Safeguard “Children of the Stars”! Soul App’s New Campaign Inspires Young Users

“Thank you all. It was heartwarming. (We will) keep going,” said a message left by a parent of an autistic child in an online group chat party.

In China, children with autism are also known as “children of the stars”, due to the different way in which they communicate and perceive the world, like a star shining in another world alone. The 2019 Report on the Development of the Autism Education and Treatment Industry noted that there were more than 10 million individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in China that year, including over 2 million children under 12. Behind these matter-of-fact numbers is the reality of parents and children “trapped” in autism, who are in urgent need of attention and support from across society.

To increase public understanding and awareness of ASD, Soul App threw an online philanthropic music party called “Stars Meet Songs” in collaboration with the WABC Charity Foundation, bringing together Soulers (SOUL users) to give these children of the stars encouragement and support through the medium of music. All the proceeds from ticket sales on the social platform of SOUL would go to the WABC, a non-profit organization dedicated to art-based special education, to be used for the treatment of autistic children.

Dispelling loneliness with love

Among the Stars Meet Songs campaign participants, an individual with the alias “Feather” is the mother of an autistic child, and she has shared in her child’s lonely journey for a long time. At first, Feather could not bring herself to reconcile the reality of her child’s diagnosis and lingered on the verge of mental breakdown. Strained and weary, she was trying to look for some breathing space, when she found SOUL. Here Feather could voice feelings that she would have often held back, heartened by the healing power of the friendly atmosphere, heartfelt story sharing, and uplifting encouragement.

When she learned of SOUL’s Stars Meet Songs, Feather signed up without a moment’s hesitation, and during the activity wrote the thank-you message that appears at the beginning of the article. Along with Feather’s words of gratitude, Soulers sent their good wishes for children of the stars, which might best exemplify the purpose of “Stars Meet Songs” – promoting public understanding and acceptance of autistic children and the difficulties facing them as well as mobilizing support to light up the “starry skies”, even if they were in a different world.

Showing kindness with action

Ever more encouraging stories have been unfolding on SOUL. Since it came online in 2016 with an ideal of upholding kindness, equality and friendship, the app has gathered compassionate and upbeat young people in huge numbers, who do good to show their selfless support.

The Stars Meet Songs event host is an active Souler @Night, who has been with SOUL for over 1,600 days. It is the inspiring engagement on the platform that gave him the idea of helping others. “SOUL is a warm platform that works together with us to do charitable acts and foster benevolent love,” said @Night. He strives to move more and more people to action through his own altruistic efforts, epitomizing a large group of social-minded Soulers.

@YzH is also one of them. He cares about underprivileged children in mountainous areas and, along with other volunteers from charities, has done a lot to help: provide essentials, organize intriguing activities, divert water, and repair classrooms for schools there.

Sharing the same philanthropic enthusiasm, @zhiling has devoted herself to volunteer teaching. She does a lot more than teach art and craft or play fun games with children in rural areas; she also introduces them to life in the outside world and provides an education in moral values. In addition to material support, @zhiling has also given essential care and company. As a volunteer teacher, she has traveled far and wide, from the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan to Liantang Village in Guangzhou and Xiaolingtou in Zhejiang.

Many more young people are telling their amazing, unique volunteer stories on SOUL, which is dedicated to creating an atmosphere full of love and warmth and continues to deliver on its corporate social responsibility. In enriching the forms of charity, the platform provides opportunities for younger generations to bring out their best qualities and at the same time contribute to communities.

As part of its charitable efforts, SOUL joined hands with the WABC to launch the "Different Socks Day", raising public awareness about prejudice towards the disadvantaged groups. Together, they held an art-for-charity exhibition titled “Special Doesn’t Mean Lonely”, and an activity named “SOUL’s Happy Star Home” for those shining alone at the end of 2022, to draw more attention to, as well as share joy and strength with, children with ASD.

As a social platform sought-after among younger generations, SOUL has become an ideal place for them to share their volunteer experiences and participate in charity events. Playing to its strengths, it will continue to grow without losing sight of its social responsibilities, while pooling the wisdom and power of the younger generations to bring an added warmth to socializing.