Thursday, February 20, 2014
Lou Xiaoying: Story of Chinese woman who saved 30 abandoned babies
A woman has been hailed a hero after details of her astonishing work with abandoned children has emerged.
Lou Xiaoying, now 88 and suffering from kidney failure, found and raised more than 30 abandoned Chinese babies from the streets of Jinhua, in the eastern Zhejiang province where she managed to make a living by recycling rubbish.
She and her late husband Li Zin, who died 17 years ago, kept four of the children and passed the others onto friends and family to start new lives.
Her youngest son Zhang Qilin - now aged just seven - was found in a dustbin by Lou when she was 82.
'Even though I was already getting old I could not simply ignore the baby and leave him to die in the trash. He looked so sweet and so needy. I had to take him home with me,' she said.
'I took him back to our home, which is a very small modest house in the countryside and nursed him to health. He is now a thriving little boy, who is happy and healthy.
'My older children all help look after Zhang Qilin, he is very special to all of us. I named him after the Chinese word for rare and precious.
'The whole thing started when I found the first baby, a little girl back in 1972 when I was out collecting rubbish. She was just lying amongst the junk on the street, abandoned. She would have died had we not rescued her and taken her in.
'Watching her grow and become stronger gave us such happiness and I realised I had a real love of caring for children.
'I realised if we had strength enough to collect garbage how could we not recycle something as important as human lives,' she explained.
Lou, who has one biological daughter, Zhang Caiying and now aged 49, devoted her life to looking after the abandoned babies.
Word of her kind-hearted gestures has now spread in China, where thousands of babies are abandoned on the streets by their poverty stricken parents.
One fan explained: 'She is shaming to governments, schools and people who stand by and do nothing. She has no money or power but she saved children from death or worse.'
'In the local community she is well known and well respected for her work with the abandoned babies. She does her best. She is a local hero. But unfortunately there are far too many abandoned babies in China who have no hope of survival.