China’s quake orphans take part in Olympic torch relay

By Xinhua,

Wanzhou (China) : An American foundation working for orphans in China said Sunday 50 children who lost their parents in the devastating May 12 earthquake were taking part in the Olympic torch relay in Sichuan province.

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Jenny Bowen, executive president of Half the Sky Foundation, said she was running a leg in Sunday’s Wanzhou relay in Sichuan’s Chongqing municipality for the children.

“My only reason for doing it is running for children, especially for the newly- orphaned 50 children from Wenchuan earthquake on May 12. I want them to be part of the celebration with all of China. Children who lost their family were not forgotten,” said 63-year-old Bowen, the founder of the charity.

Some 70,000 people were killed in the devastating quake.

“They do not have a mother telling them to stay at school and study hard. For everything they accomplish, they have to do on their own. To make them one of this (torch relay), to be part of China’s big celebration, is just a wonderful opportunity. It’s important for me to be here, to be their voice.”

In the past 10 years, Bowen and her foundation have helped 13,000 orphans all over China. It has been carrying out work in 36 charitable institutions in 28 cities on the mainland, for some 4,000 orphans.