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California groups unite to support orphan care in China

By CINDY LIU in Los Angeles (China Daily USA) Updated: 2014-09-23 09:48

California groups unite to support orphan care in China

James Su (3rd from left), president of Asian American Cultural and Artistic Foundation, and Danny Wu (2nd from right), associate superintendent of Herald Foundation, present at the press conference for donating for Xian Yang Herald Children’s Village in Herald Community Center in San Gabriel on Monday. Cindy Liu / China Daily

Two Los Angeles-based registered nonprofit organizations, the Herald Foundation and the Asian American Cultural and Artistic Foundation, on Monday said they will provide financial support to Xianyang Herald Children's Village, a foster care center for children in need in Xianyang city in Shaanxi province in China.

The Asian American Cultural and Artistic Foundation (AACAF) announced its commitment to match the amount of the donation that the Herald Foundation receives to double the financial support to help Xianyang Herald Children's Village. The fund raising objective the Herald Foundation has for the center is $50,000. The AACAF will provide another $50,000 to match the number.

James Su, president of AACAF, said that as a non-profit organization thatsupports educating the youth in the Chinese-American community in southern California as well as in China, they understand the hardwork of doing charity. "By matching the donation, we want to make their work easier and double the benefit for children in China," Su said.

For five years the AACAF has made an effort in educating children in four provinces in China including Gansu, Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou. More than $100 million has been allocated to help children in poverty in those areas. After China's 2008 Sichuan earthquake resulted in more than69,000 deaths, 18,000 missing and more than 600 orphans, the AACAF built up a digital library and collaborated in arranging computers for children in school. "We want to open a window for them to see a bigger world to inspire them and to give them the hope for tomorrow,"said Su.

The children's foster center is the fourth one that the Herald Foundation has created since 2004. The other three are Sanming Herald Children's Village in Sanming city of Fujian province, Hechi Herald Children's Village in Hechi city of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and Mianyang Herald Children's Village in Mianyang city of Shaanxi province.

The Herald Children's Village acceptsfour types of children in need and associate superintendent Danny Wu believes in "filling in the gaps in China's current policy". In many places in China, young children without parents in poor rural areas do not qualify to go to a children's village if their grandparents or other relatives are alive. Children accepted by the Herald Children's Village include those whose parents passed away, cases where the father passed away and the mother remarried leaving the children behind, children whose parents are disabled or suffering from mental disease, and those whose parents are temporarily in jail.

"Our goal is to give all those children a home and a hope as well as shoulder the government's responsibility," Wu told China Daily.

The first Herald Children's Village, Fujian Sanming Herald Children Village, has raised more than 100 children since it was built in 2005. "I remember those young kids sat on my knees in the first days I was there," recalled Wu. "Now some of them are adults."

Eightchildren from Sanming home are in college. "We plan to bring them to the US next year and let donors meet them. It will be a moment of reward," said Wu.

One 12-year-old girl, Zhang Qian, who lives in the Mianyang Herald Village, wrote to donors: "I know I am always loved and supported. I want to be a good student and give back to you one day."

Xianyang Herald Children's Village just finished the construction and recruiting in the past summer including the addition of caregivers, teachers, assistant teachers, counselors, chefs, and five dedicated mothers who live in the home providing day-to-day child care for the children in the village. Xianyang Herald Children's Home is waiting for the arrival of 40 children right after China's National Day on Oct 1.


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