Hello From Shanghai - Page 1

Dear Families,

I arrived in Shanghai last Saturday, June 10, 2000, after a 19 hour flight from Chicago; including a 2 hour layover in Tokyo.  I do not feel as though I'm suffering from any "jet lag".  I fell asleep easily, after enjoying a family banquet prepared by my friend.  The wonderful banquet helped cure my homesickness, after having been away from China for so long.  I am home from the other side of the globe.

The first orphanage on my visiting list is the Shanghai Children's Welfare Institution and Rehabilitation Center for Disabled Children. There are estimably 550 orphans currently; there has never been a completely accurate count, and the orphans continue coming in and being adopted out every day.

The orphans' ages range from several days old to 16 years old.  There are nearly 300 adults, including: 40 medical care providers and 30 caregivers for infants and preschoolers.  Teachers, for the elementary school children and teenagers, and administrative staff are among the rest.  

There is a special school here, affiliated with the orphanage, for teaching handicapped and special needs children.  The other children with normal development go to public schools in the neighborhood.
If an orphan stays at the orphanage until the age of 16, she/he will be provided with 2 years of professional training.  Then they will be assigned to a community in Shanghai, where they will move to and live, once they have reached the age of 18.  Upon reassignment, the community committee arranges for the orphan to be given 10,000 Chinese dollars, (approx. US $1,205), and is assisted in getting started in a work unit and in finding a place to live.

- Continued On Page 2 -

INDEX     Page Three -  Farewell Letter     1    2    3      4