Xiongmei’s Story: From OneSky-Trained Child Caregiver to Preschool Teacher
Nine years ago, Xiongmei visited a local welfare institution with a friend for the first time. It was a visit she will never forget – and one that opened her eyes to the special needs of vulnerable young children living there.
She was touched and inspired by the children she met that day and realized all of them required individual, nurturing care. Before she even left the institution, she had decided to become a part of giving those little boys and girls the best possible start in life. With that decision, she decided to become a OneSky-trained child caregiver working within the welfare institution setting.
“I learned about responsive care, which is the most important concept I have ever learned … Also, that to love children is to be with them,” Xiongmei recalled of her initial OneSky training sessions.
After working as a caregiver for some time, she transferred to OneSky’s Preschool Program to teach older children. “Regardless of the children’s particular needs, I always give them the same loving care. Our relationships are so beautiful because I can be involved in their growth and their childhood, which has become my greatest wealth,” she shared.
Over the years, she has been fortunate to witness many beautiful smiles on the children’s faces as she holds them in her arms, ensuring they felt secure and content. She remembered the first time an infant named Qing entered her world while she was still working with the younger children. Qing had only been in the institution for 20 days, and she was extremely thin, not capable of swallowing, and had no energy to move.
“I was assigned to take care of her in the Infant Nurture Program,” Xiongmei recalled. “When it was meal time, it was no exaggeration to say that Qing needed to be fed seven or eight times, or even more, just to get her to take in a mouthful of porridge.”
While feeding Qing, Xiongmei helped wipe the tears streaming down Qing’s face and could viscerally feel her pain. Xiongmei asked for help from the OneSky trainers and rehabilitation therapists to determine suitable rehabilitation plans so that Qing could eat, move and thrive. She would often hug Qing, sing to her, and hold her little hands so that Qing could feel the strength of her own body as well as the joy of interacting with loving people.
Xiongmei also assisted Qing in “turning exercises” which lasted for half a year. The exercises finally paid off when she saw that Qing slowly gained the ability to turn over and sit up by herself.
Now, four years later, Qing is in OneSky’s Loving Families Program and continues to blossom under the added care of her foster parents. Xiongmei feels truly fortunate to have been able to follow her from her infant days to having her as a current student in her preschool class.
“One day after class Qing invited me to go to her home with her and have dinner with her family. I felt an acute sense of happiness and I was moved to tears,” said Xiongmei.
When asked about how OneSky has changed her life, Xiaongmei shared: “There are many kinds of a happy life, but the unfortunate life will often have something to do with one’s childhood. I’m so lucky to be able to give these children the best possible childhood. I can proudly say that I’ve learned how to let them feel my love.”