Guangxi is a mountainous province with a lot of low-lying lands between the mountains. In mountainous regions, drought occurs frequently, but in rainy days, the low-lying lands become mashes where plants cannot grow easily. Here, people’s earnings are very low. If you have ever been to a shabby hut on the mountain, you will know what “extreme poverty” is. It would not be too bad if one is only poor, situation becomes worse when one is abandoned too. For survival, often the mother would leave the family after the father died. The child being left behind would have to live with his or her grandparents and, when the grandparents passed away too, the child would become an orphan.
In response to the need of these helpless children, Gratia Foundation developed a strategy to help the numerous orphans in China. Starting from the poorest provinces from East to West and from South to North, we identified Guangxi Hechi as the location of our second children village. When we visited, the local officials showed great concern for the orphans in Hechi and handed to us documents showing details of over 200 orphans. The Civil Affairs Bureau expressed their sincere support to our plan and provided us with site ready for buidling children village. A former government office of Duan County, on 10 acres of land, the site was a traditional Chinese courtyard house with basic facilities. There were primary and secondary schools nearby and a marketplace in the neighbourhood. So our second children village was established in a small village at Duan County, Hechi City. The construction project was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, reinforcement and renovation were made to the old buildings making it possible for the children village to start operating in February 2008. We first admitted 30 extremely poor children. The second phase included building of the dormitory was soon completed in April 2009.
Guangxi Duan Gratia Herald Children Village
|Address||Duan County, Hechi City, Central Guangxi Province|
|Gross floor area||3,376 sq. m.|
|Facilities||Dormitory, canteen (also used as hall), computer room, library, activity room and basketball court, etc.|
|Number of children||78 (Maximum: 160)|
|Commencement of operation||Feb 2008|
|Staff||Principal Connie Lau, Vice Principal Winnie Leung, 7 house parents, 5 other staff|