Welfare home helps 'hopeless' quake orphans

Quake orphans, raised in Ankang Jiayuan, back at the welfare home last Wednesday to mark the 10th anniversary. Their banner reads: "Ten years after the Wenchuan earthquake, we have all grown up."
Quake orphans, raised in Ankang Jiayuan, back at the welfare home last Wednesday to mark the 10th anniversary. Their banner reads: "Ten years after the Wenchuan earthquake, we have all grown up."PHOTO: XINHUA

BEIJING • When the massive quake struck Sichuan 10 years ago on May 12, it left 87,000 people dead or missing, and created hundreds of orphans.

Xiaoyu, who was only 13 at the time, was one of the unfortunate ones, but also "lucky" to be one of 338 orphans who were moved into a complex known as "Ankang Jiayuan" (or the Homestead of Well-being in Chinese) in Shuangliu county in Sichuan.

"My younger sister and I had lost our family in the earthquake, and we felt helpless and hopeless. But we later got a bigger family with more loving people," said Xiaoyu, who has become a Chinese teacher in a middle school.

Ankang Jiayuan, supported by the All-China Women's Federation and China Children and Teenagers' Fund, was the county's largest welfare home for Sichuan quake orphans.

Among the 672 kids fostered in Ankang Jiayuan, 282 are now in college or university, 342 are employed or joining the army, and 48 are still being taken care of under the project due to their age.

The home consists of apartment buildings, a primary school and a middle school. In addition to teachers, there are 80 specially trained tutors.The project also highlights the importance of psychological help for the orphans.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 13, 2018, with the headline 'Welfare home helps 'hopeless' quake orphans'. Print Edition | Subscribe