Hefei Happy Childhood Community is an organization that seeks to help children in need. Volunteers spend time with kids in hospitals, as well as help fund different charitable projects that support children. This article is a reflection of a teacher who works with the children in the organization.
I clearly remember that one day with the heavy snow. I was the only person standing in the snow vehicle - cold, but filled with excitement. It was beautiful, not just because of the snow, but because of the flowers that were waiting for me.
I first began volunteering at the provincial children's hospital through the Happy Childhood Reading Program. When I have time, I go to sit with the children to read and play games with them. I feel happy and free when I am with the children. Children are so lovely and innocent, like flowers ready to shine, longing for the world full of unlimited beauty.
Although I enjoy my time with children, I have found that taking care of so many alone can be exhausting. Many of the children are small, unable to walk yet, and require much care. As such, I gathered a lot of enthusiastic volunteers whom I knew had serving hearts. Now, I no longer work alone, but in a group.
Together we have witnessed the growth of many children. I always tell stories about Yao. Yao is a pretty unyielding child: his voice is always one of the loudest, he will never surrender, and he always walks stubbornly to wherever he wants to go. The very first time I saw him, climbing was hard for him. But gradually, he was able to grab onto things to get up and eventually directly stand up. It took time, but his persistence helped him take his first step.
The children grew up, which meant they had to face more challenging problems. They are different from most children, in that the majority of them are withdrawn and don’t want to communicate with others and prefer the arms of their parents. But thankfully, with the involvement of the volunteers, some children have gradually opened up their hearts. The emphasis of our volunteers has been on communication because only when you are willing to exchange words will the children be able to share their feelings and thoughts. We could finally open the door that has been closed for a long time and we gave ourselves more opportunities to get to know them.
But, there are also some children who have not changed. There is a girl who I can clearly remember. I never knew her name. She can talk, but she never speaks. She is always silent and we don’t know how to communicate with her because she always ignores people and stays with her mother. I had some communication with her mother, and found that her mother also did not speak much. I advised her to encourage her child to speak more, but her words revealed hopelessness and it deeply hurt me. If the parents always show an attitude of despair, what about the child? I know that during the growth of children, the parents face the most difficult things. I'm not qualified to blame them. But if one faces life helplessly, things cannot be changed. In reality, we can only choose to be strong, and hope life will get better. I hope that the child's parents will give their children more support and show them the large life ahead of them. After all, the parents influence the children the most and have the closest relationship with them. In the future, maybe we will also be able to help the parents.
Of course, there are also kids who have very strong personalities. They don't consider others’ feelings, do not want to read the same book with other children, do not play with others and share their toys, and even rob others’ toys. Yao whom I mentioned above is one of them; he and a kid named Shuangshuang always fight. It is important for them to learn how to share and get along with other children or else they will miss out on a lot of the fun in life. For this kind of phenomenon, we have conducted two large activities with our volunteers. They bring gifts to the children, and we have time for the children show their talents. They are divided into groups and each group has a task to complete. This task includes children and parents’ cooperation, and the cooperation between child and child, with a prize to encourage them. We regularly carry out these activities and it brings more laughter to our rooms.
We all have a common purpose: that with the efforts from all sides, children can be healthy and happy, grow, and be prepared to write their own life stories. I think every child is a flower, a beautiful flower not yet ready to shine. They want to open their eyes and see the world of color, but sometimes this world’s color is too complex and they can't see the true color. But, we have the aid of volunteers to light up the road ahead and to look forward together, to them not to be afraid of the rainy barrier, and that there’s a beautiful rainbow and pure blue sky in front that will let the flowers bloom even more beautifully in the sunshine.
I believe that each of flower has a vast sky that belongs to her, and to see the sky, the efforts of everyone are needed. And together, we can get them to explore. There’s a lot we have to do.
Hefei Teacher’s College
Original article was translated by TFish staff Shishi Ma; edited by U.S. intern Isabel Auyeung.
TFISH FUND BLOG
We update news and reports directly from the field written by our NGO partners daily.
PHOTOS & VIDEOS
IN THE NEWS