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September 21, 2017

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Taipei Yi-Kuang Orphanage celebrates 50th anniversary

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taipei Yi-Kuang Orphanage, one of the oldest and largest orphanages helping unprivileged children in Taiwan, will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday morning.

The celebration will be held at the student activity center of Huajiang Elementary School at Lane 42, Section 2 of Huanhe South Road in the Wanhua District of Taipei City.

Government social welfare officials, people who have provided assistance to the welfare institution, financial donors, and adults who spent their childhoods at Yi-Kuang will attend the gathering starting at 11 a.m.

Over the past decades, Yi-Kuang has provided shelter and education for more than 3,000 orphans and abandoned children to help them through their difficult childhoods.

A large number of them have now set up their own families and become supporters for the institution.

Yi-Kuang, meaning "righteousness" and "brightness" in Chinese, was founded in 1957 by Shi-Chin Hu, wife of then Legislator Hu Wei-fan, with assistance from a few Christian missionaries from the United States.

It soon became the biggest charitable institution sheltering abandoned babies and children on the island.

Madame Chiang Kai-shek, The China Post founder Nancy Yu Huang, and members of the Taipei International Women's Club were among the major supporters of the charity organization.

Madame Chiang, wife of President Chiang Kai-shek, especially admired Shi-Chin Hu's endeavors because a high percentage of the children she took care of were born deformed and rejected by their own families.

Many of the children in the earlier years were children severely injured by the bombs fired by Chinese Communists on the frontline islands of Kinmen and Matsu when they attempted to take over the islands before launching full assault on Taiwan. But these attempts were repelled by troops commanded by Chiang.

Yi-Kuang was known as the last chance and also the best place for "children nobody wants." When other orphanages were unable to take care of certain children, they sent them to Yi-Kuang.

Yi-Kuang is currently run by Hu Lee Shi-mei, daughter-in-law of Shi-Chin Hu, at Lane 382, Section 3 of Heping West Road in Wanhua District.

Director Hu Lee Shi-mei started her charity work at Yi-Kuang soon after it was established.

For her efforts to provide a caring and healthy environment with skills training for the homeless children, she was named one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Women" in Taiwan in 1971.

She was also awarded by national leaders and foreign organizations, including former Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou and a "National Civic Service Award" by President Chen Shui-bian in 2005.

In order to create a better living and learning environment for children with severe physical defects and multi-difficulty defects, Yi-Kuang is in the process of applying for a construction license for new facilities.

The new facilities will be built in an "obstacle-free" environment at the Wanfang Community in the Wenshan District.

She also plans to open the new facilities to other people with birth defects in the future.

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