Young Village Official Takes Care of Children with Cerebral Palsy

From www.womenofchina.cn

Young Village Official Takes Care of Children with Cerebral PalsyAynur Halik, a 24-year-old college graduate village official, has been caring for children with cerebral palsy in a house that she rented specifically for that purpose.

Halik’s youngest sister was born with the disease and she has been determined since young to help more people with the disease.

“I watched my mother take care of her. It is not easy,” Halik said. “She is 13 now, but still cannot speak or walk. My mother still looks after her like she is a baby.”

In 2012, Halik was hired as a college graduate village official at a village in Kashgar in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. She discovered that there were over 200 people there living with cerebral palsy and decided to do something to improve their situation.

She contacted Wang Fang, the founder of the Angels’ Home Cerebral Palsy Rehabilitation Centre based in Nanning, capital city of southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Wang invited Halik to stay at her center for two months to learn about caring for children with cerebral palsy.

At the end of the two months, she rented a house near her work unit and moved her mother and sister there. At the same time, she invited three children with cerebral palsy nearby to stay there as well.

Within two months, one of the children, a 3-year-old boy who could not even move his head when he first arrived, was able to speak his first word. He called Halik ‘mother’.

“I love them so much and I feel so proud when they call me ‘mom’,” said Halik.

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Salinas Park for People with Special Needs Gets Some Color

By Nicholas St. Fleur | Herald Staff Writer
 
Tatum Bakker, 3, works on a mural with Salinas artist Jose Ortiz. (DAVID ROYAL/The Herald)

Tatum Bakker, 3, dipped her brush in yellow paint, rolled her wheelchair forward a few inches, and added a splash of color to an emerging mural on the playground that bears her name in Salinas.

Under the supervision of her parents, Shawn and Amanda Bakker, Tatum, who has spina bifida and cannot walk, helped Salinas artist Jose Ortiz and a crew of volunteers put the finishing touches on a mural at Tatum’s Garden on Monday. The playground is an all-inclusive park in Salinas’ Sherwood Park for children and adults with special needs.

The display depicts four children, one in a wheelchair, playing together with their hands high in the sky, grabbing the sun and moon. Its vibrant mix of blues, greens, oranges and reds is meant to offer a warm welcome to children seeking excitement at the only park in a 250-mile radius designed for children of all physical abilities.

Ortiz, who was inspired by the community’s effort to construct the park, volunteered to design the mural and spread “Tatum’s touch.” He wanted to show children being kids and connecting with the elements of wind, water, earth and fire.

“This mural is to celebrate the children’s spirit and how the body doesn’t hold them down because their spirit is still free,” said Ortiz. “Even though they might be in a wheelchair, the mural shows that they can stand up and fly.”

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