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Child development students make a difference in China

9/19/2018

by: Anna Kathryn, CSE communications intern

In May, students from the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development participated in experiential learning at Maria’s Big House of Hope in Luoyang, China, which is a medical care center for children run by Show Hope. Show Hope is a non-profit managed from Nashville, which was started by Christian singer and adoption advocate, Stephen Curtis Chapman, and his wife, Mary Beth.

Show Hope’s mission is “to care for orphans by engaging the Church and reducing barriers to adoption.” Show Hope recognizes that students are the leaders of tomorrow and will change the world. Their partnership with Maria’s Big House of Hope is just one of the multiple initiatives that Show Hope has instilled to develop student leaders who are passionate about justice and can help change the world for orphans.

TCU students in China (courtesy photo)

Show Hope partners with an organization in China called New Hope that partners with the local government to help meet the medical needs of children in their care. Many families in China cannot afford the medical care needed for their children. Because of  medical centers like Maria’s Big House of Hope, hundreds of these babies are able to receive the care they need. Maria’s Big House of Hope has implemented Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®), which was developed by the late institute founder Karyn Purvis and Rees-Jones Director David Cross at TCU, to care for the children. TBRI® is an attachment-focused, sensory-rich holistic form of intervention which aims to put children back on the right trajectory after enduring developmental trauma.

TCU students were able to work alongside the caretakers at Maria’s to play and interact with the children with acute medical and special needs. Students were also able to witness the successes of the process first-hand. They were able to better grasp the difficulties of the intervention, as well as the long-term positive effects it has on the children.

Senior childhood development major, Haley Malloy, went on the trip last May. When asked about her time there, Haley noted the trip as an “incredible, life changing experience.”

“One of my favorite memories was being a part of a birthday party for one of the children in the care center. To see the joy in not only the birthday boy’s face, but also all of his friends celebrating with fun activities made my heart smile. Although the children at the care center are under tough circumstances, the staff never miss a chance to make each child feel loved, honored and valued. The trip only ignited my passion for working in a career field that involves helping others,” Malloy said. “My trip to China was a reminder to me that I am only here on Earth for the impact I can have on other people. I feel as if I see the world now from a different lens since traveling to China. It was eye-opening to be immersed in a culture where there were so many differences from my everyday life here in America. I will forever be thankful for the memories I got to make with both classmates and children in China.”

Casey Call is the assistant director at the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development and spearheaded the efforts in the trip to China last May. As a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and registered Circle of Security® parent educator, Call has a passion for utilizing trauma-informed interventions with children and families from hard places. She was called to organize this trip because of TCU’s relationship with Show Hope and the incredible opportunity this offered. When asked about the experience, she remarked that it was, “An incredible opportunity for our students to be able to gain a broader cultural perspective on childhood development, child care, and orphan care and see the things we’ve been learning about in class in real life, like TBRI® implemented.”

She noted that her favorite part of the experience as a whole was the opportunity to see the TCU students interact with the children. “The thing that was most striking to me was seeing our students interact with the children and with the caretakers. They were so respectful and calm and not-intrusive. The students followed the child’s lead and they were really able to connect with some of the children who were previously more reserved. It was fun for me to be able to see the students expertly interact with the children and to build relationships,” Call said.

Call especially enjoyed watching the students on the trip become completely transformed by their experiences with the children at the medical centers.

TCU students at the Great Wall of China (courtesy photo)

Through this experience, the TCU students were also able to tour two additional care centers in Beijing and Zhengzhou. Students were also given the opportunity to visit the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square in Beijing, and shop at the Pearl market. Many of the students who went on the trip are now dedicated to pursuing a career working with vulnerable children.

For more information on this trip, visit https://child.tcu.edu/tcu-child-development-in-china/#sthash.KWwrbeiS.rWYOkIfv.dpbs. The Institute is also working on another study abroad trip to Rwanda in the near future, so stay tuned!

About the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development:

The Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development is housed in the Department of Psychology in the TCU College of Science & Engineering. This Institute was established in 2005 and has grown exponentially in the past 13 years. The Institute’s mission is: Research, education, training, and outreach to improve the lives of children who have experienced abuse, neglect, and/or trauma. Various research studies within the Institute aim to understand the complex needs of these children, to advance scientific knowledge around the impact of early maltreatment, and to develop trauma-informed interventions that encourage healthy social development.

 

 

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