A Different Spring Festival

Xiao Geng, a 15-year-old boy who suffered from high paraplegia due to spina bifida, has been living in a children's welfare house and rehabilitation center in Tianjin.

Every year the children here celebrate the Spring Festival happily. "Because there will be much delicious food, and Miss Chen will prepare a big meal for us. We will be very happy to have the Spring Festival dinner together!" said Xiao Geng.

However, this Spring Festival seems to be different. "The teachers put on masks and sterilized our rooms every day. They told us not to go to other rooms at will," said Xiao Geng in confusion. "Afterwards, I've known the information of the novel coronavirus from the TV news and our teachers. I've also realized that someone who has been infected might be dead. It makes me scared. Though I feel I am safe here, I'm worried about the safety of my peers and my teachers. I hope they protect themselves well from infection. "

▲Teacher Ma is sterilizing the room where children live. 

Teacher Ma, an ordinary nurse in the welfare house, takes care of Xiao Geng and older children like him. Her job changed during the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. In addition to taking care of those children, her more important work is to sterilize children's rooms and check their temperature. "Teacher Ma takes our body temperature every hour to see if we have any symptoms such as fever and cough," said Xiao Geng. Besides, Ma opens the window for the baby room every day for ventilation, carries out disinfectant spraying, ultraviolet lamp disinfection and other work, to create a safe and comfortable living environment for children.

▲Teacher Ma is teaching Xiao Geng the right steps of hand washing. 

Recently, Xiao Geng didn’t feel well and had to rest in bed.. "Teacher Ma was worried that I was afraid, so she explained to me what was going on outside," Xiao Geng said. After Ma's patient explanation, Xiao Geng knew the transmission way of the virus and how to prevent the transmission of the virus. Ma taught Xiao Geng the seven-step washing technique, telling him to use soap or disinfectant to disinfect his hands before eating snacks and meals. "Teachers are busy every day. I'm worried about them and I appreciate all they have done for us. I've learned that it's useless to be afraid of an epidemic. We should learn to protect ourselves," said Xiao Geng.

"Teacher Ma taught me to wash my hands because I was physically unable to move. When I wanted to eat, she asked me to wash my hands first and sometimes she even put a basin of water on my bed. She taught me how to wash my hands and use disinfectant, so I could better protect myself and my partner during the Novel Coronavirus outbreak," said Xiao Geng.

▲Teacher Ma is taking care of Xiao Geng as usual. 

"During the outbreak, we carried out activities to explain some prevention knowledge to older children, so that they would know the proper way to wear masks and wash hands, and have a sense of self-protection. It's not enough for us to take care of them. It's more important for them to have a sense of taking care of themselves," said Teacher Ma.

▲Teacher Ma is teaching Xiao Geng the right way of wearing a mask.

▲Teacher Ma is teaching Xiao Geng the right steps of hand washing. 

In collaboration with this children's welfare house and rehabilitation center, World Vision China provided rehabilitation education support for children with disabilities in the institution, carried out professional rehabilitation training for the rehabilitation and education teachers, and promoted the participation of primary caregivers of children in the integration experience of the community. During the period of joint response to the outbreak, World Vision China has provided the welfare house and rehabilitation center with supplies such as disinfectant and hand sanitizer. Currently, urgently needed materials such as masks and antiseptic temperature guns are also being purchased.  (Written by Xu Wen)


If you are interested to be involved in the COVID-19 response, please go to WV China's website in Hong Kong -  www.wvchina.org