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Love Without Borders  

Rehabilitation staff and students extend love and service to the needy in Yunnan


Occupational therapy (OT) serves people of all ages, it helps the sick and injured restore their functional roles in family, workplace and society, maximise independence and enhance their participation in life. A volunteer group formed by PolyU’s staff and students from the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences (RS) have been visiting Yunnan on a regular basis in the past six years. Apart from providing physical treatments, they take care of the psychological well-being of the needy, touching many lives and reigniting hope for the future. 

Mr Tang Kin-chung, Occupational Therapy Clinical Associate of RS first arrived Yunnan in 2014 winter in the aftermath of a 6.5-magnitude earthquake. While helping victims to recover health and mobility, he saw the vast need for longer-term therapies for people in the impoverished rural areas. With this in mind, he and his colleague Mr Tong Wong, teamed up with a group of OT students and started the “Love Without Borders” initiative to fulfill the mission.


Help patient “grow up” once againwai 1

In the summer of 2016, the “Love Without Borders” team visited Yongwei in Ludian County. Yongwei had a car accident leaving his cervical spine permanently injured. Losing his self-care ability, Yongwei had to rely on his elderly mother for daily routines such as eating, putting on clothes and going to toilet. Adding to the plight, his mother hurt her waist while taking care of her son. Yougwei was in desperate need of regaining independence. To fulfil his wish, the PolyU team made necessary adjustments to his living environment, replaced his bulky wheelchair and taught him how to train his muscles. With the help of therapies and encouragement from the volunteers, Yongwei started to make improvements. Slowly and steadily, he could manage basic self-care such as brushing his teeth, combing and eating. His mother was in tears the moment he saw that Yongwei can wring a towel dry by himself. The team has witnessed Yongwei “growing up” once again. The students encouraged Yongwei, 
Rehabilitation is a process, not medicine. It takes time to make a little progress every day.

Restore healthy mind and soul

Shengqiao who lives in Long Tou Shan fell from a 3-metre height in an accident and suffered serious injury to her chest. As a result, she could no longer take care of her son nor herself. The heavy burden of taking care of the family and making ends meet fell on her husband. Feeling helpless and despaired, Shengqiao had wanted to end her life before she met the PolyU team. The volunteers provided Shengqiao with assistive and training equipment. They also gave her seeds for planting.

Love without boarder 4 Love without boarder 5 Love without boarder 3

At first, their kindness was met with a cold shoulder. But the team didn’t give up on her, their persistent love and attention gradually opened Shengqiao’s heart. With the team’s support and guidance, Shengqiao restored confidence in life and much of her abilities. She could now ride her tricycle and take her son to school every day. To further help Shengqiao reintegrate into society, Tang Kin Chung introduced to her the idea of setting up an online shop. Shengqiao and her husband now run their own family business, selling pepper and other agricultural products.

Making positive impact on the health and well-being of people is an important part of RS’ mission. Since the inception of “Love Without Borders”, over 130 staff and students have joined this meaningful cause. The team travel to Ludian and the surrounding areas at least twice every year. So far, about 110 patients have received OT services from the team. They also hold seminars and share their experience with other educational institutes and organisations in other parts of mainland.

If you wish to support and encourage our students to apply what they have learned and do good for society, please follow this link.


Publishing date: March 2021

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