Aynur Halik, a 24-year-old college graduate village official, has been caring for children with cerebral palsy in a house that she rented specifically for that purpose.
|Aynur Halik, a college graduate village official, takes care of a child with cerebral palsy. [tianshannet.com]
Halik's youngest sister was born with the disease and she has been determined since young to help more people with the disease.
"I watched my mother take care of her. It is not easy," Halik said. "She is 13 now, but still cannot speak or walk. My mother still looks after her like she is a baby."
In 2012, Halik was hired as a college graduate village official at a village in Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. She discovered that there were over 200 people there living with cerebral palsy and decided to do something to improve their situation.
She contacted Wang Fang, the founder of the Angels' Home Cerebral Palsy Rehabilitation Centre based in Nanning, capital city of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Wang invited Halik to stay at her center for two months to learn about caring for children with cerebral palsy.
At the end of the two months, she rented a house near her work unit and moved her mother and sister there. At the same time, she invited three children with cerebral palsy nearby to stay there as well.
Within two months, one of the children, a 3-year-old boy who could not even move his head when he first arrived, was able to speak his first word. He called Halik 'mother'.
"I love them so much and I feel so proud when they call me 'mom'," said Halik.
Her sister's condition has also improved. She has started to learn to walk and can take care of herself. "After 13 years, my mother no longer has to help her use the toilet," said Halik.
She has so far taken in six children. As she only earns about 1,600 yuan (US$ 262.6) a month, she often receives help from her father.
Halik said her biggest dream is to set up a rehabilitation training center and teach more children with cerebral palsy to take care of themselves. Wang has said that she will help Halik achieve this dream.
China is estimated to have about 1 to 1.2 million children suffering from cerebral palsy, experts said during a campaign started by the One Foundation and Beijing Normal University's China Philanthropy Research Institute in 2012.
Cerebral palsy is a group of conditions that cause severe physical disability and delays in cognitive development.
About 70 percent of children with cerebral palsy live in remote and poverty-stricken areas in China, meaning that they have little access to treatment and rehabilitation training, experts said.
In recent years, the government and society have made major progress in helping children with cerebral palsy, but there remains a lot to be done, said Yang Peng, the secretary-general of One Foundation, a charity started by popular actor Jet
(Source: politics.people.com.cn/Translated and edited by womenofchina.cn)
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