Feng Tai

15 Jan

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Every friday me & some friends go help out in a local orphanage in Feng Tai district. It is home to around 70 children ranging from infants to early teens. The majority of these children have been born with congenital medical problems such as cleft lip/palate, heart disease, Spina bifida, Down’s syndrome, encephalitis and cerebral palsy. Feng Tai takes in orphans who are stricken with serious illness and disabilities and those who are abandoned and helps care for them and provides many with medical care and surgeries, if necessary.

China says it has 576,000 orphans in its child welfare system, though outside groups put the number at closer to a million. The parents who abandon them either cannot afford treatment or feel an inability to cope with raising a child who has special needs. In some cases an unwanted baby can sometimes be a healthy girl, reflecting the country’s one-child policy and its preference for sons. The children, when found, will be given a new name; 1 part chosen, 1 part the year they were found, 1 part the location where they were found.

The children live here, but this orphanage is special as it provides relevant and meaningful education to many of the disadvantaged children who cannot go to the local schools. For a couple of hours we get to interact with the children…playing, drawing, singing, dancing, feeding and just cuddling with them. Seeing the happiness, pride and personal development in the children is great. The more fortunate orphans might find themselves in foster families or adopted, mainly to the States, some to Europe. This month even 5 children from Feng Tai left Beijing to live with their new families. It has been very special for me to meet these amazing kids, helping them transition, teaching them some english or just make them at ease with “foreigners”, giving them some 1-on-1 attention & love.

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