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Earthquake orphans call for help
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During an interview with China.org.cn on Friday, three earthquake orphans from Beichuan High School of Sichuan, Liu Yixue, 16, and two third-grade students Chen Bing and Bai Lin, called for the whole country to reach out to the areas devastated by the earthquake. A single yuan, a single biscuit, one single bottle of water will help someone there.

Chen Bing, Bai Lin and Liu Yixue (from left to right)

The three had flown to Beijing for a charity event on Thursday evening organized by China Central Television, Phoenix TV and the China Foundation for the Alleviation of Poverty.

Chen comes from Chaiwan village, Qingxiu Township of Beichuan County. There were grandparents, parents and a little sister in his family. Liu, from Quanjia village, lived with her parents and little sister. She returned home every Friday from the school to a home-cooked dinner prepared by her mother. Prior to the disaster Bai's hometown was a scenic tourist site. But the earthquake has robbed her of the opportunity ever to see her newly-built house.

It is punishingly hard for the teenagers to speak of their misery. But they went through the interview because they hoped "more people will reach out to the survivors".

"As long as we have the support of the rest of the people, we are not alone," said Bai.

Chen echoed Bai's words, saying that by telling their own stories, they hoped to draw more attention to those orphaned by the earthquake.

"Some of the orphans are so young – maybe two or three years old – that they don't understand what has happened to them. They don't and can't realize what the disappearance of their family means," said Liu.

Bai said that the first thing on her mind was to convey to her fellow villagers the warmth of their reception in Beijing. "I will encourage them to be strong and rebuild our home. I want to tell them not to give up."

Chen still has his fellow classmates in mind. "There is a saying that hard times reveal true feelings. We escaped together and we should get through our difficulties together. I miss the others already," said Chen. "We will get together again on May 18 when I return home. They are my family now." Bai also worries about an injured boy staying with her fellow classmates after the quake." He is alone. We have made up our mind to take care of him. We will earn the bread to keep him upon graduating from High School," said Bai.

Chen is grateful for every donation. "What more can we students do but study hard to repay society and prepare ourselves to rebuild our homes."

(China.org.cn May 16, 2008)

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