Expat volunteers care for autistic people

Writer: Wang Jingli  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-04-03

Some 30 volunteers including some expat volunteers from countries including the U.S., Pakistan, India and Australia attended a charity event held yesterday at the Luohu Adolescent Activities Center in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day.

Volunteers and autistic children sing songs at a birthday party during a charity event held at the Luohu Adolescent Activities Center yesterday. Some 30 volunteers, including some expats, attended the event marking World Autism Awareness Day, which fell on yesterday. Photos by Sun Yuchen

During the event, each volunteer helped one autistic person arrange flowers to make a bouquet. Zhang Junhe, a 21-year-old autistic individual, was conversing in fluent English with an expat volunteer while they worked together on a bouquet.

Volunteers and autistic children pose for a group photo during a charity event at the Luohu Adolescent Activities Center yeserday.

“Next one, maybe use the yellow rose … it is very beautiful,” Zhang said. He could specify different types of flowers after the volunteer introduced them.

Staffers from the “Star School” volunteer service project in Luohu District told Shenzhen Daily that Zhang is one of the two people in the group who showed talent in English.

The “Star School” volunteer service project, established in 2008, aims to solve the problems of rehabilitation education and social integration for disabled children with disorders such as autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and Down syndrome.

“I think it is an amazing activity where I can connect with locals and reach out to the community of people with special needs,” Trance Dentler from the U.S., said.

“I live in Shekou so it was a long ride to get here. I was tired but I’m sure I’ll be very happy from attending this event. I hope to bring a little more happiness to these kids just like how they make me happier, and I want to let them know there are people around the world caring for them,” Dentler said.

Priyasha Sharma, an Indian volunteer, said that “It was my first time participating in the autistic children’s activity and was a wonderful experience especially because I was also volunteering for it.”

Volunteers and autistic children sings songs at a birthday party, part of the charity event.

“It was really nice to talk and meet these kids, who are all are very special, innocent and talented,” she added.

After the flower bouquet making session, the participating kids sang songs, cut cakes together with volunteers and received gifts.

The event of caring for children with autism was hosted by the Luohu District Foreign Affairs Bureau and Luohu District Committee of the Communist Youth League of China.