society

Nonprofit organization for children with Down Syndrome in Changsha benefits over 400 families

Photo shows “Candies’ Home,” a nonprofit organization for children with Down Syndrome established by Li Xiufang in Changsha, central China’s Hunan province. (Photo/Chinanews.com)

A nonprofit organization for children with Down Syndrome in Changsha city, capital of central China’s Hunan province, has helped over 400 families across the province since it was established six years ago, giving them a new start in life, Chinanews.com reported on Nov. 23.

The organization was established by Li Xiufang, whose son, born in 2002, also has Down Syndrome. Li was initially distraught when she found out her son had Down Syndrome, as it can cause developmental delays, intellectual disability and increased risk for certain medical issues.

In 2014, Li and six other families with Down Syndrome children established the nonprofit organization “Candies’ Home” for children with Down Syndrome, as “candies” and “down” have similar pronunciations in Chinese.

“We hope this organization will unite families of this kind, empower parents and their children, and give the general public a better understanding of these children,” said Li.

Every weekend, families with Down Syndrome gather at the organization, where parents can take a break while their children take part in activities such as painting and roller-skating.

In 2014, it worked with other organizations and launched a network for parents whose children are intellectually challenged. The network has opened a hotline for parents, launched inclusive education programs for these children in regular schools, and organized activities with university students from local communities to improve the children’s communication skills. So far, the network has over 200 members.

Apart from organizing activities, “Candies’ Home” hopes these children will assimilate into society and be able to live on their own in the future. Mingming, a child with Down Syndrome who joined the organization in 2013, can now cook meals, draw pictures and do calligraphy by himself.

“He will graduate from Zhuzhou Special Education School soon. And the way he assimilates himself into society really surprises me,” Li explained proudly, adding that although she is aware that the road ahead is by no means easy, she is also confident that there will be plenty of opportunities in the future.

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