As children become teenagers, it is even more important that we treat them as individuals.
Dong Fang (Eric) is a 12-year-old boy who has been in Bethel’s care for three years. He is very clever. He had never learned Braille before coming to Bethel, and after just a few weeks, he could read! He was one in the first group of children who started going to the Beijing School for the Blind.
Dong Fang’s first year at school was a struggle. As he is very clever and picks things up quickly, he was often bored in class, and he chose to push the boundaries of what he could get away with. He frequently ran away from his school classroom and his teachers were very angry. They resorted to asking his ayis to always stand outside the door to catch him on his way out.
Eventually, his ayis and teachers realised that whenever Dong Fang ran away from class, he headed straight for the elevator. He has a very technical mind and he loves anything to do with engineering. He kept asking questions about how the elevator worked.
At the beginning of the semester in March this year, Dong Fang was told that if he stayed at school during his classes, worked hard, and passed his exams, then he would be able to visit an elevator factory for his birthday. Thinking of this reward was the motivation that he needed. He worked hard, and during the summer holidays, he was allowed to visit the Schindler Offices in Beijing.
The Schindler team were wonderful! They spent some time giving the kids a presentation about the electronics behind elevators, and told them about the fastest and strongest ones in the world. Their presentation was fun, interactive and creative-perfect for children who are blind.
After the presentations, they took the kids to the escalators and elevators to see how the theories are put into practice. The whole day was very hands on and educational.
Dong Fang loved it! At the end, the Schindler team gave him a hat for his birthday.
The kids that we have at Bethel are like any other child. Each one is very different, they need different motivations, goals and rewards, and they need to be treated as individuals. It was a wonderful experience for Dong Fang’s caregivers and teachers to see him so excited to learn about different engineering projects. He is such a sweet boy!
Thank you for supporting Bethel’s vision to see every child with a visual life life to the fullest. We believe that children like Dong Fang can grow up to be an engineer. He has the mind, and the drive, and the determination to do so. It is our job to give our kids the opportunities to learn about different careers that they can work towards.