Grassroots Community Worker Helps Disabled People Involved in Social Life

 December 29, 2019

Xu Jiangli (R) works in the service center of a community in Xincheng Sub-district of Shihezi City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. [China Women's News]


Xu Jiangli, once a doctor in Shihezi City in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and now a community worker in the city's Xincheng Sub-district, said the military parade, the powerful strength of the motherland and people's happy lives nowadays have become the most frequent topics in her talk with local residents after she went to Beijing and witnessed this year's National Day celebration at Tian'anmen Square.

Xu became a community worker for the disabled following an accident that impaired her hearing abilities many years ago.

In June 2013, Xu initiated a workshop to help disabled people. Thanks to her knowledge and social work skills, a three-level protection network was launched to help them integrate into families, groups and communities.

Xu likes to keep a notebook and a pen with her. She takes notes of what people around her need.

There are more than 130 disabled people in her community, one fifth of them with mental and intellectual disability.

Xu uses her medical and social work skills to help ease their pain and hardship and support their families with better services. In 2015, she became one of the first leading professional social workers in China.

Yan Weiying, the mother of a 17-year-old son with autism, said she was deeply impressed by Xu's smile at their first meeting.

"I found she's very warm-hearted and enthusiastic. When I meet her, she smiled and asked what policy my family was eligible for at that time," Yan said, adding that Xu has often visited her family since then.

One day, a mother turned to Xu for help. Her son surnamed Yang suffers from serious mental disease.

Xu offered him psychological counseling and helped build his confidence. She also encouraged him to take part in group activities and invited doctors to give him medical treatment.

In addition, Xu advised the mother to attend gatherings of families with disabled people, as well as learn skills of caring for the mentally disabled.

Thanks to Xu's support, Yang has his own friends and his mother is now an enthusiastic square dancer in the community.

Xu went on to launch a long-term mechanism to better serve the disabled based on the support of the community and the social work workshop.

She has also initiated two voluntary teams named Sunshine and Caring Heart, and she organized regular training sessions for their volunteers.

Meanwhile, she has worked out tailored measures to support the vulnerable and created a group of projects to promote entrepreneurship and help them get more involved in social life.

The efforts of her workshop members have made it a brand and Xu herself has won many accolades including National March 8th Red-banner Holder and Most Beautiful Urban and Rural Community Worker.

"I started to do the work for the disabled in the community in 2007. I spent one month visiting the families with disabled people. I felt sad when I heard the stories of the disabled people and their relatives. At the time I decided to dedicate to such work and helping them get out difficulties, and I will continue to try my best, " Xu said.


(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)


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