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  • Chris McMillan

Xi Story. Empowering the disabled to chase their dreams



Xi Story. Empowering the disabled to chase their dreams

Just before the Spring Festival of 2014, Wang Yani, a hearing-impaired girl with aspirations of becoming a teacher, was greatly inspired by Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to a welfare home for children where she lived.

During his visit to the welfare home in Hohhot, capital of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Xi encouraged children there to work hard and pursue excellence in their school years. Wang, then 14, expressed her gratitude by bending a thumb, which means "Thank you" in Chinese sign language.

Xi got the message and continued a conversation with Wang by following her sign language.

"At that moment I felt such a strong bond with Grandpa Xi," recalled Wang. "All he said and did on that day made me feel we disabled children were by no means different."

In 2019, she achieved her lifelong dream of becoming a cosmetology teacher at the special education school where she had studied. Before that, she attended a beauty school in Hohhot where she, albeit the only student with disabilities, overcame all difficulties and challenges and graduated as a top student.


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