China to give annual financial aid to underage orphans:
The Chinese government said Friday it will provide annual financial assistance to underage orphans to improve their livelihood.Orphans cope after loss to AIDS:
An orphan in less developed western provinces will receive 4,320 yuan ($635) this year, a Ministry of Civil Affairs statement said.
An orphan in China's central provinces will receive 3,240 yuan while those in eastern provinces will receive 2,160 yuan.
The ministry said the nation has not supported orphans enough.
Orphanages have run short of professional nursing staff and many orphans face education, medical and employment difficulties.
This year the central government will give 2.5 billion yuan in financial assistance to underage orphans.
The money will be disbursed to orphans' personal bank accounts, those of their guardians or the corporate accounts of orphanages.
The government will continue to give financial assistance in future years, the statement said.
Touching orphans' souls with sound of music:
After hearing the big news, the classroom erupted with screams of excitement as children ran into the halls to tell their friends: Professional musicians were coming to Beijing Angel Training School to teach them how to play the violin.Life in orphans' home in North China city:
It did not matter that most of the students had no idea what a violin is.
"When the violinist opened the case and held up the instrument, they all screamed, mouths wide open," said Zhang Mei, 59, who teaches some of the 76 orphans at the school.
On stage was Chen Qian, one of several highly trained musicians with the Wings of Music, a charity project aimed at helping disadvantaged youths gain confidence and lay solid foundations for a better future.
A 2003 nationwide study by the China Center of Adoption Affairs showed that 74 percent of abandoned and orphaned children develop behavioral problems, six times that of children with parents.
"By touching the souls of needy children through classical music, we want to drive away the inferiority and loneliness brought by the mischief of fate," said Chen, 29, who is also the project's executive director.
Photo story: Zhang Weishi watches a girl writing the Chinese character "home" in the SOS Children's Village in Tianjin municipality in North China on Nov 20, 2010. Zhang, 9, lives in the village which has been home for more than 300 orphans since its opening in 1984. The children here study nearby on weekdays and take part in some extracurricular classes during the weekend, including calligraphy, painting, Beijing opera and dance. [many more photos at China Daily]