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.
Oct 7, 2014

"My goal is to play guitar again..."

The therapist delivers and adjusts garments
The therapist delivers and adjusts garments

A-Liang* is an energetic, positive and resourceful guy in his early twenties who leads a full and interesting life. Although he is very young, he started his own web-design company at home and he even employs other young designers. A-Liang is also a music enthusiast who plays base and guitar in a rock band he formed with friends. Of a curious and inquisitive nature, his interests are quite broad and if something new captures his interest, he will devote time and effort to understanding it. Little did he know that these qualities would prove critical in helping him face a new challenge...

The moment life changes

In early 2014, while walking back home from fishing at a nearby creek, A-Liang was crossing railroad tracks when his metal fishing rod accidentally got caught in electrical wires. A-Liang felt a sudden shock and everything went dark. The next thing he remembers is waking up in a hospital bed, his body covered in bandages. He had suffered severe electrical burns on his legs, trunk, arms, hands and neck. His fingers were particularly affected. He was fortunate that no amputation was necessary, but the fingertips were all charred and black, and his fingers became hypersensitive.

After many weeks in hospital, A-Liang was able to return home and that's when he started receiving visits from a social worker and a therapist from Sunshine's Central Center. Due to the severity of his burns, the therapist recommended intensive physical rehabilitation at Sunshine Rehabilitation Center in Taipei but A-Liang didn't want to be away from his family for an extended period of time and preferred to stay home. The therapist thus recommended home exercises, and also arranged for A-Liang to receive regular rehabilitation services at a nearby hospital. However, after a few weeks, A-Liang felt that he was wasting a lot of his time on the road and in hospital waiting rooms so he said he wanted to do rehabilitation by himself at home. At first, the therapist was a bit worried, but A-Liang methodically reviewed the pros and cons with her, convincing her that he had put a lot of thought into this and that he was committed to succeeding.

The importance of home rehabilitation services for burn survivors in the regions

For burn survivors living outside major urban centers, distance or limited medical resources reduce access to regular physical therapy. Sometimes, misconceptions about the scar healing process, ignorance of the importance of rehabilitation, urgent worries of personal or financial nature or other personal considerations also deter burn survivors from availing themselves of therapy, significantly delaying their recovery.

In 2004, Sunshine began offering home outreach services, with physical therapists visiting patients at home to plan rehabilitation programs they can carry out themselves. Therapists monitor progress, which reduces complications such as scar contracture. Patient education also inspires burn survivors to take charge of their recovery and become involved in developing their rehabilitation program. Visits also help identify burn survivors who, due to the seriousness of their physical condition, lack of family support, low motivation or limited local medical resources, need to carry out rehabilitation in the supervised setting of the Center in Taipei.

Client and therapist work together to set goals and achieve them

The therapist and A-Liang set out to outline rehabilitation goals, one of which was to be able to play the guitar again. In addition to providing pressure garments to control scar growth, the therapist planned a home exercise program which tried to use as mush as possible objects commonly found in the home, as well as activities carried out daily. For example, simple nuts and bolts became tools to practice fine motor skills. As A-Liang's physical status improved, the therapist modified his rehabilitation program and A-Liang himself began to look at daily life from the perspective of rehabilitation. Always ingenious, he started to think of ways to incorporate rehabilitation exercises and training in daily activities. For example, he became interested in making paper models and found that cutting, folding and gluing all the minuscule elements was a great way to train his hand function. He also began to play guitar again. Despite finger hypersensitivity which made pinching chords extremely painful, he found that with practice, flexibility of his fingers improved and sensitivity decreased. A-Liang actively discussed with the therapist his ideas and findings, and she encouraged him to explore these possibilities. 

During home rehabilitation visits, the therapist must move at the pace of the client and also try to make sure that she understands the needs and concerns of the client in order to ensure successful communication. She must also be able to adapt her clinical knowledge and skills to the home environment situation, and by discussing with the client his life experience (ex: interests, hobbies, etc.), she can identify ways by which rehabilitation can be integrated in daily life.

During a recent visit, A-Liang surprised the therapist by picking up his guitar and serenading her. A-Liang's goal to play guitar again is almost achieved and very soon, he'll be able to resume his active life.

Help us bring home rehabilitation services to more burn survivors in Taiwan

A donation of US$70 allows us to carry out one home rehabilitation visit to a burn survivor like A-Liang. Now, during GlobalGiving’s Bonus Day on October 15, you have the chance to maximize the value of your support because GlobalGiving will be matching gifts made to Sunshine Foundation at 30%. This means that your donation of $100 will receive a $30 match!

We invite you to support Sunshine Foundation’s efforts to provide comprehensive rehabilitation services to burn survivors in Taiwan by donating to our project Rehabilitation for burn survivors in Taiwan.

http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/burn-survivor-rehabilitation/ .

Mark the Bonus Day date on your calendar!!!

Taiwan time: from Wednesday, October 15 at 9:00 PM to Thursday, October 16 at 11:59 AM.
US time: from Wednesday, October 15 at 9:00 AM EST to Wednesday, October 15 at 11:59 PM EST

On behalf of Sunshine Foundation and its international partners, a huge thank you for your support!

PS: We encourage you to make your donation early, because matching funds will likely run out before the end of the day.

(*) Name has been modified.

Building a rapport with the client is important
Building a rapport with the client is important
Making model ships is a form of rehabilitation
Making model ships is a form of rehabilitation
Rehabilitation goal #1: Play guitar again
Rehabilitation goal #1: Play guitar again
Oct 7, 2014

When burn survivors become teachers

Practical wound care training
Practical wound care training

Helping burn rehabilitation specialists in India 5

In April 2013, Sunshine Foundation launched its newest capacity building cooperation project in India. Over a three-year period, Sunshine Foundation will provide technical support to International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC), a Chennai-based NGO working in the field of victim care and prevention of gender violence, for the establishment of a Recovery and Healing Center for women burn survivors. Following a site visit carried out at the Recovery and Healing Center in April 2014, the Sunshine team developed a specialized training program to help build the burn rehabilitation capacities of PCVC staff.

As part of the three-year cooperation project to help set up a Care Center for women burn survivors in Chennai, Sunshine organized a one-month internship from August 8th, 2014 to September 5th, 2014. Trainees Buvi (a physical therapist) and Joy (a social worker) had already attended the first training in 2013. They were joined by their colleague Jayanthi, who came for two weeks to learn about wound care and scar care in order to develop similar services in Chennai.

Soft and quiet Jayanthi had no prior experience in wound care and scar care, so the staff of Sunshine Half-Way House* prepared a curriculum that combined theory with practice. Under the supervision of senior staff, Jayanthi not only learned about the principles of wound care and characteristics of burn scars during the day, but her practical training continued in the evening and was modeled on the usual routine of client's staying at Sunshine Half-Way House.

To learn how to properly help burn survivor shower, clean their wounds, care for their scars and put on pressure garments, Jayanthi needed clients willing to act as models so that she could practice. Before the training began, staff of the Half-Way House explained the project and its significance to clients and asked if people were willing to volunteer. Only a few raised their hand. After all, it's not obvious to put oneself in the hands of a stranger who is just starting to learn. But then something interesting happened...

As Jayanthi came everyday to learn and practice, clients started to know her, they started to see the efforts she put in learning and overcoming the language barrier. They also started to ask about her work at the Care Center, about the life of the women burn survivor she cared for, about why they were burned and how they would be going back to life in the community. Then, more and more clients started to propose to volunteer as models. Even more touching was that some clients who didn't even let staff from the Half-Way House touch their scars, let alone show them to strangers, started to ask Jayanthi to come to their room to show her their scars and explain how they cared for them. For example, one client wanted to show Jayanthi how to distinguish a mature scar that can handle pressure from a fresh scar that is very fragile and can break easily. Another client explained to Jayanthi how the different types of skin grafting surgeries she underwent resulted in scars with different characteristics. Clients became teachers using their bodies and their burn experience as textbooks. When asked what motivated them to overcome shyness or initial scruples, they simply said: "We have to do this to help the burn survivors in India. They are like us, they need their wounds and scars to be taken care of, so we must make sure that Jayanthi learns all that she can while she is here. We want burn survivors there to receive the same good care as we receive."

Although Jayanthi's stay in Taiwan was a short two weeks, through her efforts and with the help of the clients of Sunshine Half-Way House, she was able to learn and make tremendous progress. Clients gave Jayanthi the self-confidence to go back and start implementing what she has learned, while Jayanthi touched the clients and gave them the strength to face their scars, to progressively accept their scars and to seize the opportunity to play a new role: from being recipients of help, clients became able to help others like them. This training project not only built the professional capacities of the Jayanthi, but it also empowered her and the clients of Sunshine Half-Way House.

Your donations help us train burn professionals like Jayanthi and ensure that burn survivors in other countries have access to excellent rehabilitation services. During GlobalGiving’s Bonus Day on October 15, you have the chance to maximize the value of your support because GlobalGiving will be matching gifts made to Sunshine Foundation at 30%. This means that your donation of $100 will receive a $30 match!

We invite you to support Sunshine Foundation’s efforts to help improve burn rehabilitation services in low-middle income countries by donating to our project "Give burn survivors access to rehabilitation"

http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/train-burn-rehabilitation-professionals/.

Mark the Bonus Day date on your calendar!!!

Taiwan time: from Wednesday, October 15 at 9:00 PM to Thursday, October 16 at 11:59 AM.
US time: from Wednesday, October 15 at 9:00 AM EST to Wednesday, October 15 at 11:59 PM EST

On behalf of Sunshine Foundation and its international partners, a huge thank you for your support!

PS: We encourage you to make your donation early, because matching funds will likely run out before the end of the day.

* Sunshine Half-Way House offers short-term housing for burn survivors undergoing rehabilitation at Sunshine Foundation. Its services include wound care and scar care, evening rehabilitation, daily living skills training and social adaptation services.

Practical wound care training
Practical wound care training
Activity at Sunshine Half-Way House
Activity at Sunshine Half-Way House
Making dumplings with clients
Making dumplings with clients
Jul 15, 2014

What I have seen and learned in India

Helping burn rehabilitation specialists in India 4

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 online 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. For the April 2014 site visit in Chennai, the team of Sunshine professional was accompanied by Gina Lien, a burn survivor from Taiwan, who was a “volunteer reporter,” helping record the trip through stories and pictures.


This was my first trip to India. I remember how surprised my friends were when I told them I was going. In order to prepare for this trip, I read a lot of documentation prepared by Sunshine Foundation to understand the situation in Chennai but as they say, seeing is believing. Only when I landed in Chennai did I truly understand how far away I was from Taipei, in every aspect possible.

Because this is a three-year project with PCVC (International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care), our site visit was to review work done over the last year. The Sunshine team was extremely happy that within only four months, PCVC was able to implement so many changes. Thanks to a presentation made by PCVC on the first day, we were able to appreciate how fast they set up the Care Center and how, from a loose work organization, they now use clear work division, standard forms and procedures, as well as meetings to provide better services.

Although this was my first visit to PCVC, I could immediately sense the camaraderie that exists between the staff. And based on the rapidity with which they implemented changes after their return from the internship in Taiwan, I could also sense their enthusiasm. The enthusiasm of staff working as a team will not simply emerge with one word or one command from their CEO, staff themselves must have the desire to improve their team work to benefit burn survivors. I was touched when I learned that one of the social workers was willing to stay after work to try to address the needs of burn survivors staying at the Center. This willingness of staff to empathize with burn survivors is extremely precious and should not be taken for granted.

I remember the first day we arrived at the Center and were welcomed by the burn survivors. We played with them games and everyone laughed so much. In the evening at the hotel, as I was writing the day’s report, I began to wonder if the burn survivors realized that I was like them or if they thought that I was a staff member from Sunshine Foundation? This question crossed my mind because I am a very optimistic and outgoing person, and socially-speaking, you can say that I am a burn survivor who has adapted extremely well. I’m not a burn professional, I cannot provide direct services to burn survivors but my hope before going to India was to give them emotional support. I have no way of knowing for sure if they felt it, but from the first day we met and weren’t familiar with one another, to the subsequent five days during which everyone warmly greeted one another, the smiles on their faces tells me that they most probably did.

I have to say that there is still a lot I don’t know about India. But on this trip, I have learned that no matter where you go, you must respect other cultures, open up your heart and broaden your perspective. You shouldn’t limit yourself to what you know, but instead embrace different experiences, as well as challenge your habits and your comfort zone. I’ve also learned that while we are sharing our experience with others, we must also empathize with their culture, their background, etc. That’s how cooperation can be more harmonious. At various levels, I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to join this trip, live this experience and learn from it.

Your support is crucial!

Your donations make it possible for Sunshine Foundation to share its expertise with other burn professionals in the world. Now, thanks to Bonus Day on July 16th, your donation can achieve even greater impact. During the July 16th Bonus Day, GlobalGiving will be matching online donations made to Sunshine Foundation at 40%! This means that a US$100 donation will result in a US$40 match!

Bonus Day begins at 9:00 am EDT on July 16th, 2014 (time in your city) and ends at 11:59 pm EDT (time in your city) on July 16th, 2014. There is $130,000 in matching funds available, so be sure to make your donation early.

Online donations of up to $1,000 per individual donor per project are eligible to be matched at 40%. In addition, the organization that raises the most donations on Bonus Day will receive an additional $1,000 from GlobalGiving. This bonus prize is determined at 11:59 pm EDT on July 16th.

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
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