Dear Friends & Supporters,
G.O.T. Orphans teamed up with All God’s Children this September to provide occupational therapy services and training to the staff at two orphanages, Harmony House and New Day Foster Home, located just outside of Beijing, China.
Both orphanages are homes to infants and children with special needs. The staff of both homes provide amazing care and love to these children and were an absolute blessing to work with during this week of training. It was clear that they not only provide wonderful care but are also very dedicated to provide these children with therapeutic activities and environments in which they will continue to grow and develop their motor, cognitive, and emotional skills.
Unlike many orphanages, New Day Foster Home had a full therapy room with a suspension system, a few swings, mats, therapy balls, and a climbing ladder. This home was staffed with therapists, doctors, and nurses that were eager to learn new methods and techniques of therapy as they have limited professional therapy training in China.
Therapists in China receive three years of training in which they are given Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Occupational Therapy skills; where as in the States one typically obtains a degree in just one area of therapy and focuses on these studies from 4 up to 6 years. The staff had modern equipment that had not been used regularly just because they lacked the training to feel adequate in its use. To see the enthusiasm of the therapist, along with the children who were receiving a whole new type of therapy, was unbelievable. Words cannot express the gratitude they all showed through their laughter, smiling and singing.
The Harmony Home, although more limited in their resources, also provided an abundance of love and care to their children. Due to lack of funds they had no therapy equipment, no therapist on staff and few if any splints, braces, and orthotics for these children; however what they lacked in resources they made up for in their amount of enthusiasm and excitement with the occupational therapy training that was provided to the “house moms” or nannies.
The therapy training at The Harmony Home was tailored to their home’s needs. This mainly consisted of teaching positioning, range of motion, developmental skills like facilitation of rolling, sitting, reaching, grasping, crawling, standing and walking with the resources and staff they did have. Self-care skills training such as adaptive feeding techniques, dressing, toileting strategies and routines were also provided. In both these homes, many children had cleft palate and cleft lip deformities. We provided training on adaptive feeding techniques for infants, desensitization, stretching and strengthening exercises of the oral motor cavity for the children after the surgical repair of their cleft palate and/or lip.
We cannot express enough how much we appreciate all of your support. Please check out our website to see photo’s and more information about this, and upcoming trips.