to choose an instrument and get going!!
Music Therapy is very effective in developing turn taking and listening skills, just as well because these children had to show great restraint while  waiting to choose an instrument!!!!
Then out came the'Magic' Piano!
Who would have thought that when we found it in the 'Early Learning Centre' in Dunfermline

 (and received a lovely discount when the ELC staff knew where it was going)
that it would be possible to squeeze it into a suitcase, transfer between 3 flights and an overnight bus,
that it would bring such pleasure to these children.

It was a great success in helping children to overcome their self conciousness and step out confidently to make their own music.

             Some of the children took to it immediately, others needed a little this....

Music sessions are the ideal place for children who have limited language skills to express feelings and emotions.

There were lots of other songs and lots of fun still to be shared

It was really humbling to see how committed the carers were to helping their children participate 
and get the most out of the musical experiences
                                           'Swing up, swing down' song (sung in Madarin of course!!)

It was amazing to see such focus and concentration

                         These wee 'cuties' were sooooo focused and so musical in their responses.

But some definitely "got" the idea quicker than others!
( You have got to to watch this!!!)

'Zaijian, zaijian, zaijian ............

  It was sad to sing the goodbye song but we were happy to be leaving the "Magic Piano" for the children - the staff were so excited to have it to be able to use it regularly for the children
 ( and we were relieved not to have to pack it and bring it back on the plane(s)!!!!