In recent years, a charitable organization inChinahas spread its propaganda widely through the media. This charity is called SunVillage, located in the Beijing Shunyi District. According to its summary, SunVillage’s purpose is “to raise and teach underage children of inmates as their own duty with no obligation,” claiming that it has “saved approximately two thousand children with special status,” and “gave children a warm, stabilized, and secure family like any others.” As a result, the founder of SunVillage, ShuQin Zhang, has received much praise. For example, she was selected to participate in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games torch event, and received “The Strength to Protect” award sponsored by “2008 extraordinary woman promulgates” atShanghaion May 7th, 2009. A famous writer, QiuYu Yu, also described ShuQin Zhang as having “retained light within the darkness; she’s guarded hope within misfortunes.”
The magnanimous reputation ofSunVillagecaught WRIC’s attention. Shortly after, a reporter from the WRIC enteredSunVillagewith the intention of offering a great deal of support and donations; the original purpose of the mission was to allow more people to get to know and supportSunVillage. However, the reporters found neither light nor sun inSunVillage. After enteringSunVillage, the reporters inadvertently discovered the children’s depressed and gloomy expressions, as well as a disturbingly unharmonious atmosphere.
In order to understand how SunVillageis organized and how the youth live their lives, reporters in the past two years have gone toSunVillageand the surroundingHeNan, XiAn provinces more than ten times. Through thorough investigation ofSunVillageand the other provinces, more evidence of improper deeds has been uncovered. Reporters found that the village has not been clear about its intentions; it is poorly organized, suspected of many thefts, and cases of child abuse were often found. The worst incidents include many cases of the rape of small girls, cases that were never reported.
Below are the results of WRIC’s report:
1. The lovely Angel, or the Evil Traitor
According to the law established by the National Public Servant Authorities, public servants cannot engage in profit-making organizations. Zhang ShuQin, a woman born in December 1948 atShaanxiProvince, held a position at the Shaanxi Jail Institute as a supervisor. In 1996, Shaanxi Children's Village was established, and Beijing Children's Village was established in 2000. In August of 2003, she was declared independent, and established the Sun Village Research Facility for the Youth inBeijingCity. In 2004, she retired from the Shaanxi Jail Institute as a national public servant which extended over a period of eight years. Therefore the Children's Village established inSunVillagecan be seen as a charitable organization or in truth, a scam covered up by the guise of a charitable organization.
After investigation,SunVillagewas found to not be established as a non-profit organization under the government. For the past two years, they have not passed the annual inspection, which renders their license as invalid. In 2006, nine councils appointed Zhang ShuQin to legally register the organization; however, Zhang ShuQin refused.
Even though the organization has not been registered as a non-profit organization yet, they still earn money through the leases of her lands that are tax exempt.SunVillageowns a large amount of land: about 500 acres. Of these, 60 acres were used for the Administrative Office; within those 60 acres, 20 acres were kept for local government without charges, and 40 acres were leased out for 8000 Yuen a year with a 30-year lease. Land that was worth millions was given to Zhang ShuQin to manage. Miraculously,SunVillageapplied at the Hong Kong Government agency for tax exempt and was even approved.
To be approved to own a non-profit organization, Zhang ShuQin understands that she cannot ask or receive any public offerings, but her organization often loudly solicits the public for donations towards Zhang's fund. In June 8, 2009, our reporter was interviewing Zhang ShuQin, and asked, “What rights does the public have to ask for the financial affairs of Sun Village Organization?” Zhang replied, "Our financial affairs are totally reasonable to be announced to the public, there is nothing wrong with them.”
On Sun Village's Website, they published the amount of donations they have received in the past three years: in 2005 they received 2787375.30 Yuen, in 2006 they received 987008.09 Yuen, and in 2007 they received 4850000 Yuen. The years 2008 and 2009 have not been reported to the public. These numbers were not verified when they were reported; even the council member whom Zhang ShuQin appointed has no right to take interest in the matter, displaying the lack of credibility of ShuQin to the public.
Within theSunVillage, there are no clear departments or jobs; every matter big and small is decided by Zhang ShuQin. She is the village supervisor; she controls everything that happens in the village. When reporters were interviewing in the village, everything ranging from rice, noodles, cloth, coal, vegetable oil, vegetables, baby supplies, toys, computers, etc. were all a part of the donations from the public. Even the houses were built from money received by donations. Zhang ShuQin also hires privately established companies to come and sell the donated items. The money that Zhang SuiQing gets from selling donated items was only known to her and her colleagues inSunVillage.
Let’s calculate once again the income thatSunVillagereceives every year. According to Zhang SuiQing, every child uses about 350 Yuen a month,4200 amonth for an adult. There are about 100 children inSunVillage (according to Beijing Sun Village Website, since the year 2007, the number of children in Sun Village hasn’t exceeded 100). Plus workers’ wages and water/utilities fees, that comes to 100 thousand Yuen a year. What about the rest of the thousands of Yuen from donation? That's not even including the 2008 and 2009 donations that they received. It was never reported how ShuQin had spent the money.
There are approximately thousands of Yuen a year from donations, but children inSunVillagecannot even be guaranteed an egg a day. Every year about 40 children go back to their parents in jail because Zhang SuiQing always says she doesn’t have enough money for them.
2. Child Abuse; both mentally and physically
Zhang defines the children she adopted as “bad.” For example, she was once interviewed by a television program and mentioned that she adopted “a group of bad kids, these children inherited bad vicious habits from their parents.” On October 10, 2007, our reporter volunteering atSunVillage witnessed a ten-year old boy wearing a hat to hide a wound on his head. According to the child, a worker from Sun Village named Long Wang, who was also raised in Sun Village, bumped the child’s head on the wall. To prevent the wound from attracting outside attention,SunVillagestaff had told the child to wear a hat. Long Wang not only abuses children but he would often tell girls to go into his room one by one to do what he called “self-criticism.” The life inSunVillageis hard for the children. If the kids misplace their shoes or even make a small noise, such as moving a wooden chair, they are punished both mentally and physically. Punishments include mopping the floor, scrubbing the bathroom, and posting “shameful notes” on the wall for public exhibition.
“Fourth graders and older children wake up at five o’clock in the morning to weed the field before class start. On National Day of 2007, during the school vacation period, Sun Village sends out about 5 children at 5:30 a.m. to sell jujube for cash; they always come back to the village at 7 p.m.,” says a journal entry from one of the children who lives in Sun Village. Our reporter had questioned the founder, but Zhang Shuqin replied shamelessly, “Children fromSunVillagemust train to be hard working. If they won’t obey, it wouldn’t do any harm to give them a little punishment.” One can say that the labor is done for the benefit of theSunVillage, not the children. The use of violence to discipline disobedient children is also not an acceptable solution.
This foundation uses a jail-style management model which matches up to ShuQin’s status as a sergeant. Though she might be a good sergeant or a fine merchant, she is absolutely not qualified as a children’s guardian or educator.
3. Problems including ShuQin’s qualification of guardianship and the origins of many infants
ShuQin Zhang told the public that fifty percent of the children are brought over from the jail system, as the children of parents who are imprisoned and unable to take care of the child; the rest are said to be either nomads or adopted bySunVillage. Based on the Law of Adoption, even though the parent of a child agrees to give up their child for adoption, the government needs to be notified and the adoption must be registered by the local civil administration department. According to our research,SunVillagehas never gone through this procedure.SunVillageis basically adopting children illegally.
There are bigger dilemmas inSunVillage: Most unidentified infants are sometimes taken out ofSunVillageand never returned. One of the volunteers had written in her journal, “3 o’clock in the afternoon, I went to the infant’s room to tell stories to the bigger kids, a 7 month old female infant from Xingjian is also in the room. A 3 year old boy kept crying because his inner lip skin was cracked. I’ve been here three times, and not once have I seen a child eat fruit, unbelievable, with a 500 acre fruit field, there’s not a single fruit for children.” Another entry reads, “Today is the 19th, it has only been two days, the little girl from Xingjian had disappeared, and they say she’s been taken away…”
In mid-2007, the Sun Village Website publicly announced a list of 86 children in their care. It is said that they have about 115 children, but when our reporter visited the children’s room and did a quick head count, the maximum count in the room was 60. Among these children, many identities do not match the ones published on the Website; information about the infants was also very unreliable.
4. ShuQin kept her rapist boyfriend a secret
According to the investigation, from 2005 to 2006, Zhang ShuQing's boyfriend at that time, Wang DongHui, (From Liaoning Providence in China, 6 years younger than Zhang ShuQin), raped many underage girls during that year. After a thorough investigation, we finally found one of the girls who was raped by DongHui; Ms. Zhang, (Name is kept confidential for the protection of privacy). After she was raped, she wrote a letter to her mother, who was serving a prison term at Henan Providence, and told her about the rape in Sun Village. After Henan Prison learned about the rape in Sun Village, they sent out two investigators to Beijing's Sun Village to investigate the crime. According to the report from that investigation, Sun Village's Public Defender office consulted with the lawyer, ShenTeng, who started the investigation. The result of the investigation was that ShuQin paid 50000 Yuen to the girls who were raped to end all investigations against her boyfriend, using money to silence the voices of those who were wronged. Other girls in Sun Village who were thought to have been raped were all sent out of the village with unexplained reasons from ShuQin. After the rape investigation ended, Wang DongHui, Zhang's boyfriend, ran off and was never found.
The conclusion is that Sun Village and its founder ShuQin has violated many laws, including the fund management law, Chinese women and child protection law, teenage protection law, adoption law, and much more. WRIC pleads for your help. Please give us your support for the sake of the children inSunVillage.
We believe that this is just the beginning of the investigation onSunVillagefounder Zhang ShuQin. She is suspected of responsibility for more crimes that have not been discovered yet. The abuse use of children to earn money is intolerable. We hope that you will help us with our cause.
Women’s Right in China
If these children do anything wrong, like misplacing their shoe, they have to post their wrongdoings on the wall for everybody to see - shaming them publicly.
In my opinion this report is incredibly heartfelt and sincere - there are very little reports about these kind of things nowadays. With everybody so fearful of the Chinese government, too many atrocities go unnoticed, undetected and even ignored. I applaud WRIC for having the audacity to expose such an awful organization.