Charity faces power struggle

Thirty-two disabled orphans were left with no power or water for 6 days, leaving many children and some staff ill.

Charity faces power struggle

The power supply at the Angel Home orphanage, Changping district, was cut off from July 9 to 14 when all electrical appliances including the air-conditioning, washing machines and the electricity-driven water pump could not be used.

Many of the children suffered from the heat and some caught cold, while four of the 15 baby-sitters became ill after being forced to haul in buckets of water, manager Deng Zhixin told the Global Times Sunday.

As temperatures soared last week, child carers had no choice but to let the children stay outside in the courtyard.

“We had to go to the neighboring village about 2 kilometers away to carry back water with a tricycle to give them a bath,” said Deng.

But the worst thing was the mosquitoes and high temperatures at night.

“The children couldn’t sleep well, as all the electricity-driven facilities didn’t work,” she said. After the 6 days’ torture, “more than half the children suffered with prickly heat and fever.”

Angel Home moved to its present location at Dongsanqi, Beiqijia township, in March because of the cheap rent, the Beijing Times reported. It was the third time the orphanage had to move.

But the new location is in an illegal building to which the power supply is often cut off.

Local authorities had ordered residents to relocate by themselves, the Dongsanqi village administrative committee told the Beijing Times. Any housing in the area is illegal, as it is not zoned for residential use.

The Angel Mom organization began to assist orphans in May 2002 and the Angel Homes at Tiantongyuan in Changping district, and in Pingdingshan, Henan Province were established in December 2007.

The organization has helped more than 400 children so far with more than 1 million yuan ($154,751) donated for medical aid, according to the official website of the organization.

The children living in the Changping district Angel Home are from other orphanages around China, and all suffer some kind of physical disability such as cleft lip and palate, cerebral palsy or heart disease.
An emergency repair team from Changping District Electricity Power Company went to Angel Home to install a new wire to provide power for the orphanage Sunday, Deng said.

“The high demand for electricity destroyed the transformer and distribution box,” the electricity company’s news department director Yuan Yuan told the Global Times Sunday.

The municipal government had once ordered the company to cut off the power supply for over 30 families, including Angel Home, as the illegal dwellings are built on farmland, said  the electricity company.

The electricity company restored the power supply Friday, but the company suggested that Angel Home should move to a new location where utility supply can be guaranteed.

“In the long run, we’re considering whether we should find another place,” Deng said. “We know this place will be torn down in the future,” she added.

Global Times

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