Friday, December 3, 2010

China Daily Roundup: Orphan Stories

A few interesting articles from China Daily:

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.

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.
Orphans cope after loss to AIDS:

A photo story: Children play outside their classroom in Shangcai county, Central China's Henan province on Nov 30, 2010. The children, who are healthy, have lost their parents to AIDS. But they are growing up with good care at this school, where 78 orphans study on the first floor and live on the upper one. This social welfare institution, known as China Red Ribbon Home, supported by China Red Ribbon Foundation and All-China Federation of Industry & Commerce, provides the children with primary and middle school education. [many more photos at China Daily]
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.

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.
Life in orphans' home in North China city:

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]

4 comments:

Jessica said...

These institutions are to be commended for their wonderful facilities and care for children. And yet...

"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."

And

"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."

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jessica these orphans are not oblivious to the social dysfunction in their society that instantly knocks them into one of the "lower classes" forever simply because their parents died.

China's culture needs to change, not an excuse to go baby-grabbing.

Those same kind of "stats" exist for adopted children in America.

But shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh don't tell anyone because it might hurt the $5 billion/year adoption industry's profits.

Jessica said...

Anonymous:
I agree with you completely, although as an adoptive parent myself, I wouldn't describe IA as "baby-grabbing." That doesn't mean I don't believe the adoption system needs reform. I do.
Jessica

osolomama said...

Some of these non-governmental agencies are doing a good job trying to look after children whose parents died of AIDS (it seems to be mostly foundations and chambers of commerce behind these things). I'm sure some of the state-run SWIs would like to have some of these bucks! Whatever, it makes for good photo opps from the gov't's viewpoint. This place looks more like a boarding school than an orphanage.

I agree with Anon that most of these children will fare best continuing to be supported in institutions and group homes like this (especially if they are of this quality) and, like many children in Haiti, "having a family" is going to come when they make their own families and have their own kids. I don't even know of these children are eligible for adoption domestically.

The 2003 study seemed to be applying its findings to children in rather different circumstances. Abandoned and being raised with kin, abandoned and living on the street or in an SWI, orphaned and living in a well-funded group home. . . it's all pretty different, and so are the circumstances that would lead a child into that situation, not to mention the child's own feelings about he or she got there.