Matthew is a special kid. He has spent his entire life growing up in the confines of an orphanage, but he possesses a spark in his spirit that lights up a room. I had the opportunity to meet him this past March and was so impressed with him. Matthew has albinism and poor vision, and unfortunately, due to his age, he will not know the joy of being a part of a family. He attends regular public school, but has struggled greatly in keeping up with his peers. Last fall the SWI asked if LWB would be willing to provide him with a tutoring sponsorship. A tutor was found, and Matthew worked diligently. He made so much progress and showed much improvement in his marks this spring. We were so proud!
Meanwhile, the physical therapists that work with some of the kids with special needs in the Loudi orphanage were planning on traveling to a hospital in a neighboring province for some additional training funded by LWB. A few folks put their heads together and requested that Matthew be allowed to attend the training as well to take a course in massage, an occupation commonly performed by people in China with visual impairments. The SWI said they would consider employing him to perform the daily stretching and massage from which some of the children in the SWI could benefit. Matthew left for the training just a few days before his 18th birthday. We just received a report back from one of our LWB staff in China about Matthew’s first week.
“This afternoon I have been to the hospital and visited Matthew. Matthew is doing very fine. According to the hospital physical therapist, Matthew shows great interest in learning the therapy skills. He is learning very earnest. The hospital therapists speak high of him and are very patient in teaching him.”
We are so proud of Matthew’s efforts and hope that this specialized vocational training allows him the opportunity to find his special place in this world. Best wishes as you continue your adventure, Matthew!
Loudi Education Coordinator