Children with leukemia cannot go to the playground or to school, and thus have limited contact to children their own age. In cooperation with the New Sunshine Charity Foundation, Bosch is trying to remedy this by supporting school classes at Chinese hospitals.
Nisi Ren is carefully cleaning the table, chairs, and benches with a sterilized washcloth. The teacher is also wearing a surgical mask as she prepares her class at the hospital in the city of Kunming, China. Here, children who suffer from leukemia are offered lessons. The Bosch China Charity Center (BCCC) supports the project in the capital of Yunnan Province.
Despite a good prognosis, children with leukemia must undergo one to two years of intensive treatment. During this time, the young patients are isolated in an important phase of their socialization. To allow them to access education in a child-friendly environment while receiving treatment, Nisi Ren and her colleagues bring the classroom directly to their ward.
Luo Chenhao (name changed to maintain anonymity) is one of the children taking part in the project. The eight-year-old enjoys drawing and has been in the children’s hospital for ten months. His family comes from the distant town of Puèr. When he isn’t attending his classes, his mother is with him. His father has also travelled to Kunming. The cost of his two-year treatment amounts to RMB 400,000, about EUR 50,000. While the state covers about half the total amount, the family must finance the rest. Luo Chenhao’s parents are grateful that their son can attend school. “He is very happy about being able to spend time with other children.”
An educational ray of hope
The educational initiative is managed by the New Sunshine Charity Foundation, a non-governmental organization with headquarters in Beijing. The foundation sets up special classrooms at hospitals that are adapted to the children’s needs. Since 2015, it has created 25 classrooms in 12 provinces. “The New Sunshine Hospital School fills the educational and development gap that is created when children need to stay in hospital for longer periods of time,” says Michelle Gao, the BCCC project manager in Kunming. “While the children slowly get used to life at the hospital, they can keep going to school during their treatment”.
Making everyday life more colorful
The classes are special because the teachers and volunteers provide individual support for 12 children between the ages of five and eight. The lessons include everything from storytelling to painting with water colors. The Bosch China Charity Center provides funds for part of the materials required, and Bosch intends to continuously increase the scope of its commitment: over the next two years, the BCCC plans to support the work of New Sunshine with some 1,000,000 yuan (about 137,000 euros).
More opportunities, less poverty
Founded in 2011, the Bosch China Charity Center supports activities that benefit poor or disadvantaged children. With an annual budget of some 3.4 million euros, it supports mainly educational initiatives for children and young people, as well as projects that aim to fight poverty in central and western China. To drive projects such as the school classes in Kunming forward, the BCCC works closely with several partners, among them private and public foundations.
millions of euros were contributed to more than 70 projects across the country by the Bosch China Charity Center in 2017.
For children with leukemia, playing with children their own age and attending school are extremely important. In cooperation with several local partners, the Bosch China Charity Center supports school classes at Chinese hospitals.