China / Society

China to provide life assistance to martyr families

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-29 20:43

BEIJING - China will launch a national program to provide assistance to families whose only children have died while performing good deeds, the Ministry of Civil Affairs announced Monday.

Families of people who have given their lives for a "noble cause," also known as martyr families, will relieve free living assistance and consolation in the form of volunteers who help in daily tasks and keep them company.

Soldiers who have died during natural disaster relief, doctors or nurses who have passed away while treating fatal illness or police officers who die in the line of duty are a few examples of those who leave behind "martyr families."

The volunteers will socialize with family elders and help with day-to-day tasks such as cleaning house or doing laundry.

It will also organize recreational activities for the families and pay them visits during birthdays and Chinese holidays.

If an aged family member passes away, the volunteers will pay annual visits to their graves, pay tribute and sweep the tomb in line with the traditional role for the younger generation.

The new program is an expansion of one launched by the Ministry of Civil affairs in March, which saw similar services provided for "shidu" elderly, a Chinese term coined to describe aged parents who have lost their only child.

The expenditure of this program will be covered by charitable donations.

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