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American couple set up a home for orphans in China

People's Daily Online)  09:37, December 03, 2012

Tim Baker holds two kids in arms show their dirty hands after picking mulberry at the Shepherd's Field in Tianjin, north China, May 28, 2012. (Xinhua/Zhang Chaoqun)

Tim Baker, a 55-year-old American, and his wife Pam came to China in 1988 to teach English in northeastern China. They became regular volunteers at orphanages in 1991 after their very first visit to the Tianjin Orphanage.

One year after, a little girl from the Guiyang Orphanage in south China was adopted by Tim and Pam, followed by twin boys and a baby with cleft lip and palate.

In 1999, they quit their jobs and established the Philip Hayden Foundation and a small orphanage to help handicapped orphans in China.

In 2002, the local government in Wuqing, Tianjin Municipal City, sold a piece of land to Bakers at the concessional price of one yuan per mu (about 0.16 acre). And four years later, a new orphanage opened and became home to tens of orphans. Now more than 80 handicapped orphans are living there.

Because it used to be a pasture, so Tim named the children's village the Shepherd's Field. Now the village has established partnership with 35 orphanages across China.

There is a small clinic in the village which has three full time doctors and a nurse taking care of the sick children; however, for those who have serious illness, Tim will send them to hospitals in big cities for surgery.

"Right now, we have about 4 kids in Beijing who are having surgery. Each year, we do about 30-40 surgeries", Tim said, "We have done surgeries for more than 3,000 special needs orphans in China since 1996."

There is a major difference between the Shepherd's Field and other orphanages in China.

"We want to make the children's village more like a home, instead of an institution", Tim said,

Since the village has started, Tim and his wife have helped more than 900 children get adopted all over the world.

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