Chinese authorities are estimating that currently 98% of abandoned children in China residing in orphanages and group homes have disabilities. This is primarily because the parents of these children simply cannot afford their care. (Source: The Globe and Mail)
To address the needs of children with disabilities and their caregivers all over China, World Forgotten Children Foundation (WFCF) in cooperation with International China Concern (ICC) are stepping in to provide the services and equipment needed to greatly improve their quality of life. International China Concern (ICC) is a Christian development organization that provides love, hope and opportunity to children with disabilities and strives to end abandonment by keeping families together. ICC takes care of more than 350 children and young adults in China, providing holistic care in six main areas: rescuing abandoned children, training China's special needs caregivers, providing education, offering nourishing food, providing housing and support, funding surgeries, and working hard to prevent parents from abandoning their children with special needs.
Many of the children in ICC’s care have cerebral palsy and face physical challenges every minute of every day. Having an appropriate apparatus that suits their individual needs and growth rates, greatly relieves pain and enhances their quality of life. Having properly fitted and updated equipment also minimizes the potential risk of diseases which can stem from infection.
As ICC children grow up, their old equipment no longer fits. Thus, creating the urgent need for new adjustable custom equipment. WFCF is currently working to raise $15,918 USD in funds to support ICC with covering the costs associated with various medical and therapy equipment that will benefit five children (two in ICC’s Family Partners Program and three in their Changsha Project). WFCF will be funding $7,959 USD and the hope is that $7,959 USD will be funded as a matching gift by WFCF’s supporters.
This equipment is not only benefitting the children and young adults in their current lives, but certainly will also be an invaluable gift for the future.
Get to know the children and young adults who will benefit from the equipment:
Liao Yi Fan, 9 Years Old
Equipment Needed: Foxconn Toilet and Bath Chair
Liao Yi Fan has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and has been raised solely by his mother. His family receives support services from ICC’s Family Partners Program. He is now able to sit independently, but cannot stand or walk. He also has seizures and needs constant supervision. Because of long-term use of anti-seizure meds, Yi Fan’s mood is very unstable. His mother must stabilize him when he is crying for his safety. Yi Fan is not able to communicate when he needs to use the restroom and requires regular changing and bathing in a large tub. Liao Yi Fan’s mother has various health conditions of her own and caring for him can be rather taxing on her. Even so, she is diligent to continue his therapy at home and is faithful at keeping appointments made with ICC’s Family Partners Program (FPP) staff. Yi Fan’s father works away from home and so his daily care falls to his mother. This apparatus will support Yi Fan’s toileting and bathing. We also hope that this will help Yi Fan become increasingly independent.
Xiao Shao, 15 Years Old
Equipment Needed: Ormesa Wheelchair – Clip 4
Xiao Shao has severe cerebral palsy and her family receives support services from ICC’s Family Partners Program. Her muscle tension is high, which makes movement quite difficult. She is unable to lift or grasp items because of poor fine motor skills. She can’t turn over, sit, climb, stand, walk, or stay in a wheelchair. She also exhibits mental disability and is unable to speak or express herself well. She uses diapers and because of limited mobility doesn’t leave the house very often. Being her sole caregiver has also taken a toll on her mother. Her father has had to work hard to make up for the fact that her mother can’t work (she is Xiao Su’s full-time caregiver). She received a wheelchair from ICC ten years ago, but it is no longer adequate for her needs. We are hoping to procure the wheelchair (pictured here) to improve her quality of life.
Cao Yue Ning, 14 Years Old
Equipment Needed: Wheelchair – R82 Xpanda
Cao Yue Ning is a little girl who has acute cerebral palsy. When she came into International China Concern’s care in 2010 at the age of four, she was in poor physical condition. Her life follows a regular pattern of therapy, which has helped to improve her strength and motor skills. While her progress is very slow, it is hoped that this improvement will continue. She has outgrown her wheelchair. Yue Ning sits in her chair most of the day and needs to be comfortable and supported in a custom ordered and adjustable chair.
Li Xia Hong, 13 Years Old
Equipment Needed: ZIPPIE Youngster 3 Children’s Wheelchair
Li Xia Hong came into International China Concern’s care at a very young age. He has severe cerebral palsy, but he is a happy boy who is usually in a good mood and always curious about the world around him. Xia Hong does not speak but is willing to communicate with other people and certainly has a level of intelligence. Through his own hard work and the help of his therapists and caregivers, he has recently learned to move around in his wheelchair — a major step forward in his independence. We hope and pray that in ICC’s care he will thrive and be able to achieve his full potential. He is in need of a self-propelling chair where his body can be supported.
Zhang Wei Heng, 13 Years Old
Equipment Needed: Specialist Wheelchair
Zhang Wei Heng is a 13-year-old boy in Changsha’s Rainbow project living at En Quan Yuan. He came into ICC’s care a year ago and is in great need of an appropriate chair. Wei Heng has cerebral palsy and needs a wheelchair and table to use throughout the day. His specific physical needs means the specialist chair will cost CNY 50,000. It will have the ability to grow with him and will last him many years, while bringing comfort, appropriate support, and ease of transport.
About ICC’s Family Partners Program
ICC has a growing need for items to help the children in their Family Partners Program. ICC’s Family Partners Program (FPP) identifies families that have a child with a disability that have limited or no other access to resources and support, and who are considered ‘at-risk’. FPP offers these families and their children counselling services, physical and occupational therapy and special. These core services are effective at supporting families, keeping them together and bringing hope. Multi-disciplinary teams allow them to visit at-risk families in their homes enabling them to support children with complex disabilities and mobility issues. Each 3-person multi-disciplinary team consists of a physical therapist, social worker, and special educator.
This approach has proven successful giving them valuable data on assessments, progress, and family development. Also, the opportunity to enter into the homes of the families gives them increased freedom to share faith. In late 2019, ICC was approached by the Civil Affairs Bureau of Changsha City in Hunan with an opportunity to expand their work. After a review of the small number of service providers, the city concluded that FPP was the most effective at delivering support and services to families that have children with disabilities. Consequently, ICC was asked to expand the program to reach ALL of the city’s struggling families that have a child with a disability.
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