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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Privately-run orphanage gets government fund


08:28, January 17, 2012

HEFEI, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- An orphanage in east China's Anhui Province, formerly run by a villager, has become a government-funded welfare home for abandoned children after 18 years of struggling to exist.

Wang Jiayu Orphanage in Yingshang county, named after its founder, moved from its shabby compound into a 6.6-million-yuan (1.04 million U.S. dollars) new building financed by the local government on Sunday.

Wang, 72, smiled openly as the children played while being shown around the new facility, which covers three hectares and is five times its former size. "This is the best new year gift for me and the children."

The new welfare home has a playroom, a reading room and recuperation rooms for mentally impaired children and those who suffer from autism and cerebral paralysis.

Each bedroom has a washroom and balcony and accommodates two to three school age children, or four to five preschoolers.

The children's names are posted on their bedroom doors. At least half of all the young dwellers share the same family name, "Min," meaning people in Chinese.

"The beginnings of most of the children's lives were unknown and they were too young then to remember their biological parents," said Wang. "So I chose their surnames for them."

Wang's one-man campaign began in 1994, when he took home an abandoned child who was dying of hunger near a scrap heap. More children were secretly dropped at his door after that, mostly orphans or babies abandoned because they had congenital diseases.

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