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Amway helps needy children one by one

UNDERPRIVILEGED kids from around China have oohed and aahed at the wonders of the World Expo and the glittering city of Shanghai.

One of the latest groups of needy children toured the Expo on Monday as part of the Amway (China) One by One Campaign.

The 150 children were on a four-day trip to see the city and the Expo they otherwise would never have witnessed. It was a dream-come-true.

The group included children of migrant workers in Shanghai and children from earthquake-hit Yushu County in Qinghai Province and other poor, rural areas. Some of them have disabilities.

At the Expo, the children sent their regards to Expo volunteers and role-played different professions at an occupational experience project.

Their families could never afford a trip to Shanghai to see the Expo, so Amway stepped in to broaden the children's horizons and picked up the tab.

"This is the first time I have been to Shanghai, and I'm having a lot of fun," said 10-year-old Bao Xin from Gaolan County, Gansu Province.

Bao lives with her grandparents in rugged northwest China, while her parents work in big cities to support the family. She only saw them once a year and a trip for fun was out of the question, so she never even asked.

Many of the children share her experience. Some come from humble families with laid-off or disabled parents, some were abandoned by their parents, some suffer illness or disability.

"I'm very grateful for this precious chance," said wheelchair-bound Hanixia Saisaihan from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. She has cerebral palsy and her parents spent everything on her treatment. Her left side is almost paralyzed. When she tries to walk she always stumbles and gets bruised. She accidently scalded herself recently.

Volunteers from Amway showed her around the Expo pavilions and took good care of her.

The children's trip, or camp, is the latest effort in the long-term Amway (China) One by One Campaign, which improves the well-being of children in need.

The children from 26 domestic provinces and cities are among the 720,000 Chinese children who have benefited in the campaign that began in 2003.

In the global campaign, Amway has provided hope and opportunity to more than 7 million children, put in 1.3 million employee and employer volunteer hours, and shared more than US$112 million.

Many campaign volunteers have built connections and become friends with the children they helped. They call or write letters to Bao Xin and Hanixia Saisaihan from time to time to encourage them.

The trip to Shanghai and the Expo was latest, but not the only effort to help.

The Amway One by One Campaign provides children the resources the need to live, learn, achieve and play.


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