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Orphanages start looking for a home

Updated: 2013-07-31 11:05
By Fan Feifei ( China Daily)

Moving home is never easy, especially when it involves relocating dozens of children with health problems.

Orphanages start looking for a home

A volunteer helps a child with rehabilitation therapy at a care house in Liaocheng, Shandong province. Kong Xiaozheng / for China Daily

Yet that is the task facing Zhao Liping, who runs the 365 Morning Glory Children's Home.

Opened since 2010 and supported by the China Social Welfare Foundation, the home cares for orphans.

For the past two years it has been based in an eight-bedroom property in Gaobeidian, eastern Beijing, "but the landlord told me it will be demolished at the end of this year," Zhao said. "We have to find a new home."

That is proving easier said than done.

Most of the orphans have cerebral palsy, which affects movement as well as vision, hearing and speech, while others have congenital heart or eye diseases, or physical disabilities. "They need a special kind of care" and environment, Zhao said.

It is not the first time the home has had to move. It was originally based near the north Fifth Ring Road but Zhao relocated to a bigger space.

"My ideal house would be about 500 square meters, with a yard, and more than 10 bedrooms," she said. "Transportation should be convenient, as many volunteers come here to help care for the children, and we need to take them to hospital quickly in an emergency."

However, so far, nowhere has been suitable. "Either the rent is too high or transportation is not good," she said.

The house in Gaobeidian costs 100,000 yuan ($16,200) a year, including rent and utilities. Bills are paid entirely by Zhao and private donors.

"The foundation only supervises the operation of our home, it doesn't provide direct financial help", she said.

Every day Zhao prepares breakfast for the children at 6 am and helps them with rehabilitation therapy. She said volunteers regularly visit to give lessons, teaching Chinese and English, or play games.

"I hope all of my children can be educated, learn a skill, and integrate into society," she said. "I hope they can enjoy lives full of sunshine."

Dang Sitian, 8, was transferred to Morning Glory from a welfare center in Shaanxi province two years ago. She has cerebral palsy and, at the time, could not walk unaided. Now she can move around independently thanks to Zhao's therapy.

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