Chinese charity takes care of jailed parents’ kids

Beijing, May 31 (IANS) A charity organisation in China’s Henan province has started a unique programme – it takes care of children of convicted people.

The children of convicts not only receive education and healthcare at the Xinxiang Sun Village, a charity set up in 2004, but also psychological counselling and job training.

Twelve-year-old Zhou Fang is one of the children living in the facility. With their father in jail and their mother too sick to care for them, Zhou and his younger brother used to live on the streets. Over the past two years, they often got into trouble after grabbing tributes to the dead at temples or for stealing food to fill their stomachs.

‘Everyone of them has a miserable story and some of their psychological wounds may never heal. They need our love,’ Wang Min, the charity’s counsellor, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Zhou Fang and 47 other children – aged three to 18 years – live in the village while their parents serve their terms in nine jails in the province.

The organisation promises ‘delicious food, clean clothes and cosy dorms’. It is equipped with an entertainment hall, a psychological counselling room, a computer room, a library and a table tennis room. There are also TV sets and video games.

‘I like maths, and also computer games,’ Zhou said, laughing.

The village also has five ‘mothers’ and five ‘sisters’ who take care of the children and help them feel love.

Zhou Wenzhong, Zhou Fang’s father, was in solitary confinement for his bad temper during the first seven years of his 14-year jail term.

After his sons entered the village, Zhou Wenzhong’s behaviour improved and he recently received a three-month-off on his sentence for good behaviour.

‘The village is trying to build a bridge of love between convicts and their kids,’ Wang said.

With donations received from many people, Sun village has opened many branches in Beijing, Tianjin municipalities, as well as Jiangxi, Liaoning and Qinghai provinces.