Cummins employees in China have been putting their skills to work to make life better for children with disabilities at the Wuxi Welfare House.
“We visit the Wuxi Welfare House several times every year to understand the most urgent needs of the children,” says Hanna Yuan, Assistant to the General Manager at Cummins Generator Technologies in Wuxi.
Employees have donated a bicycling rehabilitation machine, assistive devices for dining, orthopedic shoes, special clothing items and more. The donations were based on needs identified using Six Sigma tools. The data driven problem solving technique is used by Cummins employees around the world.
Located in heavily populated Wuxi, Jiangsu, China, the Welfare House is the only one of its kind for the care, rehabilitation, and education of abandoned and disabled children in the city. The Welfare House serves more than 200 children ages 1 to 14 on a fulltime basis. Over a third of the children are affected by cerebral palsy and require special attention.
Cummins Generator Technologies first partnered with the Wuxi Welfare House in 2009, helping to set-up an on-site basic therapy and rehabilitation center. In addition to the equipment, Cummins employees often take children from the Welfare House on outings, visiting the zoo or shopping at the supermarket.
In 2010, Cummins Generator Technologies Marketing and Strategy Manager Rebecca Weng completed a Community Impact Six Sigma project centered on the Wuxi Welfare House. The project developed a process to generate long-term assistance and a project plan for the organization. This project plan serves today as a model for Cummins’ Community Involvement Teams developing work plans in conjunction with a community partner.
The Six Sigma project also implemented a measurement system to track the impact of donated therapeutic equipment. As a result, the Welfare House is better able to gauge the outcomes and benefits of the equipment for the children.
This year, the Welfare House is moving to a new facility in order to reach a greater number of children. The new space will accommodate 100 more beds and includes a dedicated children’s rehabilitation area, with several rooms designated for key therapies and training.
The rehabilitation area will significantly strengthen the Welfare House’s ability to provide top-level care for children with cerebral palsy. Before the new rehabilitation area, about 36 percent of the Welfare House’s children could go through training and rehabilitation program. With this addition, the training rate will increase to 75 percent.
“Although it is a government charitable organization, the main barrier at the Welfare House is a lack of funds, manpower, and equipment,” Yuan said. “Our investment in this equipment to the Welfare House can save manpower, and the caretakers for the children will be of professional caliber.”
An obstacle for adoption of the children is their lack of independence. With their continually evolving care, the Welfare House aims to train more children and narrow that gap. The Wuxi Welfare House wants to provide children with disabilities the opportunity to take care of themselves, be adopted, further their education, seek employment, and become self-reliant.
“We believe that with our help, the Welfare House can improve these children’s self-dependent ability and help them fit into society and have the chance to be adopted in the future,” Yuan said.
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