A Beacon of Hope
FAMILY PARTNERS PROGRAM
Dorothee and Yuchen during a home-therapy session
In a humble home in rural Changsha, Weiwei snuggles in his great-aunt’s lap. Just over two years old, he struggles with speech and will be assessed for autism when he turns three. Both of his parents have intellectual disabilities so Weiwei is being raised by his grandparents and other relatives. Sadly, this situation is repeated across China. In Changsha alone, it is estimated that 7500 families have a child with a disability and urgently need support.
Our Family Partners Program (FPP) is working with the government to expand services for those needing assistance. The new Cross Care Team #3—made up of a team of professionals that include a social worker, therapist and teacher—will support vulnerable families.
A Common Need
Before joining ICC in early 2020, Cross Care Team #3 members Dorothee and her husband Uwe were therapists at a local hearing and speech rehabilitation center. The couple, who have lived in Changsha since 2002, also operate a Western-style bakery in the city, hiring and training hearing-impaired adults.
Though the ongoing CV19 pandemic meant their initial training all happened online, in September Dorothee was able to start working with ICC’s hearing and speech delayed children in person.
“We meet different families, with different stories and different needs,” Dorothee says. “Yet they all have one thing in common: they need love, acceptance and encouragement.”
New Space to Bless Families
Families like Weiwei’s will soon be able to access a range of programs in a new space. Currently under renovation, the Lighthouse will serve as a vocational training center, offering special education and therapy sessions, as well as computer and music rooms for use by the public.
Once complete, our Cross Care Team #3 will move to the Lighthouse to support families whose situations are dire. “With this new space, we hope we can bless even more families, bringing ICC’s love to them,” says newly-appointed FPP Lighthouse Project Manager Portia Zang.