• Chris McMillan

Social service empowers women facing physical challenges

China Daily Global


4th January 2020


Social service empowers women facing physical challenges

By CHENG YUEZHU |


Overcoming the odds and helping others sees her inspire so many


The human pursuit of individuality never ceases, but being told all her life that she is special, Peng Yujiao would rather acknowledge herself as being among the common people.


"Who am I? I am just an ordinary girl with cerebral palsy," Peng said. Beaming with confidence, she gave a speech entitled "Arts, Gender and Disabilities" at the Second China-UK Disability Arts Forum on Dec 3.


"I have always felt that I am ordinary. If I made mistakes at school, I would have been punished. My teacher asked me to stand alongside for the PE lesson even though I could not participate in the exercises, because I am no different from everyone else. This idea has been engraved on my mind since.”


She also has a passion for beauty, in both appearance and artistic creations. While cerebral palsy causes uncontrollable tremors, she spent an hour putting on makeup prior to the forum just for the sheer enjoyment of it. The same motivation, sense of fun and achievement drive her passion and interest in drawing.


However, considering the work Peng has done, she can hardly be deemed "ordinary" by any standard. Having worked several years as a social worker, the 30-year-old has been a summer visiting scholar at the University of Oslo in Norway. She is now a member of the Asia-Pacific Network of Women with Disabilities, and runs her own NGO.


As the founder of the Beijing Leyirong Social Work Office and the BEST Beijing Enable Sister Center, Peng now dedicates herself to using the arts and aesthetics to engage and empower women with disabilities and neuro-diversity, and promote their social integration.


http://epaper.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202101/04/WS5ff258b0a31099a234352fac.html


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