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Forsaken children offered a place in the sun
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08:54, June 24, 2009

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No words, no tears. With an expressionless face, 11-year-old Li Hua reads a letter from his father. After he finishes, Li Hua balls up the paper and casts it into the bin.

Sun Village provides shelter to convicted criminals'children who were abandoned by their relatives.

His psychologist Wang Lili picks up the paper and asks, “Can I keep the letter for you?”

Li Hua nods, but still he does not speak a word.

Three years ago, Li Hua witnessed his father kill his mother in a family quarrel. After his father's death sentence was reprieved, Li Hua was sent to Beijing Sun Village, a place for unattended children whose parents are in jail. For reasons of privacy, Wang Lili asks that the Global Times not go into too much detail of Li Hua's mother's death.

“I don't want him to see the story and realize it's about him,” she says.

They suffer like orphans, but are unqualified to be taken in by a charity, Sun Village founder Zhang Shuqin tells the Global Times.

Sun Village provides shelter to convicted criminals'children who were abandoned by their relatives. (Global Times Photo)

During her 10 years as an inspector for the Bureau of Prison Administration of Shaanxi Province, Zhang has often witnessed the misery of children with criminal parents.

Prisoners cannot take their children to jail with them, Zhang says. That means they worry about their children, often stirring trouble in jail, attempting to escape or even killing themselves.

“When I saw a woman prisoner kneel down and weep for her daughter, and when I saw a little boy grab the corner of his handcuffed mother's coat, my heart melted,” Zhang says.

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