Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"Deadly Poor"

In December, Chinese Television aired a program, courtesy of Henan Charity Federation, called “Orphans in China” that focused extensively on the poverty of Nanyang City and the plight of the orphans there.

Contrary to popular belief, poverty and medical care issues are major contributing factors for abandonment, not the family-planning measures or the social structures in place (parents who are trying to care for elderly relatives cannot afford to rear their children). And 56% of those abandoned are boys (not girls).

Nanyang is a poor orphanage. Originally I thought it was better off, based on the fact that it in is a city (cities have better economy than outlying rural regions). Also, it’s in Henan province, which is considered the “cradle of Chinese civilization” because it’s the breadbasket of the country. However, I’ve since learned that per hectare, more money is made with other crops, so Henan is actually not doing very well at all. And there is a lot of corruption; money intended for charity is often pocketed by officials.

The Morning Sun Center of Hope is an organization that works to bring relief to Henan. One of the programs they’ve been able to initiate is a nutrition program for babies in orphanages in Nanyang (where our little boy is). They also work to improve the medical care of the children there.

At the end of the video you will see images of Nanyang City Social Welfare Institute, where our little boy is. You will recognize the room from the pictures we just posted of Dang Yong. While watching it, Jason and I had to repeatedly press “pause” while it loaded. But if you’re patient (or have a better system!) it is well worth it.

If you want to hear about poverty as it relates to the abandoned children of China, you will hear it straight from the children themselves. The video speaks for itself:

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