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Tibet to Build New Child Welfare Facility in Downtown Lhasa

Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region will spend 29.85 million yuan (about US$4.39 million) to construct a new child welfare complex in downtown Lhasa, the regional capital.

The announcement was made on Monday by an official surnamed Li, chief of the welfare affairs section of the autonomous regional department of civil affairs.

The complex will be on Niangre North Road of Lhasa and will serve as an extension of the existing Tibet child welfare house in western Lhasa, which is the first of the kind in Tibet, said Li.

The planned establishment will have 300 beds and a floor space of 11,950 square meters. Construction will start next year and will be ready for operation by 2010.

Altogether 150 orphans and disabled children now live at the Tibet child welfare house, which was built in 1999 with aid from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Tseyang, head of the Tibet child welfare house, said the existing facility didn't have space for special education and rehabilitative training, which was not a good situation for the growth of disabled children.

Also, many of the orphaned boys and girls who are kept together because of limited space have reached puberty, said Tseyang, who added that the present condition made it inconvenient to look after the children.

Planned works for the new orphanage will include a children's activity center and another center for rehabilitation training.

There were 5,073 orphans and disabled children in Tibet by late 2007, and only six government-financed child welfare services. They house 9.8 percent of Tibet's orphans and disabled children, according to the regional department of civil affairs.

Four other private welfare facilities and one SOS children's village, also privately funded, have played a role in accommodating Tibet's disabled, according to Li.

(Xinhua News Agency November 18, 2008)

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