If you have read our “Who Are We” page, you probably have heard the story of Bosco when he went to China in 2004. What did he do when he was in China? What happened afterwards?
The Exploratory Trip
Bosco went with Peter to a university in Western China and shared their knowledge of assistive technologies to the students and professors. They visited a school for the blind, a school for the hearing impaired, and an organization serving children with developmental challenges. After knowing the huge needs in China, they both grew a strong passion and promised to go back to the people in China.
Many Chinese communities in the USA were very excited about knowing the needs in China. Many of them gave Bosco and Peter money to buy Braille typewriters for the blind school. Two occupational therapists, with a few others, joined a core group that later became Rainbow Missions. Blind and visually impaired children became the first group of people to be served in China.
More people going to China through Rainbow Missions
In 2005, a team of 6 Chinese from the USA, including the two founders, went to China. They brought with them 6 new American made Braille typewriters as gifts to the school of the blind so the teachers and the students have a better way to write. They ran English and other activity programs for the students. They started sponsoring boarding fees for 40 students in the school. The team also gave talks about their professions in a university.
In 2006, the team grew to the size of 20. The blind students were looking forward to their arrival. Cheers and laughter filled the room at the Christmas party when one of our volunteers dressed as Santa Claus and gave out gift packs to each student. There was more excitement for them when we took them to a zoo and a supermarket. While the laughs seemed to never end, Bosco and Peter visited more universities to share their knowledge of assistive technology. Every year thereafter, teams were sent to different parts of China and various services were started and expanded to include more types of disabilities.
Hong Kong Rainbow Missions
In 2007, Peter and Bosco went for the second exploratory trip in China. They visited Northern China, Western China and Southern China. At the end of the trip, they got a chance to share the vision of Rainbow Missions to a group of Chinese in Hong Kong. Three volunteers, including a retired principal of a school for special need children, came together to establish Hong Kong Rainbow Missions. They started serving children with cerebral palsy in Southern China, and later on extended to different kinds of children in a special education school. Since then, Hong Kong Rainbow Missions takes care of the needs of people with disabilities in 3 different cities in Southern China. In the same year, Rainbow Missions started to provide services to families who have autistic children.
Sending long term volunteers
As the needs in China require services on a daily basis, Rainbow Missions sent Bosco and his wife to live in Southern China in 2008. They were the first long term volunteers of Rainbow Missions. They travelled to different parts of the country to oversee the many different programs, to care about the needy ones and to network resources to their supporters.
In 2008, Peter and a few Rainbow Missions volunteers were sent to Wenchuan earthquake zone to help out the relief work for a few times. Besides counseling and sending commodities, Rainbow Missions ran a summer camp for teenagers and children. Volunteers visited and grieved with the survivors who lost their homes and family members. In winter, they enjoyed a Christmas party in the temporary camp run by Rainbow Missions. When we saw the survivors moving into newly constructed farm houses in 2010, we were very thankful for them and they invited us to feast on their new homes.
Staffs in China
As needs and longer term services are required, and the number of people we serve is growing, we realized that our services cannot be just provided by volunteers from outside China. We must localize our services. Our first local staff was hired in early 2012. Our autism services also extended to Northeast China in the same year. An additional half time staff was hired in 2014.
Currently, our staff and volunteers are serving 4 China cities. Numerous volunteers served through short term teams in 3 China cities by Hong Kong Rainbow Missions.