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Children losing parents for AIDS invited to Beijing for summer tour
Updated: 2005-08-14 09:51

Zhu Biao, a 13-year-old boy livingin east China's countryside whose mother died of AIDS, was invited to Beijing for a five-day tour starting from Saturday.

"I'm very happy and I want to thank all those who care for me,"Zhu said.

A total of 86 children sharing Zhu's misfortune -- losing mother or father or even both parents for the deadly AIDS epidemic-- from eight provinces gathered here on Saturday for the opening ceremony of a special "summer camp" sponsored by the China Work Committee on Care for Children (CWCCC).

During their five-day stay here, these unfortunate yet healthy children will visit the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and the Summer Palace, and each of them will also be invited to a local household to feel the warmth of an integral family, an official with the committee said.

Wang Bin, a worker with the Beijing Electric Power Construction Company, invited Yan Hui, a child from north China's Shanxi Province, to his home. "I have many books for him to read and will show him around the city. I think we can be good friends!" said the son of Wang.

More than 270 local families have handed in their applications for serving as the hosts since the CWCCC publicized its plan to organize the "families of love" event for these pathetic children in June this year, said Li Guoqiang, an official with the committee.

"The entire society is eliminating its discrimination against those children whose families suffer from AIDS," Li said.

Chinese entrepreneurs also showed their concerns about this special group of minors by establishing a special fund, which to date has helped more than 200 children.

"We hope that more business people will get to know such children's life and help them," said Geng Yuan, assistant secretary-general of the fund.

There are nearly 80,000 children whose mother or father or bothparents died of AIDS in China today, and the figure is expected to reach 200,000 by 2010, experts say, adding the main problems facedby such children are discrimination, poverty and lack of self-confidence.

"This summer tour aims at encouraging the public to iron out their discriminations against and offer more assistance to such children," Li said.

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