Through our Rainbow trainings, we often meet directors of welfare institutions with very limited resources who want to start Half the Sky-inspired program at their institutions.
Thanks to our new effort to create Seed Centers, when our province-wide Rainbow budget allows, we are able to support some of them, including the Weifang Child Welfare Institute in Shandong Province.
When our team arrived in Weifang we got to work quickly. By the seventh day, we had made a wonderful discovery: sometimes institutions with very limited resources are quite rich in something that matters a great deal more: loving and dedicated caregivers!
Our first six days of caregiver training at Weifang CWI went normally, but on the seventh day, one day before our work with the children was scheduled to start, two key teachers fell very ill with bad colds and coughs. We suggested that they take some time off to rest, but Xing Qiuping and Chang Lan refused. Instead, they opted to wear a thick mask everywhere they went: in the classroom, in the office, outside…
Qiuping is responsible for the class for children with special needs. Most of the children in her care are older and have mental, emotional and behavioral challenges, but Qiuping is determined to give them a better life. Despite not feeling well, she joined them in their outdoor activities, board games and arts and crafts.
Lan is responsible for the preschool-aged children. She worked tirelessly with the teachers through her illness, setting up the classroom, preparing the games and lessons, and having fun with the children.
Neither Quiping nor Lan complained once! They put the children’s welfare before theirs, and were determined to do whatever was necessary to give the children a better life.
As I watched Qiuping and Lan work with the children from behind their masks, the lyrics of a song came to mind:
Loving you with my eyes, I take you into my deepest heart;
Loving you with my eyes, I feel sorry that sickness keeps us apart;
Loving you with my eyes, I watch you from afar, secretly flying a kiss;
Loving you with my eyes, I am happy that you are bathed in bliss.
I could see love in Qiuping and Lan’s eyes and have no doubt that great changes are in store for the children of Weifang Children’s Welfare Institution. They are in good hands!