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Charity Brings Warmth to Orphans

Celebrating the New Year with family is a tradition the world over but for young orphan Doudou the start of 2005 was extra special.


The eight-year-old met his new relatives for the first time.


"I feel quite excited when my aunts and uncles teach me how to perform puppet show and drama, which I have never seen before," Doudou said on meeting his new extended family.


Doudou was abandoned by his mother after his father died when he was only four.


He celebrated Christmas and New Year with volunteers and social workers- his new aunts and uncles - at Zhaoxian Children's Home in north China's Hebei Province, a four-hour car ride from Beijing.


"I hope every day is New Year's Day," he said.


Every child and teenager from the orphanage received new woolly clothes as New Year gifts, sponsored by Operation Blessing, a US-based charity group.


The orphanage is home to 32 youngsters aged from 6 to 17.


"According to Chinese traditions, parents should buy their kids new clothes for new year," said Feng Moxi, director of the children's home.


"However, my wife and I felt sorry at this time of year because of the lack of funds we could not buy new clothes for the kids at the orphanage," Feng said.


"Now we are so happy that our kids have new clothes thanks to the help from so many kind-hearted people."


Many volunteers organized by some non-profit groups such as China Charity Federation, come to visit orphanages in Beijing and Hebei, especially in the festival season.


Zhang Lan, an employee of an Australia-based company in Beijing, for example, paid a visit to an orphanage in Shunyi District of Beijing on Christmas Day.


"I want to spend this special time with orphaned children who badly need our love and attention," Zhang said.


"I feel quite moved when I see children carefully put sweets in pockets rather than eat them instantly, because they want to save the sweet moment a bit longer," she said.


Operation Blessing has organized regular volunteer visits to children's homes in and around Beijing. 

(China Daily January 5, 2005)

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