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Charity Function Raises US$1.38m for Disabled

A Chinese charity function, which raised more than 11 million yuan (US$1.38 million) for needy overseas groups on Thursday evening, again proved the saying that "love is boundless."

With the theme "Love and Charity," the activity was jointly sponsored by the China Charity Federation (CCF), the Red Cross Society of China and the Tiens Group Ltd in Tianjin Municipality.

Described as China's largest charity activity aimed to offer help overseas, the activity attracted about 30,000 spectators.

More than 3,000 foreigners from 30 countries and regions who have been the beneficiaries of Chinese financial aid also attended the event and expressed their gratitude by dancing and singing.

"Helping vulnerable people, no matter in China or overseas, shows that Chinese people care about the young and the old, women and the disabled," Fan Baojun, president of CCF, said at the event.

"Not only the government, but also the whole of society, should participate in this undertaking. We hope that with today's event, with many celebrities attending, charity functions may receive more public attention."

More than 100 fund-raising boxes were passing among function spectators. Preliminary statistics show that at least 11 million yuan (US$1.38 million) was collected, and organizers said the money would be used to assist the neediest in foreign countries, such as in Africa.

"I'm more than glad to see that Chinese people are so kind and generous in assisting people from other countries," said Barbara Mogae, first lady of the Republic of Botswana, who joined the event. "As the representative of foreign beneficiaries here today, I want to say thank you."

China started assisting foreign countries in the 1950s, and by the end of 2003, 146 countries had received aid from China, according to the CCF. About 550,000 technicians were dispatched overseas to help build 1,740 projects in such industries as agriculture, irrigation, paper-making, chemicals and textiles.

(China Daily May 20, 2006)

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