Merlin’s Magic Wand have recently teamed up with Merlin’s Shanghai Cluster Team to deliver a colourful, interactive outdoor play area at the Shanghai Healing Home, a Chinese orphanage in Pudong which cares for children with complex needs from a very young age.
Shanghai Healing Home provides pre and post-surgical care to orphaned children born with surgically correctable disfigurement. The Healing Home offers a nurturing, home-like environment that meets the orphans’ physical, emotional and developmental needs.
To support the amazing care the orphanage gives, the Shanghai Cluster team and Merlin's Magic Wand focused its attention on the Home’s outdoor area which was largely neglected, uninspiring and did not meet the needs of the children. Remedial works were also made to the classroom. The team worked its magic and transformed the garden into a vibrant, entertaining and safe playground for the children which will aid their rehabilitation through creative play, fun, and fresh air. The playground now features a large swing and slide set, a roundabout, whale rocking chairs and bold, colourful graphics all around the play area and inside the classroom.
On 8th May 2018, just seven months after renovations began, the newly refurbished space was unveiled to the children and staff at the Shanghai Healing Home. Volunteers from Madame Tussauds Shanghai as well as Jeanette Chen, Regional General Manager for China, went along to the opening ceremony to bring a little more magic to the children and surprise them with a huge box of toys. The children enjoyed a great afternoon with the volunteers, playing in the garden and on the interactive games which have been incorporated into their new outdoor space. To mark this special event staff and volunteers also planted a tree as a symbol of hope for the children at the Home and hung a plaque on the sapling with each of the children’s names.
At the event Jeanette Chen said: “Merlin’s Magic Wand is a children's charity that supports children facing challenges of serious illness, disability or adversity around the world. So far, we have helped more than 500,000 children and their families worldwide. The success of this event is another example of the Charity’s determined efforts and how valuable projects like these are.” The staff at Shanghai Healing Home were delighted with the transformation and one representative from the Home told us:
“We are so thankful for Merlin’s Magic Wand and Merlin’s Shanghai Cluster for building this beautiful playground. Before now our kids had nothing to do outside. Now we bring them outside for about two hours a day and after two hours we can’t get away from the play area… These kids don’t have families so we’re glad that Merlin’s Magic Wand partnered with us to help us care for these kids and show love to them”.
We are thrilled with this Merlin’s Magic Spaces project and hope it gives the children at the Shanghai Healing Home hundreds of SMILES, GIGGLES, and LAUGHS for many years to come and continues to support the fantastic work that the Home delivers.