Sunshine Social Welfare Foundation

Sunshine Social Welfare Foundation was established in 1981 by a group of individuals committed to improving the lives of burn survivors and people with facial disfigurement. Sunshine Foundation has for mission to provide an extensive range of services for burn survivors and people with facial disfigurement in order to assist them in their physical, psychological and social rehabilitation, as well as uphold their human rights and dignity.
Apr 13, 2015

Empowering women working in burn rehabilitation

Sunshine therapist explaining use of neck collar
Sunshine therapist explaining use of neck collar

Helping burn rehabilitation specialists in India 6

Sunshine Foundation initiated a three-year cooperation project in 2013 in Chennai, India to help a local organization set up a Care Center for women burn survivors. By training their staff in Chennai and holding internships for them in Taiwan, as well as providing continuous support through monthly SKYPE meetings, we are helping this local organization address an unmet need: provide comprehensive physical and psychosocial rehabilitation services for women burn survivors after hospital discharge.

From March 9 to March 13, 2015, the Sunshine team visited its partner in Chennai, the International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC), to assess the impact of the professional training and technical support given in 2014. During this one-week visit, Hsiu-Hsiu TU, Director of Sunshine Half-Way House, as well as Shih-Yuan HUNG, Occupational Therapist at Sunshine Rehabilitation Center, observed activities of the Care Center, carried out discussions with staff and provided technical advice and recommendations.

During this time, Shih-Yuan worked very closely with Jayanthi, who came to Taiwan in 2014 to learn about wound care and scare care, as well as Ananthi who works as a physical rehabilitation assistant. Jayanthi and Ananthi are like the two guardian angels that care for women burn survivors staying at the Care Center. Every morning, they help women do wound care using techniques that Jayanthi learned in Taiwan during an intensive two-week training and that she has shared with Ananthi. By looking at before-after pictures of wounds, it became obvious that last year’s training and Jayanthi’s efforts have paid off by improving greatly the condition of women burn survivors and ensuring a better recovery. And thanks to Ananthi who closely monitors and assists women burn survivors in following the physical rehabilitation program prepared by a therapist, better physical outcomes are achieved.

Although Jayanthi and Ananthi are not burn professionals by training, they have a strong bond with PCVC and they are committed to their work of improving the lives of women burn survivors staying at the Care Center. This is why throughout the week, they have been willing to work with Shih-Yuan and step out of their comfort zone to learn or try things they never did before. This started out with Shih-Yuan organizing two small courses for the women burn survivors of the Care Center: one on wound care and pressure garments, the other on scar massage. Although Shih-Yuan supervised the courses, the real teachers were Jayanthi and Ananthi, who explained the principles of wound care, why pressure garments are necessary after burns, what is the proper way to massage scars, etc. As teachers, they also lead practice sessions with clients. Later, Shih-Yuan taught Jayanthi and Ananthi how to make simple splints for clients.

For Jayanthi and Ananthi, this was a week filled with many “firsts”: first time they used a Powerpoint to make a presentation about their work at the Care Center in front of everyone, first time they were teachers in a training course, first time they made splints. Initially, they were extremely nervous and fearful of making mistakes, but slowly, they began to feel more confident in their abilities and they also were able to see the progress they have made over the last year. As their skills and confidence grow, they become more empowered, and they will be able to continue improving the care they give to women burn survivors at the Care Center.

Helping women burn survivor to do exercises
Helping women burn survivor to do exercises
PCVC staff teach scar massage techniques
PCVC staff teach scar massage techniques
PCVC staff help client with wound care
PCVC staff help client with wound care
Neck collar made by PCVC staff
Neck collar made by PCVC staff
Finger splint made by PCVC staff
Finger splint made by PCVC staff
Apr 13, 2015

Inspiring burn survivors through one's experience

Mei-Li accepting a public service award
Mei-Li accepting a public service award

A burn is probably the most traumatic experience one can go through. The ordeal doesn’t end after hospital discharge or after wounds have healed. Instead, burn survivors face the long process of rehabilitation during which they must fight against scar contracture while re-learning to live with a changed appearance. But from the struggles against these highly challenging life circumstances come growth and a new perspective on life. The traumatic experience also gains a new meaning.

This is the case of Mei-Li who sustained severe burns 20 years ago. Having undergone over 50 reconstructive surgeries and a long rehabilitation process at Sunshine Foundation, she made tremendous efforts to bring her life back on track by going back to school and earning many professional certifications. She also had to overcome the challenges posed by facial disfigurement when looking for a job but with her determination and confidence, she eventually climbed up the professional ladder and landed a managerial job. Mei-Li’s fighting spirit has touched many people and she now uses her story to encourage other burn survivors to step out during many educational activities. Mei-Li is also Sunshine’s Face Equality Ambassador, giving talks to raise public awareness about the rights of people with facial disfigurement.

“The burn injury is just another experience different from what other people go through. If you use a positive outlook to examine your setbacks and don’t see yourself as a victim, people will not look at you differently.” From helping herself to helping others, Mei-Li’s journey that started in pain now has a new meaning, as it is used to inspire and encourage many burn survivors and people with facial disfigurement: “If you put your mind to it, you can go back to school, you can become a manager, you can become a teacher. Each person has his or her own self-worth.”

The award recognizes Mei-Li
The award recognizes Mei-Li's public work
Jan 30, 2015

Thank you for your support in 2014

Dear Friends,

As we are getting ready to celebrate Lunar New Year on February 18th, we would like to take this opportunity to look back on 2014, and thank you for your support, which has made it possible for us to do so much during an eventful year.

Indeed, at the local level, we were able to provide services to a total of 384 burn survivors. We also held hundreds of educational activities across Taiwan focusing on prevention and enhancing the public’s understanding and acceptance of facial disfigurement. In addition to our five service centers in Taipei City, Taichung City, Chia-Yi City, Kaohsiung City and Hualian City, we also opened three new work stations in Taoyuan County, Tainan County and Taitung County to bring our services closer to our clients. The unexpected tragedy of the August 1st Kaohsiung Gas Explosion also led to the establishment of a new Rehabilitation Center in Kaohsiung in October to help the victims of the accident.

At the international level, we have continued our capacity building work to train burn professionals and improve their ability to provide better care locally to burn survivors. In India, we have continued helping our local partner build the capacities to set up and operate a rehabilitation center for women burn survivors. We have also continued working with partners in five Central America countries to strengthen their capacity to make pressure garments for burned children. And we are now developing a new training program for burn therapists from Nepal and Bangladesh that should take place in March 2015.

Some of these projects were already part of our annual plan, some were a response to urgent needs, all were made possible by your support. Thank you for helping us bring rehabilitation services to burn survivors in Taiwan, and for allowing us to share our expertise in order to better the lives of burn survivors elsewhere around the world.

2015 is the Year of the Sheep according to Chinese zodiac, and traditionally, Lunar New Year is a time for family gatherings and celebrations. On behalf of everyone at Sunshine Foundation, we wish you peace, health, good fortune and prosperity for 2015, and we look forward to continuing working with you to better the lives of burn survivors.

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