ASIA/CHINA - “Good person of Nanjing”: Catholic nun honored as a “moral role model” by the authorities

Saturday, 11 November 2023 local churches   caritas   charity   disabled   human promotion  

Nanjing (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic nun Zheng Yueqin from the Diocese of Nanjing, in the Chinese province of Jiangsu, received the "Good Person of Nanjing" award given to citizens by the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party Committee of Nanjing City and the Municipal Bureau of Civilization who stand out for their contribution to the life of the community. Sister Yuequin is vice president of the Nanjing Catholic Charitable Foundation and founder of the special education center affiliated with the foundation.
The reasons for the award refer to the fact that the Catholic religious has distinguished herself as a "moral role model" and, with the initiatives she has taken as a result of her vocation as a religious, has "promoted and actively practiced the basic values of socialism, perseveres in the support and protection of people with mental disabilities, does her best to help them live in a happy environment, and endeavored to lovingly promote hope in the disabled, contributing with her ordinary work to the realization of the Chinese dream of the great rebirth of the nation". Sister Zheng Yuequin was previously honored in March 2022 as the "Red Flag Woman of the Eighth March," another award for women who have made outstanding contributions to society. "What makes me happy," said Sister Zheng at the award ceremony, "is that the students who come to us no longer want to leave." Today, the Center for the Disabled, run by the Catholic Charities Foundation in Nanjing, has three branches where 137 students with intellectual disabilities, mental developmental disabilities and autism are cared for and supported. In the facility's dormitories, 34 disabled children live permanently in a family atmosphere. The centers organize courses and lessons in music and rehabilitation through physical education. Excursions are organized several times a year in spring and autumn. Between lessons, the children do puzzles, draw and play. The center's work bears witness to the improvements that boys and girls with disabilities can achieve, thanks to the loving care of sisters and volunteers, even in the most ordinary activities of daily life: stories like those of Teresa Lin, the 26-year-old girl with severe intellectual disability, who over time has learned to eat and dress by herself and to take part in small crafts, which was previously impossible for her. Those whose rehabilitation has been enhanced at the center also have the opportunity to join as interns to work in a supported employment factory for people with disabilities, an opportunity that helps them become self-sufficient. In 2005, Sister Zheng Yueqin founded the "Ark Nanjing Special Education Center" on behalf of the Diocese of Nanjing (Nanjing), which cares for mentally disabled and autistic children and welcomes almost 400 guests. The facility has already received several awards from the authority. "The boys and girls feel that they belong here. There is a long line of people who want to be welcomed into our center," said the nun at the award ceremony. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 11/11/2023)