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Spending a day with Eden Social Welfare Foundation

August 2013 │ Taiwan

On Saturday, August 17, employees from Global Technology and Operations (GTO) in Deutsche Bank Taiwan held a departmental volunteer day with the Eden Social Welfare Foundation. The destination was YiLan’s Center for the Mentally and Physically Handicapped. The center was set up to provide care for people between the ages of 16 and 64, who require medium to high levels of support in dealing with a variety of disabilities including autism, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and other physical handicaps. Most are long-term residents, and the centre is like their home with the social workers being their family.

When Deutsche Bank volunteers arrived, the YiLan Center staff gave a background of the building and the services provided by the centre. The social workers at the centre also gave a walking tour to allow the volunteers to see the various facilities in the centre before outlining tasks for the day – to help each handicapped resident decorate a personal music box and to accompany the handicapped residents in a karaoke session or basketball session.

If there was any initial nervousness amongst the volunteers, it was immediately washed away. The residents at the centre, while perhaps having the body of a 40 or 50 year old adult, had the heart of a five- year-old child. Different colours of clay were distributed, which the volunteers helped mould into various figurines for the residents to stick onto their music box. After the decoration was complete, the group was split into two to help with either a karaoke session or a basketball session. During the karaoke session the residents kept choosing different songs and belting them out at the top of their lungs. While most of the time they couldn’t tell the lyrics or forgot the melody, one could tell that they thoroughly enjoyed having an audience listen to them and clap for them. The basketball session was very similar, with some of the volunteers helping those residents who liked the sport to shoot the ball into the hoop or dribble around the court.

Once the day was over, the staff and the volunteers reflected on the afternoon as everyone admired the different colourful music boxes. The volunteers were assured that the afternoon spent with the residents was treasured, and it was a thoroughly rewarding day enjoyed by all.

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Last Update: September 1, 2013
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