Thousands of children are left abandoned in China every year. One woman has made it her mission to help as many of them as she can.
CGTN’s Frances Kuo reports.
Lu Lijing, nicknamed “Lily”, founded a special place in Beijing in 2006 called “Dew Drops Little Flower”. It’s a nonprofit organization that helps abandoned children who are sick and have disabilities.
“They smiled, they made you feel relaxed, no pressure. And then gradually, I wanted to learn more, and wanted to do more,” she explained.
It’s been 12 years since she started the organization. Lily and a group of volunteers have cared for more than 2,000 young orphans.
“I think that Lily has lots of stories of children she has helped, and took care of them, took a chance on them,” said volunteer Rebekah Bodden.
That includes the story of one abandoned boy who suffered from heart defects and other conditions.
“On one side, it seemed impossible for him. There were too many things going on,” Lily said. “But on the other side, he has the most cute, clear eyes, just looking at you. It seemed like he was saying ‘Help me!’ So that was the very struggling part.”
Regardless, Lily didn’t give up on him. Now the three-year-old boy has a healthy life with his adopted family in the U.S. Even so, not all orphans have such a happy ending.
According to the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs, there were 460,000 orphans in China at the end of 2016. Many of them have medical issues and disabilities.
Lily doesn’t have children of her own, but this is her family.
“She’s invested so much in all of these children, and she is that mother figure,” Bodden said. “And I think also to us as a staff and a team, we all look up to her and even though she might not be our ‘mother’ per say, we all kind of see her that way.”
CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke to Tong Xiaojun about the situation for orphans in China. She’s a consultant with the Save the Children China Programme.