Project #10558

Rehabilitation for burn survivors in Taiwan

by Sunshine Social Welfare Foundation

Following the Formosa Fun Coast Water Park Dust Explosion on June 27, 2015, Sunshine Foundation mobilized all its efforts to address the rehabilitation needs of victims requiring intensive, long-term rehabilitation. With the help of our donors, we were able to set up new Rehabilitation Centers and by the end of 2015, these new facilities staffed with newly hired professionals were all up and running. Throughout 2016, Sunshine Foundation has helped over 900 burns survivors have access to physical and psychosocial rehabilitation services. Of these clients, over 300 of them were victims of the June 27, 2015 Dust Explosion.

We sincerely thank you for your support in 2016. Thanks to you, burn survivors in Taiwan have been able to progressively rebuild their lives after the terrible tragedy of burns, and now many of them are back to school or back to work, living a full and active life.

In 2017, Sunshine Foundation celebrates its 35th anniversary. We hope that you will support us on GlobalGiving as we continue to provide Rehabilitation for burn survivors in Taiwan!

"I don
"I don't know who you are, but I thank you!"

“I don’t know who you are or where you are, but I want to thank you!”

Shih-Yu is a third year university student majoring in Creative Product Design and Management. She was enjoying an outdoor concert with friends at the Formosa Fun Coast Waterpark on June 27 2015 when they were suddenly caught in the midst of a powder explosion ignited by fireworks near the stage. Shih-Yu says: “I don’t remember clearly the explosion but I remember people trying to escape and as I fell to the ground, I felt my legs burning.” As people were frantically looking for water to pour over their burns, Shih-Yu stumbled upon another injured girl holding a bottle of mineral water who said to her: “I’ll share this bottle with you.” Later on, as she sat on the ground unable to move, a stranger picked her up in his arms and helped her board an ambulance.

After sustaining burns on 38% of her body (mostly her legs) and undergoing more than one year of painful rehabilitation, she is now back to school. Although she still faces some challenges (for example, she is still unable to stand for too long because she will feel pain in her legs), Shih-Yu is eager to continue with her studies and be actively involved in student life. As president of her department’s student association, Shih-Yu mobilized her classmates and together, they put their creativity and artistic skills to use by organizing at the end of November a special DIY activity for clients of Sunshine’s Tainan Work Station. Art has a healing power and for Shih-Yu, this is a way to give back and express the gratitude she feels in her heart.

Shih-Yu didn’t get the chance to learn the names of the people who helped her that day or say thank you. Like the strangers who helped her the night of the explosion, Shih-Yu doesn’t know your name or where you are from, but she is well aware that throughout her recovery, she has benefited from the support of a multitude of generous people just like you: “I don’t know who you are or where you are, but I want to thank you!”

We hope that you will continue to support us during GlobalGiving’s 2016 Year End Campaign and consider making a donation to help burn survivors like Shih-Yu rebuild their life and start anew.

On behalf of everyone at Sunshine Social Welfare Foundation, we wish you Happy Holidays!

Shih-Yu teaches burn survivor DIY techniques
Shih-Yu teaches burn survivor DIY techniques
Sunshine celebrates 35 years of services
Sunshine celebrates 35 years of services

35 years ago, a burn survivor named Hsiao-Ya published her book “People Who Shun the Sunshine” detailing her ordeals after her burn accident: the long rehabilitation process, the difficulty adapting to her changed appearance, the discrimination she faced while trying to return to work… Hsiao-Ya’s story inspired a group of public-minded people who combined the resources of 10 nonprofit organizations to establish Sunshine Foundation in 1981, with the goal of providing professional assistance to help burn survivors and people with facial disfigurement on their difficult road towards recovery. Starting out with one staff in a small office, Sunshine has grown over the years and expanded its services across Taiwan, having helped over 16,000 people throughout the years.

To celebrate its 35th anniversary, Sunshine organized on October 15 a special sports competition bringing together staff and clients for a day of fun activities. The Chairperson of Sunshine said: “Rehabilitation is like running a marathon against oneself. When you only have yourself to count on, it’s easy to run out of steam half-way through. That’s when you need a team around you to give you encouragement, guidance and support that will help you keep on running and finally cross the finish line.”

Just like athletes who are relentless in their pursuit of excellence, burn survivors rely on their will power and determination to achieve their rehabilitation goals. Just like a coach, Sunshine’s team accompanies burn survivors until finally they are able to return to their normal life. Just like the cheering crowd, your support gives impetus to our efforts and has made it possible for us to help countless burn survivors win their personal “marathon” for 35 years now.

We invite you to continue supporting our work, especially by donating during #GivingTuesday on November 29th when the impact of your donation will be maximized thanks to GlobalGiving matching Funds.


When does #GivingTuesday take place?:

The 2016 #GivingTuesday campaign will begin November 29th, 2016, at 00:00:01 EST and end at 23:59:59 EST on November 29th, 2016. (November 29th, 2016, 12:00:01 Taiwan time until November 30th, 2016 11:59:59 Taiwan time).


How will GlobalGiving be matching funds?:

There will be $500,000 USD in matching funds on #GivingTuesday, applied at 50% to all donations to eligible projects while funds last.

New recurring donations up to $100 USD per month per unique donor per organization will have their initial donation matched at 200% on #GivingTuesday.


What is the maximum amount for a single donation that is eligible to be matched?:

Online donations of up to $1,000 per individual donor per organization are eligible to be matched.


How can I donate?:

Just go to our project page and make a donation online. Only online donations made by credit card, PayPal, or a GlobalGiving official gift card are eligible for matching. Donations made by check or text-to-give are not eligible.

Launch with musical performance by clients
Launch with musical performance by clients
Dodgeball competition between staff and clients
Dodgeball competition between staff and clients
Thank you for your support!
Thank you for your support!
"Graduates" from the Rehabilitation Center
"Graduates" from the Rehabilitation Center

Two years have already passed since the August 1 Kaohsiung Gas Explosion. Following the disaster, Sunshine Foundation established the Kaohsiung Rehabilitation Center which has provided intensive rehabilitation services to 51 people injured during the explosion. Through their efforts over the last two years, 24 burn survivors are now ready to “graduate” and return to work. On July 30, the Kaohsiung Rehabilitation Center organized a special graduation ceremony to recognize the accomplishment of these burn survivors who have overcome so much in order to return to their normal life.

Watch the video to learn what graduation from the Rehabilitation Center means for some of these burn survivors.

For Tai-Yun, learning how to cope with emotional stress is important

One of the burn survivors graduating is Tai-Yun. As a firefighter, he and his team were among the firsts to arrive on the scene after calls were made about a potential gas leak. When explosions began, Tai-Yun was injured. Although he sustained burns on only 12% of his body, which is a rather small area compared to other victims, the injuries were located on parts of his face and his hands. Scars on his face and loss of function of his hands requiring painful rehabilitation caused Tai-Yun great physical and emotional distress. He said: “The psychological trauma from this event was too great.” Over the last two years, apart from actively following a physical rehabilitation plan, Tai-Yun has also received psychological counseling at the Rehabilitation Center. This counseling has helped him deal with the emotional stress bottled up inside, and he has been able to rebuild his confidence. Tai-Yun returned to work on August 1 and although he has officially graduated from Sunshine’s Rehabilitation Center, he has promised to come back as a volunteer. He particularly mentioned: “I now look different and I’ve had first-hand experience of people staring at me. I wholly support Face Equality1 and in the future, I want to actively participate in Sunshine’s work to promote Face Equality in Taiwan so that burn survivors and people with facial disfigurement benefit from a friendly social environment.”

For Hong-Ming, scars are no obstacle to his love of sports

Hong-Ming is another burn survivor graduating from the Kaohsiung Rehabilitation Center. He sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 55% of his body. Hong-Ming loves sports, so it was very difficult for him to accept the fact that his injury made it impossible to move normally or use his hands. Because Hong-Ming didn’t want to burden his parents with his daily care, he immediately joined the Kaohsiung Rehabilitation Center after hospital discharge to begin his physical rehabilitation program. His social worker says: “Apart from going to the hospital for his regular check-up, the rest of the time Hong-Ming would always arrive on time for his rehabilitation session at the Center.” After two years of hard work, Hong-Ming has progressively regained normal use of his hands and he is now ready to go back to work, as well as return to playing the sports he loves so much. But more importantly, he is getting ready to marry his girlfriend. When the accident happened, they had only known each other for one month, and with so many uncertainties about his future, Hong-Ming wasn’t sure if their relationship would stand the test of time. However, his girlfriend has stood by his side throughout and they will tie the knot at the end of September.

The Kaohsiung Rehabilitation Center provides physical rehabilitation, pressure garment services, psychological counseling, independent living training as well as work hardening services to burn survivors. Currently, there are still 22 burn survivors injured during the August 1 Kaohsiung Gas Explosion that are undergoing rehabilitation at the Center. Thanks to your continued support, they too will soon be able to graduate and return to their normal life.

1 Face Equality is a concept initially launched by Changing Faces in the UK and is now promoted by Sunshine Foundation in Taiwan. Face Equality is about recognizing that every face is different and unique. We believe that irrespective of facial appearance, every person deserves to be treated fairly and equally. We hope that the value of every person will be determined by their unique contribution to society, and not by how they look.

Tai-Yun has overcome the emotional trauma
Tai-Yun has overcome the emotional trauma
Hong-Ming will start a new life with his wife
Hong-Ming will start a new life with his wife

18-year old Chi-Hung was studying fashion and styling when he was injured during the Formosa Fun Coast Water Park Explosion on June 27th 2015, sustaining third and second degree burns over 80% of his body, including his face, neck, arms and legs.

Before his injury, Chi-Hong was an athlete who excelled in a wide variety of sports, but now, simply holding chopsticks or a spoon has become a challenge for him. For Chi-Hong who hoped to become a professional hairstylist, this is a source of disappointment and distress: “The real pain doesn’t come from doing rehabilitation every day, it come from the impossibility of seeing any progress in my status or imagining what my future will be like.”

Thanks to the support of Sunshine’s social workers and therapists, as well as family and friends, Chi-Hong has put a lot of efforts in his rehabilitation. Every day, he sits in front of a pegboard, picking up metal pegs with his fingers and placing them vertically in the holes as rapidly as possible. As his hand dexterity improves, he is able to pick up smaller metal pegs and eventually, he is able to pick up a pair of scissors to practice cutting hair on a hair styling mannequin. He even helps the mothers of other burn survivors at the Rehabilitation Center by styling their hair in a new fashion.

Chi-Hong’s exercises might seem redundant and monotonous, but with every little peg that he is able to pick up, he is getting closer day by day to realizing his dream of returning to school and becoming an outstanding hair stylist. He is now able to see a future for himself.

Rehabilitation is a long and painful process, with ups and downs, successes and setbacks. Your support gives strength to burn survivors so that they can continue moving forward. That is why we invite you to participate in GlobalGiving’s Bonus Day. Starting on June 15 at 9:00am US Eastern time (June 15 at 21:00 Taiwan time), GlobalGiving will be matching gifts made to Sunshine Foundation.

Support Sunshine’s efforts to give burn survivors in Taiwan access to rehabilitation:

When does Bonus Day take place?:

US Eastern Time: June 15 at 9:00am to June 15 at 11:59pm or until funds run out.
Taiwan time: June 15 at 9:00pm to June 16 at 11:59am

How will GlobalGiving be matching funds?:

A total of US$110,000 is available as matching funds.
Sunshine will be eligible to receive a 50% match on online donations.

What is the maximum amount for a single donation that is eligible to be matched?:

Online donations of up to $1,000 per individual donor per organization are eligible to be matched.

How can I donate?:

Only online donations made by credit card, PayPal, or a GlobalGiving official gift card are eligible for matching. Donations made by check or text-to-give are not eligible.


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Organization Information

Sunshine Social Welfare Foundation

Location: Taipei City - Taiwan
Website: http:/​/​​english/​
Project Leader:
Marie-Claude Pelchat
Taipei City, Taiwan
$37,295 raised of $45,000 goal
389 donations
$7,705 to go
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