Who said therapy couldn't be fun?
The following is an e-postcard from Sandra Dickison, a GlobalGiving Representative in Taiwan.
After a few "lost in translation" moments, 1 metroride and 2 taxicabs later, Ana and I found our was from Taipei to New Taipei City to visit Cathwel Services on August 8th where we were warmly welcomed by Lisa, the project leader. Cathwel Services is home to about 70 orphans and it facilitates primarily international adoptions as well as provides expectant mothers with a safe place to live.
Since we were a few minutes late, we immediately joined a speech therapy class where 2-3 year-olds were practicing pronunciation. The children were absolutely ADORABLE. Though we had no idea what they were saying since the class is conducted in Chinese, Ana and I could not stop smiling as we watched them talk and play with the therapist.
Cathwell Services partners with GlobalGiving to raise funds for speech, physical and occupational therapists who work directly with the children at the orphanage. Many of the children at Cathwel experience developmental disabilities and some have more sever disabilities such as Down's syndrome and cerebral palsy.
During our visit we met a family from Holland who adopted a girl through Cathwel Services over 20 years ago. Since most of the adoptions facilitated by Cathwel are international, Cathwel works closely with families and hosts "Roots" trips for adopted children to return to Taiwan and explore the country after they turn 18. The young woman we met first returned to Taiwan on a Roots trip in 2006, but this was the first time she brought her family to Taiwan. It was really incredible to meet them and learn about their experience returning to Taiwan.
Surrounded by so many adorable babies and toddlers, Ana and I couldn't help but spend the entire visit smiling. We were very impressed with Cathwel's dedication to early childhood development as well as their efforts to connect adopted children with Taiwan.
The speech therapist working with the children
Cribs for the babies