Hindered by the pandemic: A young boy is transformed with unlimited care and love

When we first met 4-year-old Tintin at the P. C. Lee OneSky Global Centre for Early Childhood Development in Hong Kong, he hid behind his mother, curiously looking around, his eyes sparkling. Although he wasn’t willing to speak, his smile glowed like the moon.

Tintin’s mother expressed her concerns to OneSky’s Family Mentors regarding Tintin’s recent diagnosis of developmental delays. Compounding the problem, because of the pandemic, he hadn’t had many opportunities to interact with peers or play outside—crucial aspects of social development.

The Sham Shui Po area, where he lives, is one of the poorest in the city and lacks safe and clean play facilities. Now that he is able to attend the OneSky Centre, Tin Tin is benefiting from unlimited support, including accompaniment, consultation and remediation by his devoted Family Mentor, Suki.

Suki has worked with Tintin’s mother to learn how to help him express his needs more clearly. Together, they have gradually witnessed Tintin transform from a quiet child hiding behind his mother, to a lively, energetic boy greeting his Family Mentors enthusiastically.

His mother says she feels supported and more confident in her parenting skills. And, thanks to what she has learned about responsive care, she now has better interactions with her son. “It has been a joy to watch them both grow and transform together,” said Suki.

Recently, Tintin participated in the sports day at his kindergarten. He tried really hard but he didn’t win any of the competitions. When he returned home he told his mother how disappointed he was.  Despite his upset, Tintin’s mother was so happy that he was able to share his feelings so she could teach him how to manage his sadness in a positive and constructive way. Tintin’s mother explained to him that participation was more important than winning and, to celebrate, they made a medal together.

One day, arriving at the OneSky Centre, Tintin seemed especially nervous. The Family Mentors wondered why he was so anxious but then they saw Tintin take a deep breath and walk towards Suki. He presented her with a gift that he had made especially for her – a paper bracelet. Suki was so touched. “It represents his heartfelt thanks to OneSky; and how much he treasures his friendship with Suki,” said his mother.

“Hello Suki!” … Those two words are music to Suki’s ears when spoken so confidently by Tintin. “We embrace his growth and transformation. What is engraved in our heart is his genuine, lovely smile. He is always grinning from ear to ear!” she said.

The P. C. Lee OneSky Global Centre for Early Childhood Development opened in Hong Kong’s Sham Shui Po district in May 2020 to train caregivers in responsive care and early education. The Centre offers an educational play space for local children and their families overseen by OneSky Family Mentors.