ASIA/CHINA - Catholics in Beijing organise Christmas Party for children with disabilities at Hui Ling Centre

Monday, 20 December 2004

Beijing (Fides Service) - Christmas is almost here and there is already an atmosphere of joy and goodwill in Catholic community in Beijing. Local sources told Fides that after Mass on the third Sunday of Advent local and foreign resident Catholics, mostly employees of international companies, diplomats, students, went to the Holiday Inn Hotel in Beijing for the Catholic community’s first Christmas Party of the year organised for children at the Hui Ling Community Service for People with disabilities. The children sang and danced and took part in charity sale for which they had made calendars and other small Christmas items. The adult guests were amazed at the talent of these children despite their disability and the handmade objects were quickly purchased. One of the children said to the teachers: “I am so happy, I am so happy” and everyone was deeply moved. One of the adults said: “It does not take much to bring a little joy to these children abandoned by society. They have much to give to people. From now onwards I will try to visit them once a week”. Local and foreign young people work as volunteers at the Centre.
Hui Ling Community Service for People with disabilities was opened in 1999 thanks to the Hong Kong charity organisation “Fu Hong Society” and Father Giosuè Bonzi a PIME missionary. It is fully recognised by the local authorities. Recently state television broadcast a programme on the Centre including interviews with the little inmates. At present the Centre has 30 children with either physical or mental disabilities. They are looked after by 10 specialised teachers assisted by least five volunteers every day . (Agenzia Fides 20/12/2004 Righe: 29 Parole: 327)