By Monte Rosen, Managing Director
August 2015 marked the start of our 10th Anniversary Year of supporting the Shanghai community. 10 years! We will be celebrating all year with many different kinds of activities, and have chosen the theme, “The Power of 10”.
With ten years of service comes strength, stability, and experience. Strength comes from having proven systems in place that support the children and families attending our full day programs or getting services through our Clinic. Strength comes from being able to recruit and retain wonderful staff.
Stability comes from our commitment to being here for the long term. In such a transient community like Shanghai we’ve seen staff members, families, and educators come and go every year, and we’ve seen service providers with great ideas who disappear after a year or two. After ten years, we know we are here for good.
With experience comes knowledge, and hopefully wisdom. During our ten years we’ve tried many things, some of which succeeded and some of which failed miserably; we’ve made our share of mistakes. But we’ve also learned how to navigate our challenges and contribute to this complex and wonderful country.
Most importantly, after ten years, we’ve helped thousands of children, families, and professionals.
Truly, that is what our strength comes from and why we love our work.
10 year milestones are a natural time to think back to our goals and the commitment we made to our community when we got started. Back in 2006, one of our co-founders and my wife, Dr. Shari Rosen, was the only professional in Shanghai working with children that had special needs. Professionals would fly in to do two day trainings and then leave before local professionals and families had a chance to absorb the information.
One of our goals was to attract professionals to live in China by setting up a framework for supporting them in doing so. Today we have nearly 30 professionals from all over the world providing services. Another goal was to train local staff so we could better work with local families – and today we have a great group of committed, dedicated and skillful local staff working side-by-side with our Western staff.
A third dream was to help start an NGO to work with local professionals and families of diverse backgrounds. We were told time and time again that this would be impossible, but just last year we achieved this goal. Our co-founder, Andrew Hill (also President elect of Shanghai Rotary Club) led the effort and we now have a sister organization (XiErSen Children’s Center), an official Chinese NGO that has Andrew and Shari on the board with seven prominent Chinese professionals and business people. We couldn’t be more proud.
Our full-time program has evolved so much as well. We now are successfully helping individuals from a wide-range of ages and needs, from infants to adults. Our program includes children with developmental delay, Autism Spectrum Disorder, learning disabilities, genetic disorders, Down’s syndrome, and more. Every child who has ever come to us is unique, and each program is completely individualized to meet their needs. We are supporting our parents better than ever, and are happy to be strengthening the ELG community in that way as well.
A very important goal of ours was to create a work place with a family atmosphere where staff can personally and professionally grow and thrive.This year we’ve had the smallest amount of turnover ever with staff.We appreciate the contributions that each and every one makes.
We are thrilled to be stronger and better than ever; we are encouraged by the knowledge that we will be here for a long time. Throughout the year we will be celebrating with our staff and our community, and we quite honestly can’t wait. Our celebration will be in the form of giving back to the community with volunteer days, seminars, highlighting the contributions of teachers and educators, and team building.
Stay tuned for more, it’s going to be spectacular.