One study* revealed that there are about 573 000 orphans in China under the age of 18, among them 69 000 living in orphanages. According to the same report, fewer than 293 000 orphans – only about half of the China’s orphans – receive a basic government subsidy. “In many places, the financial aid an orphan receives is less than one quarter of the cost of raising a child. In some cases, the aid is less than 10% of what a child needs to live”.
Students from Fashion Marketing and Management department at Raffles Design Institute, Beijing decided to look behind the walls of an orphanage in the province of China. They were deeply touched by the children they met there, who deserve to have warm homes and clothes, nutritious food, medical care, education, but they cannot have all this in spite of the support of various organizations. The basic needs of the orphanage the students visited were:
- to have coal for the whole winter season 2009/10 – 70 000 RMB (about 10 000 usd);
- to have diapers – 8000 RMB monthly need (about 1200 usd)
- there are other urgent needs like medical care, staff recruitment, roof repair, etc.
The students returned to Beijing committed to use talent and voices in a campaign that will raise money to support the orphanage in partnership with Our Chinese Daughters Foundation (NGO). Their 2009 campaign will mark the start of an ongoing campaign addressed to the needs of the children in various orphanages around China.
The needs of the kids deserve the attention of the whole society. The students realize that they need to alarm the society for the difficult life of its abandoned children.
The fashion world has a great impact over the society and it has to use its power in favor of its members. Being part of the fashion community, the students feel responsible too and set the priorities of their campaign:
- To increase the society awareness of the orphan’s problems through a media campaign working together with wide circle of fashion leaders, designers and other influential fashionistas.
- To raise money through a campaign to support the basic needs of the orphanages around China. Both directives will be on ongoing basis, and the culmination for 2009 will be on December, 18th with a Christmas party
for the fashion community in Beijing.
A few hundred fashionistas, students, their friends and lecturers, as well as many business people from the fashion community in Beijing will get together at this special event to send a reminding message to the society for the needs of thousands of kids living in orphanages and the power of the society to help them.
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* Reference: An article “573 000 Orphans in China”, by Joshua Zhong found at Chinesechildren.org (2006)
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