Serving the future: China sees progress in strengthening care for children in past decade under CPC leadership

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Lin Xiaoyi

The CPC has grown into one of the largest parties in the world in the process of leading Chinese people in seeking liberation and happiness, making China as strong and prosperous as it is today.

As the CPC ushers the nation into a new era of development, the last decade has witnessed great achievements in national strength and prosperity, with people’s confidence and recognition of this path rising to unprecedentedly high levels.

With more than 96 million members, the CPC will convene its 20th National Congress in the second half of the year, which is expected to guide the country’s development and policymaking. Ahead of the meeting, the Global Times is publishing a series of stories to help the world understand the CPC in the new era, through the stories of CPC members working on the frontlines of various fields, as well as through observations made by respected scholars.

This installment tells the story of a special education teacher from the Northern part of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region who devotes herself to the care system for children with disabilities in China’s child welfare system, and a kindergarten principal from coastal Shanghai shares her observations on the development of nurturing services in pre-primary education in China.

1 Making care available to every child

Cui Jie, a special education teacher at the Hohhot Children’s Welfare House feels very proud. She, along with her colleagues, has become the “mother” of 19 children.

From struggling to change the diapers of children living with disabilities who were abandoned by their parents, to being surprised and delighted by the daily progress made by her wards, she feels that her life has changed just as much as the children in the welfare home.

The Hohhot Children’s Welfare House is currently home to about 200 orphaned children aged 0-18 who were entrusted to its certified care by the local public security authorities.

“When I first came to the welfare house, I realized there are quite a few abandoned children living with disabilities in the society. And things that are simple to able-bodied people such as eating, walking, talking, and going to the toilet are physically demanding to these children, and require repeated exercises to master,” Cui told the Global Times.

What encourages Cui to continue on her path as a special education teacher is the continuous care from the CPC toward these disadvantaged and abandoned children, which includes not only policy and financial support, but also the constant spur forward of the welfare institution to elevate the children’s upbringing and educational requirements.

According to Cui, in recent years, the welfare institute has been innovatively developing several types of refined child care methods. Children in the institution from 0 to 3 years old of age are raised in simulated families, while children over the age of 3 are evaluated according to their age, degree of physical disability, and their ability to potentially take care of themselves throughout their lives, and are then entered into one of many suitable group parenting models.

At present, Cui and a team of professionals including teachers, rehabilitators, caregivers, and social workers are responsible for the health care and education of 19 children between the ages of 7 and 14.

In the morning, workers at the welfare house communicate with children and help them review the lessons of the past day, and then they provide lessons according to the schedule. In the afternoon, they research and update the children’s personal profiles – communicating with the children’s caregivers or teachers to create teaching objectives and growth plans according to the different conditions of each child – this is the routine of Cui’s daily work.

Cui noted workers here are not only professional but are also caring and patient. “We call that work ethos ‘a mother’s love’, which means taking them on as our own children, taking care of them without hesitation, and providing them with enough of a sense of security and love,” Cui explained.

“Here, I have witnessed many children learning the first greeting in their lives, and calling us mom and dad. A constant sense of accomplishment drives and supports my work: The children here were once seeds without soil, and now they have become happy blooming flowers,” she said.

The entire society should extend compassion and care toward children, particularly orphans and those living with physical disabilities, and make concerted efforts to ensure they grow up healthy and with love, Chinese President Xi Jinping, also the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said during an inspection tour of the welfare house in 2014.

Cui noted that whether in the work of individualized, standardized and specialized education, medical treatment, during the children’s stay in the institution, or social settlement when they reach the age of 18, the staff at the welfare institute always works with the Party and the government, caring for the children and constantly improving their expressions, abilities, and knowledge acquisition, so that they can live a better quality of life.

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