PERSPECTIVE | A New Challenge
Cici is the project manager for Hengyang Care Centre.
When the local government put all welfare centres under closed management in February due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the young adults in ICC’s community-based group home had to move back to Hengyang Care Centre.
Cici, who was on maternity leave during that time, offered to take in three young women from Rose Home in order to alleviate some of the pressure caused by the government decree.
On 24th February, the Rose Home girls moved in with Cici, her four-year-old daughter and her fourth-month-old baby.
The Rose Home girls (from left: Jianjie, Zhengzheng, and Pingping on the right) with Cici and her two daughters.
The Rose Home girls have been living together since 2012. Guided by their caregivers, the young women have learnt to do household chores such as cleaning, cooking, craftwork and grocery shopping.
With the three young women now living with Cici’s family, she had an idea.
“The girls have always had their caregivers assisting them in everyday life. I thought this could be an exciting opportunity for them to practice the skills they’ve learnt and develop their independence further.”
1st: Life-Skills Development
Cici gathered the newly formed family together and divided the household tasks among them: “Pingping is responsible for the kitchen, both cooking and cleaning. Jianjie is responsible for keeping the flat tidy. Zhengzheng is responsible for house admin such as bookkeeping, and I am responsible for looking after both my daughters.”
This is a new environment for the young women and it has taken some time for them to adjust to their new responsibilities. But eventually, everyone has adapted to the new routine. “They are doing really well. Even for Zhengzheng who has never done bookkeeping before. She can now utilise her math skills when taking records of our expenses.”
2nd: Personal Development
As the young women started to build up their self-confidence, Cici decided to put her focus on developing each of their unique strengths.
“Pingping is very shy, so I encouraged her to spend a bit more time with my daughter and help her feel more at ease when she is interacting with others.” She noticed that Pingping tends to be the gentle one and didn’t want to upset others. “So, we worked on this together. Now, she’s able to hold onto her ideas and communicate her thoughts more with us. I am very proud of her.”
Dreams and Opportunities
Cici hopes that when the three young women move back to Rose Home they will become semi-independent.
For Zhengzheng especially, Cici has observed that she is very bright and has big dreams. “Zhengzheng hopes to open an online business when she graduates from school. I was delighted to hear about her big plans. As her guardian, I want to help her achieve her dreams.” Cici takes that step forward by providing Zhengzheng with opportunities to go out to the shops to get groceries with her two sisters.
“These are challenging tasks for the young women,” Cici remarked. “They often say to me that the tasks are difficult and they can’t do them. Thankfully, we have never given up.”
Cici and the young people have now been living together for ten months. She feels that looking after the three young women and her daughters are enormous responsibilities.
“I have many sleepless nights. But there are moments at home when I see all five of them having fun together. Then I say to myself, this is all worth it.”
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