When you think you don’t know much about cerebral palsy, you are not alone. Our two founders didn’t know much until they met a friend in Southern China who runs a treatment and education center for children with cerebral palsy in 2007.
They chatted with the parents in the treatment center. Every parent loves their child, but many of them felt tired because they couldn’t afford the cost of treatment and their kids need 24 hours of care every day. Either the father or the mother has to stay home. They take their children to receive physical therapy every day and continue the exercise when they return home. For parents who both have to work, they leave their child in the center and for these children, the center is like a boarding school. Our hearts of compassion and loving mercy to these children and their parents drive us to start our work there.
We immediately sponsored many poor families to ease their financial burden so their children could continue receiving physical therapy, education and boarding. We sent experts and volunteers along our Hong Kong branch to serve them. The experts provide training to teachers and parents, while the volunteers took the children and their parents out to parks, supermarkets and KFC fried chicken restaurant for lunch. For many parents, it was the first time they ate at KFC restaurant because they couldn’t afford the price. For many children, it was also the first time they went to a park and supermarket. The parents were very happy and so were the children. But the most important work we do is to give encouragement and hope to the parents through counseling and visitation. We assisted the parents to form a student-teacher support group.
Another major work of Rainbow Missions is to give management consultations to the center, which eventually split into a children center and a youth center in 2 different locations. Children started to receive proper education besides physical therapy. We organized the teachers to receive special training in Hong Kong. Teenagers in the youth center also receive daily life skills training and pre-job training.
Our work has continued for 8 years and it will go on. We are so blessed to see that many children eventually stand and walk. Some even have started their education in main stream schools. One youth is now having an internship position and is very likely to be hired by the employer for long term.