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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Karenkatz,
Westborough, Massachusetts
Reviews onTour-Beijing.Com
Beijing Sun Village
( Home for the children of incarcerated parents )

A couple of days ago, Mr. Chen Kai, one of my business partners, told me a moving story about the Sun Village in Beijing. The village is now a home for over 100 children of incarcerated parents aged from 1 year to 18 years. The sun village was set up 1995 without any government aid. Nowadays, most of us are busy all the time and seldom raise our heads or look at the fast changing society. The fact is that sometime we should do something for our society.

So I decided to visit Sun Village Beijing personally. At 8:00am this morning I got to the place where I had fixed the appointment with Mr Liu Bin, one of my colleagues and drove to Beijing Sun Village together. Beijing Sun Village is located in the Shunyi District in the northeast of downtown Beijing. It is about 35km away from Beijing. It didn't take long before we arrived at Sun Village Beijing. The head of the village, Mrs Zhang Shuqin greeted us and led us to her office. Mrs Zhang is the founder of Sun Village. Now She is in her sixties.

In her office, she warmly gave us a brief introduction to her village recalling her hard working days. She grew up in Shaanxi Province and was graduated from Northwest University. Her major was Chinese language and literature. She had worked in the rural area as a medical worker for 13 years and a newpaper editor for 12 years in Bureau of Prison Administration. In 1995 she finally started her career to help kids of prisoners and those released from jail as well.

As a civil NGO, Sun Village Beijing aims to foster and educate the children with parents incarcerated, providing them baic living condition, educational support, psychological consultancy, right protection and vocational training etc. In the past 13 years, In Shaanxi province, Henan Province, Jiangxi province and Beijing, they have set up four centers, helping over 1000 children. Beijing Sun Village is both the Beijing center and the head-quarters for the all Sun Villages in China.

As for the funding sources for the Sun Village, she mentioned the following three methods:
1) Social donation: donation from individuals, enterprises, social organizations both at home and abroad
2) They make use of all the output from the industry they set up on their own premises to support their village
3) Government allocation: sometimes they may succeed in securing some finacial support from the government when they apply

Beijing Sun Village is only a big home for the children, not a school. For education, she said Sun Village doesn't have its own school, send the children to the nearby local school instead. That's why the Sun Village in Beijing is just located next to Banjiao School in Banjiao Village of Zhaoquanying county. So they enter the local school to ensure they get integrated with the society to develop socially and intellectually. Sun Village will support their nine-year compulsory education and for children promising to enter university, they would keep on helping thier higher education. As for other children, Sun Village will sponor their tuition and basic living expenses, to enable them to aquire certain professional skills and to achieve slef-suffciency in future.

Generally, Sun Village will arrange children to visit parent one or two times annully and call their parents by phone once in a month. Because children come from different provinces, and the prisons are usually located in the remote areas without good public transportation services. Even in this extreme inconvenience, Sun Village will guarenteee at least one visit the parents a year.

For donation management, Mrs Zhang stressed that they have set up very stringent financial administrative system and have nominated specialized accountant and cashier. Their books are audited by prpfessional accounting firms and the annual auditing report is published. They issue their receipt for each donated cash or in-kind, and their expeditures and their auditing can be found in our website.

Actually the social donations are far from the fund need supporting the Sun Village. So in order to reduce on the dependence on the donatons, to yield some profit to support the Sun Village, three businesses are run for self-support:
1) Dates and Peach industry: Sun Village has invested in a dates and peach farm. The output is used to support children and also cultivating self-sufficiency consciouness. Simutaneously, it also provides employment for the grown-up children and their released parents.
2) Used Material Center: some of the used commodities donated to the village are not suitable for the use by the children in the village, so they are sold for money. The proceeds are used to subsidy the childrn'living expenses.
3) Art Gallery: Sun Village set various courses for children as painting, embroidery, handicraft and paper-cutting, etc.

Finally Mrs Zhang quoted the words from a female poet called Gabriela Mistral in Chile as the following:
Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, his mind is being developed. To him we cannot say tomorrow, his name is today.

There is also a Chinese saying: " Don't choose not to do good deeds because they are too small, and don't choose to do bad ones because they are too small." To help the kids with parent incarcerated to be out of confudsion, to get rid of desolation, we must be united, saying; dear, please don't be afraid!

Lao Li
April 23, 2008

The Village gate - a big man made tree donated by an entrepreure
The Village gate - a big man made tree donated by an entrepreure

The shabby head office controls the four sun villages in China
The shabby head office controls the four sun villages in China

Inside the office
Inside the office

The founder of the sun village - Mrs Zhang Shuqin at her desk
The founder of the sun village - Mrs Zhang Shuqin at her desk

Mrs Zhang Shuqin gave us a briefing on the sun villages
Mrs Zhang Shuqin gave us a briefing on the sun villages - the sofa was donated by a head of a big bank after he upgraded his office.

In Beijing Sun Village, There are nine one-story apartment homes ( a kind of dormitory ), which were donated either by people or companies concerned. Each apartment home has an area of 110 square meters. In each apartment home, there are one sitting room, one bedroom and one bathroom. Each 14 kids form a small family in the apartment home with a loving mother taking care of them, including their homework, daily life and more.








All the schooling children were attending the school nearby when we visited the sun village. So we didn't see them. But we were happy to see the kids in the playhouse in the village. They seemed happy with their world.








This is their Auditorium




This is their reception hall where you can find many posters and pictures on the wall introducing the 12-year development of the sun villages.






More photos taken in the Sun Village Beijing








The sun village peach farm where you can donate RMB 500 for a peach tree per year. In autumn, you can come here for the peaches!






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