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August 27, 2009

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Complex opens for quake kids

THE country's first special complex of new apartment buildings and schools for orphans and children of needy families was built in Sichuan as the province recovers from last year's devastating earthquake.

A group of 712 children aged between eight and 14 moved into the complex known as "Ankang Jiayuan" (Homestead of Well-being) in Shuangliu County yesterday.

The complex consists of two new apartment buildings, a primary school and a middle school. In addition to teachers, there are 80 specially-trained tutors to take care of the children's daily necessities.

"It is beautiful here and I have no worries," said 13-year-old Luo Haowei from Yingxiu Township of Wenchuan County, the epicenter of the May 12 quake last year. He lost his parents in the disaster.

"All my teachers and schoolmates are very nice. We treat each other as close relatives," he said. "I will study hard and repay all of those who care about me with a good school record."

Tutor Wang Yanmei said she will attend to the children to the best of her ability.

"In my eyes, they are my own children," she said.

The project, the first of its kind for Sichuan quake survivors, was initiated by the Beijing-based China Children and Teenagers' Fund after the disaster left more than 87,000 people dead or missing.


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