Foster mothers in rural Datong carry on love relay


Updated: 2022-12-27

In Datong city in North China's Shanxi province, a remote mountain village called Sancha has become famous for its title of "Chinese Foster Mother Village". 

The model of fostering orphaned children in ordinary homes allows the children to better integrate into society when they become adults. 

For more than 50 years, the villagers in Sancha have raised more than 2,500 orphaned children, which is 17.6 times more than the number of permanent households in the village. Generations of foster-mothers have given orphans warm homes with their selfless love. 

Shang Yumei's family is a typical family in the village. Shang Yumei, her daughter-in-law Wang Run Ye and her granddaughter Wang Meijing, are all foster-mothers. The late Shang raised three orphans during her lifetime. Wang Runye raised 13 orphans, the oldest of whom is over 40 years old and the youngest is only 5 years old this year. Lastly, 42-year-old Wang Meijing raised eight orphans. 

When mentioning these children, Wang Meijing said that although the foster children are not her own, they are as close to her as her own biological children. 

These children were taken to an orphanage just after birth, and then fostered in the homes of different foster-mothers in Sancha. All the children in foster care are surnamed "Dang". 

Wang took out photo albums and pointed out her foster children to everyone. The happy smiles on each child's face in the photos were because of the love and efforts of the adoptive parents. 

Jin Baoli, director of the Datong Social Welfare Institute, said that most of the new generation of foster-mothers in Sancha live in buildings, and the children they foster have better living conditions, schooling and rehabilitation opportunities. 

Jin has been the director of the orphanage for 30 years, and has witnessed the hard work and dedication of generations of foster mothers in the village, where 90 percent of families have adopted orphans.

Peng Ke'er contributed to this story.