Most eleven-year-old girls have a healthy appetite and seldom need much encouragement when it comes to eating. Qiu Qiu was an exception. Her spindly little arms and legs would have had you thinking she was being starved but eating held no appeal for her. The fragile little girl’s health was a real matter of concern for staff at Xining Children's Home.
Qiu Qiu has Cerebral Palsy. Her cognitive functioning level is low, and she needs top to toe care. She doesn’t speak, and mealtimes were a nightmare for the care-worker trying to feed her because it took over an hour to try and persuade Qiu Qiu to eat her food – most of which she spat out.
Then Mona, a very special nursing consultant arrived on the scene and provided the solution to Qiu Qiu’s eating problems. She approached Qiu Qiu on the little girl's own terms, carefully interpreting the subtle signals which were Qiu Qiu's means of communicating. Mona took the 'child centered approach' as opposed to a 'job centered approach' i.e. getting the job done. The little girl began to trust Mona and as the two of them got to know one another, mealtimes became far more pleasurable. It now takes Qiu Qiu only half an hour to eat, and most of her food ends up in her tummy rather than on the floor! I’m pleased to say the skinny little Qiu Qiu I used to know has gone forever!
The childcare workers employed by the children’s home have little education so Christian Action’s partnership with Xining Children’s Home for the last fifteen years has provided ‘on the job’ training for these workers. The turnover is high because it is difficult to get unskilled childcare workers to change their approach. That’s why Christian Action’s provision of consultants like Mona is invaluable - both for the care of the children and for training staff. When untrained staff are willing to persevere, they see the transformation in children like Qiu Qiu and become eager to learn because they see that their job takes less time and is far more rewarding!
Thank you for your support in helping Qiu Qiu and all the children and youth living in the Tibetan Plateau in Qinghai, China. Your support helps us to continue this much needed care for these abandoned (but very much loved) orphans.