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SUIS Students Make Friends with Blind Children

June, 2010
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On May 7 Shanghai United International School (SUIS) Hongqiao campus leaders, teacher representatives and 27 student representatives from Grade 4 and 5 paid a visit to the Shanghai Children’s School for the Blind on Hongqiao Road. The name of the event was “Open your arms, and you’ll be my friend.”

At 14:30 the charity activities were officially opened. Two SUIS students introduced SUIS in both English and Chinese and then the blind children followed with their powerful bilingual presentations. The two presentations were loudly applauded by all present.

SUIS Hongqiao campus donated RMB 10,000 to the Shanghai Children School for the Blind to provide funds for their books and workbooks. It was so touching when the student representatives of the host school responded by presenting the SUIS students with a beautiful hand-made gift carefully prepared by the blind children. The vivid and lifelike horse, the friendship card covered with little secrets and colorful and bright carnations were the best examples. SUIS students and teachers were deeply impressed by their versatility. It was hard to believe that these gifts were made by blind or partially blind children!

Then both groups of students performed for the audience. SUIS students sang the song Caring and taught it to the blind children. The blind children read an inspirational poem and sang two songs. The songs conveyed their brave ethos and firm decisions to embrace life. Their performance deeply touched the hearts of every student and teacher present.

Lastly, SUIS visitors toured the campus led by the blind students. This was their first meeting with SUIS students, but the blind children were relaxed and confident with plenty of shared laughter on the tour. The visit to the Shanghai Children’s School for the Blind has considerably broadened the minds of the SUIS students. They enthusiastically tried to write braille and some SUIS students even tried to feel their way with closed eyes to experience a little of what it is like to be blind.

The visit has not only enhanced the friendship between both schools, but also fostered exchanges between SUIS Hongqiao International Stream students and blind children in China. Our students have demonstrated their understanding and empathy by caring for others. SUIS Hongqiao campus has sent an invitation to the blind children to visit the SUIS campus and looks forward to their visit in the near future.

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