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Helping out at an orphanage

Employee Jun Hu looks after disabled children in Beijing.

Jun Hu, a Volkswagen employee in Beijing, meets the disabled boy at an orphanage once a month. She bathes and feeds him, plays with him, helps wash and dress him, and looks after him for several hours a day. Hu (34) and some of her colleagues do volunteer work at a privately run orphanage called Living Tree Foster Home. They are part of a team of 20 volunteers who help children and adolescents with major disabilities. Most of the 35 children have infantile cerebral palsy, which is characterized by severe motion disorders that were caused by damage to the brain in early childhood. Others at the orphanage have autism or other disabilities.

» I look after many of the girls and boys until they’re adopted by a new family. «

Jun Hu

Outing at the orphanage: Jun Hu (center) also takes the children on excursions.

Hu joined Volkswagen in Beijing six years ago. Her job is to handle all of the administrative tasks that are involved with the food served at the cafeteria. She and her team also run the catering services at events held outside the company. In her free time she sings with a Christian choir, which puts on a Christmas concert every year for the ­children at the orphanage. During one of the rehearsals for this concert, she decided to play a more active role at the orphanage in order to give the children a greater sense of emotional security as they grow up.

“The disabled girls and boys
come from different regions of the country,” says Hu in describing her volunteer work. “I play a role in their lives until a new family takes them in.” One boy found foster parents in the United States a few weeks ago. Shortly before flying to his new home, he proudly showed off the few phrases of English he had already mastered. “He’s a bright and cheerful boy,” she says. “He’s very excited right now. And he’s realizing that he’ll miss his teachers and friends at the orphanage.” But Hu is confident that a good future awaits the young child in the U.S.