ICC’s participation in Sanmenxia comes to an end.

It is with a mixture of sadness and accomplishment that ICC departs Sanmenxia.

Background

For the past 8 years, International China Concern has been working closely with the Sanmenxia welfare centre in Henan province, providing advanced care for more than 100 children, training staff and changing attitudes about the value and potential of children with disabilities.

End of ICC’s participation 

At the end of March, our participation has come to an end. We leave with a sense of satisfaction that ICC’s core concepts of individualized care, therapy and special education have been embraced by the welfare centre. We are also aware that ICC must let the welfare centre step out on its own as they implement methods that they think will be beneficial and cost-effective. 

ICC leaves behind a solid foundation for the children’s continued growth and development. We have taken the centre to this point; from here the administration chooses to pursue policies and practices that seem best to them, but don’t align with ICC’s approach. At issue is a difference in viewpoint about the role of group homes and child/staff ratios.

Looking Forward

The majority of the staff that ICC has trained over the years have been taken on by the centre and will continue to care for the children that they have grown to love. What we’ve sown into the fabric of the welfare centre will remain. ICC will also continue to provide long-distance professional support.

As our relationship ends, so will the sponsorship of children in Sanmenxia, because ICC will no longer have staff at the centre or a direct role in their care. ICC is not contracting — instead, we will realign our resources to achieve maximum impact in regions where we have a long record of service. In 2018 ICC will expand our work in Hunan province. There is much work to do.

Karen Norman, who has been ICC’s Sanmenxia director for the past 5 years, is transferring to Hunan province, and will lead our outreach to other welfare centres that could benefit from ICC’s experience and system of care. Additionally, we will significantly expand our outreach to families who chose not to abandon their disabled children, but are in desperate need of assistance and support through our Community Outreach Project.

It is with a mixture of sadness and accomplishment that we depart Sanmenxia. We commit the children there into the hands of God, knowing that they will be well cared for.