With a little help from companies like Kockums these kids now have a bright future
Ivan Price is managing director of Victorian based materials handling specialists Kockums Bulk System.
He is also a man with a big heart and an even bigger vision.
Late last year Ivan joined a special group of fundraising friends on a visit to southern China.
UK-based David Gotts established the group, known as ICC (International China Concern), some 20 years ago.
David’s vision was to develop caring orphanages in China particularly for physically and mentally disabled children.
The process involves use of western trained volunteer staff with specialists for medical needs and physio training and always with the motto Love, Hope and Opportunity.
Some of the team had visited the orphanages 10 years ago and were amazed at the infrastructure improvements in China – particularly the upgrade of Changsha in southern China to a modern city. And highspeed bullet trains travelling up to 300 km/h now carry commuters across China.
“It was great to see the volunteers and local paid staff caring for the children, said Ivan.
“We viewed teaching areas with a couple of computers and objects being made from paper and beads.”
ICC’s main aim is to assist families with disabled children to keep them at home. This includes visits to the clinic for training and financial assistance for poor families where medical procedures are required.
There are a number of countries represented by the volunteers, including Australia.
“The team was very impressed with what is being achieved, but also understand the financial challenges, said Ivan.
"We were advised that in China wages increase at around 20 per cent a year, so this flows on to the locally employed staff.”
At Sanmenxia in Central China, ICC has developed a joint program working with the local government-run orphanage and receives some government financial assistance.
Local government officers are keen to emulate the processes used in Changsha, where they have seen the great successes that have been achieved.
Among the on-going financial needs facing ICC are medical funds needed for vital services such as operations, vehicles for transport, rent of premises and food.
There are also sponsorship programs available for children and the potential for short-term group visits to spend time with the children.
Ivan’s company Kockums Bulk Systems also assists with school building and providing a meal for children in the poor areas of Cambodia, through Samaritans Purse.
For more information on this benevolent organisation visit: www.chinaconcern.org
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