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Life by a thousand cuts (2)


18:07, July 03, 2013

Zhang Yonghong and Zhang Rui on the Beijing streets. Zhang Rui, a university graduate, volunteers to help Zhang Yonghong sell the paper-cuts. (Photo: China Daily/Katherine Rodriguez)

"She said the life was too hard for her and ran off with another man, but I can't give up on my child," Zhang says.

The fragile father had to send his girl back to his hometown to be taken care of by his parents after his wife left.

"My 6-year-old daughter has fractured bones more than a dozen times. No school accepts her because she is too fragile and the schools are afraid of taking the responsibility," he says.

With a little help from government, Zhang says he was lucky to meet some kindhearted people in Beijing.

A Hong Kong businessman donated 60,000 yuan to him last year to treat the girl and start a small studio on Qiangulouyuan, a small lane off the capital's busy Nanluoguxiang, a famous hutong that attracts lots of tourists over holidays.

Lu Minchou, who works as a cleaner in a nearby hotel, volunteered to help Zhang with cooking and housework every day after work, to spare him the cost of hiring a nurse.

Zhang Rui, a university graduate, spends most of her time helping Zhang sell the paper-cuts, translating the stories the paper-cuts tell to English and selling the works on the roadside of Nanluoguxiang.

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