《家外之家》征文8 ▏Daniel Mayers: Journey to accessibility in China

       
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《家外之家》征文8 ▏Daniel Mayers: Journey to accessibility in China

个人简介:

Name : Daniel Louis Mayers

姓名:Daniel Louis Mayers

Country of Origin : United Kingdom

国籍:英国

Occupation : Student

职业:学生

Years in China : 2 years

在华居住时间:2年

How did your journey in China begin?

你的中国之旅是怎样开始的?

I moved to Xiamen to settle here with my girlfriend, (we met as she was studying in the UK), and began studying my undergraduate degree at Xiamen university.

我和女友在英国读书时相识,之后我跟随她搬到厦门定居,并在厦门大学攻读本科学位。

What do you like most about your city and China as a whole?

你所在的城市,哪一点最吸引你?你最喜欢中国的什么呢?

After having grown up in London, Xiamen has enough of a metropolitan feel to be comfortable, whilst simultaneously offering a peaceful ‘countryside’ pace of life at which to enjoy the heavenly weather and majestic scenery. The list of conveniences of life in China is quite extensive, so it is hard to choose which one I appreciate most of all. I would have to say the reception from the Chinese people after being able to talk with them in their own native language is the greatest and most rewarding aspect of living in China, regardless of where you are, and has opened doors to unimaginable (and sometimes bizarre) adventures with some exceptional individuals.

我在伦敦长大,厦门也是一座大都市,所以我感觉在这比较自在。同时,这里的天气宜人,景色壮丽,还能让人感受到一种平静的乡村生活。在中国生活有很多便利,很难选出我最喜欢的一点。不得不说,学会中文可以和中国人交流之后,他们对我的欢迎是生活在中国最有意义的事情。无论你身在何处,你都可以和一些特别的朋友开启一段冒险甚至是奇异之旅。

Enjoying local cuisine with friends

What is your unique China story?

你有什么独特的中国故事?

I spent one month as a volunteer in Xi’an. Half of the time I taught English in rural schools nearby, (in and around Weinan city), and the other half at Xing Xing Jia Yuan, a disability centre located in the heart of Xi’an.

我在西安做过一个月的志愿者。其中,有一半的时间是在渭南市及周边的农村学校教英语,另一半时间是在西安中心的星星家园残疾人中心服务。

My experience as a teacher felt rewarding. The children were so excited to see us, so energetic and playful, it was easy to be swept up by such high energy and the time really flew by. However, it was spending time at the disability centre which really left the biggest impression on me.

当英语老师的经历让我觉得很有收获。孩子们看见我们后都非常兴奋,他们充满活力、十分有趣,我们很容易就被这种气氛感染,几乎察觉不到时间的飞快流逝。然而,在残疾人中心的服务时光让我印象更为深刻。

Not only were there a few other international volunteers helping at the disability centre, but also a few Xi’an locals would regularly come to lend a hand with cooking or sparing a few hours to help out, bringing snacks, toys and books to the centre. Everyone who came to the centre had nothing but compassion and warmth in their hearts.

在这里,不仅会有一些国际志愿者服务,也会有西安当地人定期过来帮忙,做饭或是抽几个小时协助,带一些零食、玩具和书籍等。每个来这里的人心中都充满了爱心。

I remember one time; a troupe of young teenagers came to visit the centre to help out for the afternoon. One of the children at the centre, who we affectionately called ‘Clappy Boy’, was unable to talk, so his communication was limited to body language only (subtle pushing, or smiling, especially clapping!) This afternoon in particular, he had been standing still until one of the girls gave him a small pack of biscuits to eat. Suddenly, he began his episode of happy bouncing and clapping, but also letting out a loud howl of excitement. The noise was loud and so sudden that the girl and some of the nearby teenagers were shocked and I guess a little afraid as they had not become used to his behaviour. I just explained to them it was his way of showing his gratitude, and instantly I could see the change in their eyes with the way they viewed him. Gone was their fear.

中心有一个男孩不能说话,只能通过肢体语言(如轻微推动或是微笑,尤其是拍手)与人交流,我们亲切称他为“拍手男孩”。记得有一天下午,一群青少年来中心帮忙,男孩一直安静地站着,直到其中一个小女孩给了他一包饼干。突然,他开始欢快地蹦跳、拍掌,并激动地喊叫。这个声音又大又突然,很明显女孩和周围的其他青少年都非常惊讶,我猜他们还有一些害怕,毕竟还没有习惯“拍手男孩”的行为。我解释道,这只是男孩表达感激的方式。很快,他们眼中的恐惧消失了,眼神也变得温和起来。

My best friend in London is physically disabled and uses a somewhat heavy electric wheelchair to get around (the chair and battery alone weigh 200kg!). Travelling with him around London sometimes had its difficulties, but almost everywhere was accessible. Naturally, during my time here I always have an eye contrasting European country’s accessibility and public attitudes with the situation in China.

我在伦敦最好的朋友有身体残疾,需要推着电动轮椅才能走动,轮椅有些沉重,光是椅子和电池就有200公斤!虽然和他一起在伦敦旅行时有些困难,但我们几乎可以去任何地方。待在这里,我会下意识地对比中国和欧洲国家对待这类特殊人群的公众态度以及相应的无障碍举措。

Despite the real-life situation being less than desirable for anyone travelling around in a wheelchair, I was surprised to learn that China’s laws concerning rights for disabled citizens are superbly comprehensive and world class, owing in large part to the diligent efforts of former leader Deng Xiaoping’s son, Deng Pufang. After becoming paraplegic, he dedicated his efforts to improving the lives of those with disabilities, beginning with the founding of the China Welfare Fund for the Disabled in 1984.

尽管现实生活并不适合坐着轮椅旅行,但我却惊讶地发现,中国有关残疾人权利的法律非常全面,可以称得上是世界级的,这很大程度上要归功于邓朴方(邓小平的儿子)的不懈努力。邓朴方在截瘫之后,一直致力于改善残疾人的生活,并于1984年成立了中国残疾人福利基金。

After leaving Xi’an, I came to realise that in larger cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, there would be of course a much greater emphasis on rolling out accessibility changes for their citizens, Xiamen will inevitably be a little behind. So, as I am continuing with my studies in China, I am also looking for opportunities where I can add to the greater work that has already been laid down in Chinese law for disabled citizens. I hope I can be a little catalyst to get the ball rolling at a local level wherever I am within China, and provide whatever help I can to transform Deng Pufang’s dream of an inclusive society from paper to reality.

离开西安后,我开始意识到,在北京和上海这样的大城市,人们会更加重视为市民提供无障碍环境,而厦门相对而言会落后一点。因此在中国学习的同时,我也在不断寻找机会,希望能为完善中国残疾人法贡献自己的力量。我也希望,无论在中国的哪个地方,我都能起到一点推动作用,尽我所能,将邓朴方包容性社会的梦想变为现实。

Those are big boots to fill, but thankfully, I still have two more years before graduating to figure out the details!

当然,这项工作还有很多漏洞需要去填补,好在我距离毕业还有两年多时间,我能慢慢地专注细节、积少成多。

One of the children that Daniel interacted with in his time as a volunteer in Xi’an. (‘Clappy Boy’ is pictured in the background)

Some background on his hometown:

介绍一下Daniel的故乡:

Bushey Park, local to where I grew up in London, has wild deer living in it. You can visit almost all year round for amazing photos (in West London’s suburbs).

我住在伦敦的布希公园(Bushey Park),那里有很多野鹿。不论你在哪个季节过来旅游,几乎都可以在伦敦西部郊区拍到惊艳的照片。

The majestic deer that live in Bushey Park

作者:Daniel Mayers 翻译:邓忠悦

If you would like to contribute your story, feel free to contact us.

Email: luz@mts-tech.com

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