International China Concern (ICC) Project
Recently, WFCF funded $10,227 in support of the ICC project. This project included custom fitted sleep aid systems for 14 children in Hengyang and an additional 4-6 sleep aid systems to children that required them at the Changsha Center. These sleep aid systems improve the children’s physical and emotional health, decreasing morbidity and even mortality by providing the correct positioning. The systems also enable improved opportunities for participation in community activities which affect the children’s social and emotional health, self-esteem, independence and communication. Overall, the impact of this project will have an immense impact on the children’s lives and the community.
Many children in ICC’s care suffer from cerebral palsy. Those with more severe cases are at a high risk for serious health challenges injuries if they are unable to get into a good sleeping position. Not being able to lie in an optimal sleeping/rest position also deprives the child of much needed rest which can cause other health related and development issues.
Protecting body shape through postural management will provide a more comfortable and supportive environment for our children to rest in. Assessment of need, minimizing risk and provision of equipment with a specific plan for each child will help their bodies to be more symmetrical and more comfortable. In helping protect body shape we help the child now and into the future with improved breathing, swallowing, digestion and sleep. We help prevent and minimize deformity that can be life limiting. Training for proper use of the equipment is provided to protect children’s body shape both now and into their adulthood.
The specialized postural care equipment (sleep aid systems) began to arrive in October 2106. The staff were very excited to see this new form of aiding children with severe malformation to improve their posture and ultimately their overall health by being able to sleep with more comfort. Each child needed to be re-assessed to make sure this new equipment is meeting their needs and one to one informal training for each specific child is given.
When introducing new therapy equipment training is important for both the children and staff. We held 4 formal training sessions for some of the children, care staff and Therapists from Heng Yang, Changsha and Sanmenxia. The why’s, what’s, hows were covered and then we began to put this into practice. The first training was for the care givers of 8 of the children, the second was for 24 therapists (including 2 from the local government welfare center) and the third training was for 31 care staff from 7 groups in the Hengyang and Changsha centers.
Ling Ling, Jing Jing, Ci Ci, Yuan, Sui and Li Bin are already fitted with their sleep systems and are using them comfortably and happily. Some of the children are using them for their lunch time 2 hour rest time while others are using them all night. Every child is different and so we are taking our time to make sure the equipment is accepted and applied successfully to ensure maximum benefits to each of children that are being fitted. A total of 20 children will benefit greatly from this equipment.
A huge “Thank You” to World Forgotten Children Foundation the gift of $10,227usd to provide this specialized postural care and sleep aid equipment as this will provide long term and life changing benefits to 20 children. This equipment is already bringing relief and protection to these precious kids and the impact will be felt for many years to come!