By Rong Jiaojiao
She held hands of her mum and dad on the way to kindergarten, with no idea that she would soon lose her parents to the 8.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Beichuan County in China's southwest Sichuan Province on May 12.
Shielded by the bodies of her parents, three-year-old Song Xinyi survived the catastrophe that claimed more than 50,000 lives and left 5 million homeless.
In hospital, one of her legs was amputated. Lying at Mianyang No. 3 Hospital, the little girl screams "I want Dad and Mum" every time she wakes up. Whenever she sees a woman, she calls her "Mum" and every man "Dad".
The number of quake orphans like Song Xinyi could reach 4,000 with 70confirmed so far, according to the Bureau of Civil Affairs of Sichuan Province.
Local officials are scrambling to reunite children with their missing families. Newspapers and television stations have run children's photos and names, asking the public for help. Posters with similar information have been posted at the relief camps.
The Civil Affairs Ministry has announced that each confirmed orphan would have a 600-yuan (86 U.S. dollars) allowance per month for basic living expenses over the next three months and they would be taken care of by welfare organizations.
The central government will put the orphans through college if they pass the entry exams. As for those not enrolled in college, the government will pay their tuition for their vocational schools, and help them get jobs on graduation.
Meanwhile, more than 300 professional psychologists sent by the Ministry of Health and other institutions are working in the quake zone in trauma counseling.