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Spotlight: Project Sunshine China's International Children's Day Celebrations

Project Sunshine China

Project Sunshine China celebrated International Children�s Day with two special programs to mark the occasion on June 1st. One group of volunteers took some lucky children on a trip to the Beijing Aquarium and another hosted a Party Time event at a local hospital.

Project Sunshine China´s college volunteers organized a special field trip to the Beijing Aquarium for children living with mental health challenges and their caregivers. The children who participated in this event are from the inpatient department of a local mental health institute and for many of them, the trip was the first time in several months that they were able to leave the institute and experience something new and exciting. The children, accompanied by their caregivers and Project Sunshine volunteers, toured the amazing under-the-sea exhibition, watched an interactive dolphin show, and enjoyed ocean-themed games and crafts.

The Project Sunshine volunteers also organized a large-scale Party Time event at a local Beijing hospital for children whose medical conditions prevented them from being able to go on the trip to the aquarium. Over 100 children and family members enjoyed the games, talent shows, clown shows and animal balloons! The children receiving treatment at this facility come from a remote, economically underprivileged area in Gansu Province, one of the farthest and underdeveloped provinces in China. During their one month hospital stay in the country�s capital city, most of the children do not leave their rooms or see the city because their physical condition and their family´s tight budget prevent it. Project Sunshine provides an opportunity for the children to partake in some festive activities during their time away from home. "I wish I could stay in the hospital longer so that we can spend more time with the Sunshine Sisters!" said a 5 year old patient about the Project Sunshine volunteers after the party.

These two celebrations were in addition to the weekly programming that Project Sunshine China volunteers bring to these two facilities. Each week, Project Sunshine China�s volunteers visit these children and families and provide Creative Arts & Crafts, Sunshine Chefs, games and parties to brighten their hospital stays. " Our volunteers begin to have connections to these kids," said Yang Ruyuan, Project Sunshine China´s Chapter Leader. "We know where they are from, what they like and what they are good at. This helps our volunteers to better design our programming. And yes, we are all exhausted now (after the party) but all the laughter and happy smiles made it all worthwhile."

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