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.
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.

Jul 11, 2014

A mother's love

Over the course of the long rehabilitation process following burns, the professional team of Sunshine Foundation not only helps burn survivors, but they also provide crucial support to family members who must deal with the emotional impact of the injury of their loved one and the recovery process. This can be especially difficult for the parents of burned children. As part of her work as a psychological counselor at Sunshine Foundation, Maggie NIU helps these parents explore and understand their emotions about their child’s injury.

In the course of my work at Sunshine Foundation, I often meet parents of small burned children who anxiously ask me if the injury will cast a lifelong shadow over their child and what can be done about it.

Faced with these questions, the first thing I can be certain of is that the parents are dealing with their own trauma and a tremendous amount of stress, which sometimes even exceeds the trauma and stress endured by a child who doesn’t really understand what is happening. During rehabilitation, the child who cries, screams and runs away is directly reacting to the physical pain. However, every scream of pain is like a dagger in the heart of the parents who worry for their child and blame themselves for letting this happen.

Hsiao-Li is one of those parents. Her daughter was burned while Hsiao-Li was absent, and now Hsiao-Li is not only ridden with guilt, but she also worries that the pain of rehabilitation and the scars will leave her daughter traumatized for life. Hsiao-Li told me how she must constantly appease her daughter every time she does rehabilitation, changes her wound dressing, showers her or puts her clothes on because the pain is too strong. Or how at night, she must help her daughter relieve the pain and itch caused by the scars without damaging the fragile skin that is progressively healing. Hsiao-Li desperately wishes that she could take some of the pain on herself. And although changes in her daughter’s appearance would never alter the love she feels for her, Hsiao-Li can’t help worrying how people will treat her daughter in the future. After a day spent overcoming a variety of challenges, Hsiao-Li looks at the little face of her daughter who has finally been able to fall asleep and thinks: “I wish my little treasure would never grow up. If she doesn’t grow up, I can continue to take care of her, she wouldn’t have to learn about the harsh reality of life and she wouldn’t have to face the stares of others.”

As I look at the exhausted Hsiao-Li sharing her most inner thoughts, I feel my eyes filling with tears. This period now is the hardest for a mother, but it’s also the happiest, because she can give her daughter more love, more attention and she can do more for her. Hsiao-Li cherishes this moment when she can protect her daughter who although being injured, is nonetheless surrounded by unconditional love. Nobody can be blamed for this kind of injury and nobody would wish this on anyone, but the emotional pain and pressure felt by parents is all too real. As I look at Hsiao-Li, I can’t help thinking: “Continue caring for your daughter, and we will continue to care for you and support you through it all!”

Your support is crucial!

Your donations make it possible for Sunshine Foundation to help burn survivors and their family go through the difficult process of rehabilitation. Now, thanks to Bonus Day on July 16th, your donation can achieve 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.

Apr 30, 2014

A mother-daughter bond stronger than burns

Re-learning how to hold a pen after burns
Re-learning how to hold a pen after burns

Yu-Ling (*) was 56 years old at the time of injury. This mother of two daughters sustained serious injuries after a gas explosion, having severe burns over 40% of her body. Due to the gravity of her injury, Yu-Ling was hospitalized for 6 months, with the first 4 months spent in coma. Her daughters were by her side throughout, talking to her, holding her hand, singing to her and calling her name, but also taking care of not crying in front of her, because they believed they could still reach out to their mother despite the haze of unconsciousness.

When Yu-Ling made a miraculous recovery and finally came out of the coma, she had to come to grip with the fact that she couldn’t use her hands, nor could she stand up and walk. There were a lot of things she could no longer do by herself. Thanks to her daughters, she came to stay at Sunshine Half-Way House and began her long process of recovery by doing daily rehabilitation at Sunshine Rehabilitation Center. Sunshine helped Yu-Ling in her two-year struggle, not only to recover her ability to walk and be independent, but also to come to terms with her scars and her changed appearance.

Although her daughters are grown women, she still felt the guilt of not having been able to be by there side as a mother should for so long. As she began training to regain the use her hands, she spent a lot of time re-learning how to hold a pen and write. Eventually, she was able to write a full page letter to her daughters, telling them how much she loved them and how she wished for their happiness.

And when her eldest daughter got married, she worried at first that if she attended while wearing her pressure garment, she would create a distraction during the event or bring discomfort to the groom’s family. But her daughter said: “Who hasn’t had a parent or a family member who fell ill or was injured? Having my mother by my side during this special day is the best blessing a daughter could have!”

Your support over the last year has been crucial in helping burn survivors like Yu-Ling find the strength to return to a normal life. Now, during GlobalGiving’s Bonus Day on May 7, 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, May 7 at 9:00 PM to Thursday, May 8 at 11:59 AM.
US time: from Wednesday, May 7 at 9:00 AM EST to Wednesday, May 7 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.

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