MBL & Xinran co-organize weekend event with Kinaforeningen for adoptive families with Chinese children in Norway (13th-15th September 2013)
MBL and Xinran were invited by Guro Jansdotter Skåre and Ragnhild Nerjord Bratlien from a Norwegian organization called Kinaforeningen for co-organizing a weekend Chinese culture events/activities for adoptive families and Chinese adoptees in Norway 12th – 16th September 2013.
Kinaforeningen is a Norwegian association for families who have adopted children from China. It is a non-profit volunteer organisation with about 500 family members all over the country. Their main aim is to be a meeting place for the families and contribute to good relations to the children’s two cultural backgrounds: the Chinese and the Norwegian. Each year at least two main gatherings are arranged located close to Oslo, one is to celebrate the Chinese New Year and the other one is an outdoor summer party. In addition, they love special gatherings like this time’s event with Xinran & MBL. Kinaforeningen donates NOK 10,000 a year to The Mothers’ Bridge of Love (MBL).
There were more than 10 adoptive families with more than 15 Chinese children participated this weekend event which was happening in a local family hotel called Fagerhøy Fjellstue in the mountain area located 3.5 hours driving from Oslo, and it has beautiful landscape and view. The venue is graphically located in the middle between each adoptive family, so it was much easier for some families who are living very far away and might probably spend whole day travelling to Oslo compare with driving few hours to the hotel in the mountain area. We truly felt the caring and understanding of the event organizers about their family members.
On Saturday morning, the event kicked off with a brief welcome and introduction by Guro, then followed by a short presentation from Xiaoli & Lixu about who MBL is, what MBL do, and how MBL can help/support adoptive families and Chinese adoptees (MBL’s Family Information Checking/Birth Roots Search, MBL Pen Friend Programme, Chinese culture support…etc.). Afterwards, Xinran gave a speech to group of adoptive parents, which was breath-taking and mind inspiring. Meanwhile, Lixu and Xiaoli from MBL were holding various Chinese culture workshops for adoptees.
Chinese Minorities Fashion Show…and you could easily tell that how much children and their parents were enjoying themselves…!
With slightly raining weather, group of adoptive families and MBLers went for a hiking in the Norwegian mountain with trying cold sandwich lunch for Chinese stomachs…people got to know each other and Chinese/Norwegian cultures a bit more.
Chinese Calligraphy Workshops during Xinran’s one-to-one session with each adoptive parent. Look…how focused those children were! In the end, MBL gave away each Chinese adoptee 15 sets in total of this so-called Magic Chinese Calligraphy Mat (which were sponsored by MBL volunteers ZHU Li and PAN ZhiGang in Nanjing, China) and calligraphy brushes. Meanwhile, we offered more than 50 copies of MBL Children’s Magazines to children as our support to them and also to their school library collection…
Meanwhile, Xinran was doing this one-to-one consultation session with each adoptive family, which involved lots of family experience sharing and adoption documents checking. The consultation session started from Saturday afternoon until almost 24pm in the evening, and again from 8am on Sunday morning to 10am just before we were going to travel back to Oslo…last almost 12 hours in total, since many families came back for extra sessions with more questions that would like to discuss with Xinran.
The whole weekend passed so fast and after spending times with adoptive families especially those teenager adoptees, we all felt that in Norway those Chinese children are eager and in huge needs to have Chinese culture connection and support. MBL and Kinaforeningen are really considering of working together on a well-structured plan for the more collaboration in the future, regarding to:
— Inviting Xinran/ MBL workshop leaders to Norway to offer speech/consultation, family adoption documents checking, and Chinese culture workshops, and also giving trainings to local volunteers
— Supporting /organizing Events/Activities for Norwegian adoptive families in different local areas
— Supporting adoptive families with Chinese culture materials, such as Chinese books, traditional Chinese dresses, and Chinese instruments…etc.
Hope together with Kinaforeningen, we could help and support more Chinese adoptees, adoptive families, and people who are interested in China and Chinese culture…in Norway!
Reported by XIAO Li
MBL Head Office, London
18th Sep 2013