Xi'an Alliance works to promote a spirit of volunteerism. Many student volunteers are trained to participate in public welfare activities and social work.
On March 21, 2013, a team consisting of volunteers and health workers visited the empty-nesters, elderly people without families.
Under the guidance of the village chief, we stepped into the first home. Pointing to a small hut, the village chief told the health worker, “There lives a patient”. Doctor and nurses went to the hut and diagnosed the old man. The chief introduced the family: three single, old men who make livings by farming. The 65-year-old patient is the eldest, and he has been suffering from paralysis for 10 years. He had a son who worked on a construction site in Ningxia but tragically died of a construction accident. The third brother is mentally retarded. The second brother is 62 years old but quite optimistic. He cares for the two brothers and has kept the family together for many years.
In the next room, we became acquainted with an old woman. She informed us that her husband was in the hospital, and their daughter-in-law suffers from mild mental retardation. The son is the only person in the family who does field work and raises pigs to sustain their well-being. The village chief let us know that surprisingly, this family was in the best condition amongst all those we were going to visit today.
The third home we visited sent a chill through our hearts. The old man’s daughter married someone far away from the home and his son married into another village, leaving the old man without care.
The fourth family was disabled. The old man was crippled and his wife mentally retarded. Their daughter married and left the family, and their son suffers from a serious illness.
We visited 11 households today. With heavy hearts and the pounding rain around us, we walked on our way back.
Original article written by Yulong Chen, translated by Maggie Li, edited by Yanyan Zhang
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