World Vision, an international relief organization, donated US$513,000 Tuesday to China’s “Tomorrow Plan,” which provides surgical and rehabilitation services to disabled orphans.
It is the largest donation to the project since the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) launched it in May.
According to the contract signed Tuesday in Beijing between the MCA and World Vision, the MCA will use US$449,000 from the donation to provide medical services to disabled orphans and spend the rest on raising public awareness of the issue as well as on project management and assessment.
In addition, World Vision will also participate in other projects related to Tomorrow Plan.
At Tuesday’s signing ceremony, Vice Minister of Civil Affairs Li Liguo praised World Vision for its contribution and called on people everywhere to care for disabled children.
Under the MCA scheme, Tomorrow Plan will provide surgery and rehabilitation to 30,000 disabled orphans under the age of 18 in social welfare institutions across China.
The China Welfare Lottery, local governments and private donors are also providing funding.
According to a survey conducted by the MCA at the end of 2003, Chinese welfare institutions are now accommodating 54,522 children. Nearly 50 percent of them suffer some disability. Officials estimate that about 14,000 of the disabled orphans can be cured with proper medical care.
World Vision was founded in 1950 and now operates in 100 countries worldwide. In 2003, the Christian relief and development organization gathered donations and relief items valued at US$1.3 billion and helped more than 100 million people.
The organization entered China in 1982 and now manages more than 80 relief and antipoverty projects in 14 provinces, cities and autonomous regions across China. World Vision devoted US$65.3 million to China from 1998 to 2003.
Dr. Chan Sze Tang, CEO of World Vision China, said that his organization looks forward to more cooperation with Chinese civil affairs departments in serving AIDS victims, establishing relief standards and helping needy children and urban migrant workers.
(Xinhua News Agency September 29, 2004)