By Lauren Hogan, Writer
To say Xiersen Children Service Center was busy this past year is an understatement. Founded at the end of 2014, ELG’s sister NGO focuses on revolutionizing the way special education services are provided in China by utilizing a variety of different resources in the community. They have been mobilizing community partners, recruiting volunteers, and initiating new projects since it unveiled its famous AWare sleeves this past January.
The idea behind the AWare project came from Nikki Lindgren, Xiersen’s General Manager. In China, children with autism are also called ‘children of the stars’ because, depending on severity, they can at times seem to live in a different world. AWare’s navy and yellow colored sleeves represent the many stars (and children) in the night sky.
Sold at schools, community events, and by volunteers, their purpose is to connect the children and adults who wear them and create social awareness. Proceeds from the sleeves, sponsored by Redmond Yeung, the Vice Chair of Gap Greater China, raise funds for one of Xiersen’s core initiatives: teacher and parent education.
For their latest partnership activity, Xiersen assisted Gap and the Pudong Special Education School to create a memorable day for families with children with special needs. “Gap did a wonderful job hosting over 100 children from the Pudong Special Education School,” says Chairman of Xiersen, Andrew Hill.
During the day, children played games such as tug-of-war, led by enthusiastic Gap employees excited to host their new friends. Gap cut one of their large banners into small sections, passing pieces out to each child to paint. At the end of the day, they were pieced back together to create a unique banner from the imaginations of the children.
“This event was very powerful because it gave the children and the Gap staff the chance to share time and conversation while they did fun activities,” says Hill. “I am sure everyone left with a desire to spend more time together and continue the mission of including everyone from the community in our lives.”
Xiersen is planning their next big AWare event for this coming spring. Stay tuned for more about how they are helping others and raising awareness.
Click here for more information about the Xiersen and ELG partnership.
Click here to visit Xiersen’s website.