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Church-run school gets official praise

Xinyue Center in China is a ’model’ institution caring for children

Fufeng county government officials visit children at the Xinyue Center for Special Education in Yingxi Fufeng county government officials visit children at the Xinyue Center for Special Education in Yingxi
  • ucanews.com reporter, Fufeng
  • China
  • January 19, 2011
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Senior officials from central China’s Shaanxi province have praised the efforts of Catholic nuns at a special education center for mentally handicapped children.

The officials from the Fufeng county government recently visited the Xinyue Center for Special Education in Yingxi as part of a pre-Chinese Lunar New Year tradition of offering support for the less fortunate.

The center, which has 130 children, is a non-profit organization co-founded by the Sacred Heart Franciscan Missionary Sisters and the Catholic Social Service Center of Xi’an diocese.

After meeting the children, the officials said they are amazed at how well they were doing.

Gao Jun, a deputy magistrate, praised the Catholic nuns and workers and thanked them for their selfless dedication in caring for the needy.

Local authorities will provide more support for the center this coming year since it has proved itself a model secular social service institution, he said.

Wang Xiaojun, 14, told the visitors he enjoys going to school and playing at the center, which he said is trying to help him lead a normal life.

He promised to “try his best to serve society and repay the nuns and teachers for their dedication.”

One parent said her son regained his self-confidence at the center and his artwork was recently displayed at an art exhibition. She said she feels more reassured that the local government is paying more attention to the welfare of the handicapped.

The center was established in 2005 and offers rehabilitation training and special education for 3-18 year olds suffering from a wide range of mental disorders such as autism, Down’s syndrome and cerebral palsy.

Some children have entered regular kindergartens and primary schools after several years of special education, while a few are trained to take care of themselves and make a living, the center’s director, Sister Tong Xiaoya told ucanews.com recently.

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