My mother's name is Guimei-Zhang Guimei and her 177 children

  Xinhua News Agency, Kunming, May 8 -

Title: My mother called Gui-mei - Zhanggui Mei and her 177 children

  Xinhua News Agency reporters Pang Mingguang and Zhou Lei

  The 31-year-old Lei Qiufeng was raised by his grandparents and had never seen his biological parents.

  Whenever she talked about her mother, she would proudly say: "My mother is Zhang Guimei, the principal of Huaping Girls' High School."

  With the support of the local party committee and government, Zhang Guimei founded Yunnan Lijiang Huaping Girls' High School in 2008 and has served as the principal of this school for a long time.

In the past 13 years, she has helped more than 1,800 Dashan girls enter the university.

But many people don't know that she has another identity-the dean of Huaping Children's Welfare Institute.

  Since 2001, for 20 years, Zhang Guimei has adopted 177 children in the orphanage.

Childless, she devoted all her maternal love to these children and cared for them to grow up.

"Accepted 36 children in one day"

  It was an accident for Zhang Guimei to be the mother of hundreds of children.

  In 1995, Zhang Guimei's husband died of stomach cancer.

The next year, 39-year-old Zhang Guimei decided to leave Dali, where she had lived with her husband for many years, and transferred to teach in remote Huaping County.

  "At that time, I wanted to find a place where no one knew me, and for the rest of my life." she said.

  However, the establishment of Huaping Children's Welfare Institute in 2001 changed the life trajectory of Zhang Guimei and many children.

After teaching in Huaping for a few years, Zhang Guimei was well-known in the local area because of her special care for students. The charity organization that made her donation appointed her to serve as the dean of the orphanage.

  "I have never raised a child, but soon after I came to Huaping, a tumor weighing a few kilograms grew in my stomach. The whole county donated money to me for surgery, and I owed this debt." Zhang Guimei said.

  On March 1, 2001, Huaping Children's Welfare Institute was formally established.

Zhang Guimei still remembers this day.

"On the first day, the welfare institution accepted 36 children." Zhang Guimei said. Among the children, the youngest was only two and a half years old and the oldest was 18.

  To Zhang Guimei's surprise, some children can't even speak Chinese, even can't wash their face, take a bath, or use the bathroom.

She took the children to the bathroom, but they had to run into the yard to urinate.

"Every morning there is a bad smell everywhere in the yard, I can only take the staff to clean it."

  "I feel very uncomfortable in my heart, and love these children." Zhang Guimei said, "but I am also very grateful that the government can set up an orphanage so that these children can live here." Slowly, Zhang Guimei began to understand the children's life experience.

Some children are orphans whose parents are no longer alive, and many children are abandoned by their parents because of illness or gender discrimination.

  27-year-old Zhang Huihua was one of the first orphans to come to Huaping Orphanage.

In 2001, the 7-year-old and his 5-year-old brother were sent to the orphanage because of the accidental death of their father.

  "The first day I just arrived, I felt very strange and a little scared." Zhang Huihua said, "But after seeing me, my mother kindly asked if I had dinner and held me in her arms. At that moment, I felt that I had something again. Home."

  After the establishment of the orphanage, Zhang Guimei taught at school during the day and returned to take care of the children after get off work.

No matter how tired she is at work during the day, she will accompany her children to do their homework, take the children to dance in a circle, play with eagles and catch chicks... At night, after the children are asleep, she will check whether they have covered the quilt one by one.

  "Since then, I have developed the habit of sleeping without taking off my clothes, so that it is convenient to get up at night to take care of the children." Zhang Guimei said, "Although I can't buy delicious and brand-name clothes for the children, they at least have rice. , You can eat steamed buns and go to school, which is much better than before."

"I am the children's mother"

  In Huaping Children's Welfare Institute, although Zhang Guimei's position is the dean, the children are used to calling her "mother" and "mother".

  "I was shocked the first time I heard a child calling my mother. I thought to myself, is my mother like this? Am I qualified?" Zhang Guimei said, "but I am also very relieved that the children did not regard me as the dean. But treat me as a relative."

  In the eyes of the children, Zhang Guimei is the mother who shelters them from wind and rain and supports a warm family.

  In the first few years of its establishment, the Huaping Children's Welfare Institute only had an annual funding of 70,000 yuan, and daily expenses were very tight.

"Dozens of children ate together, and some children frequently get sick, and they ran out of money in less than half a year." Zhang Guimei recalled, "At that time, the children and I could only eat fried rice with bean paste and steamed bean paste. Steamed buns, everything you eat is dipped in bean paste."

  She used her salary to supplement the orphanage, but it was still not enough.

There was really no way, Zhang Guimei came up with an idea to take out the potted flowers and dolls donated by various units in the county, and take a few older children to the vegetable market to sell them.

  Zhang Guimei said that after several years, the government's funding for the orphanage increased, and she gradually didn't have to worry about money.

  "Even in the most difficult time, my mother never thought of giving up. She is our strongest backing." said Lei Qiufeng, who came to the welfare home in 2001.

  Lei Qiufeng still remembers that in 2005, she was admitted to Sichuan Mechanical and Electrical Vocational and Technical College. Before going to school, Zhang Guimeisai gave her 500 yuan for living expenses.

"Later I learned that my mother gave me the money for her medical treatment and medicine."

  In 2011, Lei Qiufeng, who was already working in Panzhihua City, Sichuan Province, was preparing to marry her boyfriend.

In order to let her daughter marry beautifully, Zhang Guimei began to decorate the wedding room many days in advance, prepared air-conditioning, bedding and other dowry, and spread a festive red carpet in the courtyard of the orphanage.

  "We all have what other people have." Zhang Guimei said to Lei Qiufeng.

On the day of the pick-up, she got up at three in the morning and took the children from the orphanage to clean the yard. She also invited the county leader to be the witness, the host of the county TV station as the emcee, and even brought the Huaping high school first-year high school students to the orphanage. Come sing and send off.

  "The wedding is much more grand than I thought. It made me feel the warmth of home and my mother's love." Lei Qiufeng said, "Before I left home, my mother also said that if I was bullied outside, she would come back. Call the shots."

  Every time Zhang Guimei thinks of the wedding for her daughter, Zhang Guimei is happy from ear to ear.

"I just want to make the ostentation big, and I also made a lot of requirements for the groom, such as a car must be used to receive the family. I want him to know that he is not an orphan, she has a family."

  "I never allow others to say that the children in the orphanage do not have a mother. Who says they do not have a mother? I am the children's mother." Zhang Guimei said.

"Mom has no herself at all in her heart"

  In the 20 years since its establishment, the Huaping Children's Welfare Institute has adopted 177 children, and the children's files have been piled up.

  Nowadays, many children have grown up, left the orphanage, some were admitted to college, some became doctors, teachers, police, soldiers... "The children are all doing well, with houses and cars, children and daughters. And those who work abroad are company executives." Zhang Guimei proudly said that there are now more than 20 children in the orphanage, "I will continue to be a good mother and raise the children."

  After the establishment of Huaping Girls' High School in 2008, Zhang Guimei spent most of her time in school, staring at students in the morning, attending classes, doing exercises, and self-study from early morning to late at night.

After dinner, she would take more than an hour to go back to the orphanage to chat with the children, watch them do their homework, and then return to school to watch the students for evening self-study.

  The 64-year-old is suffering from osteoma, pulmonary fibrosis, rheumatism and other diseases. She has to wrap her hands and neck with pain relief tape every day.

Every time Zhang Guimei returned to the orphanage, the children would gather around her and help her carefully tear off the pain relief tape that had been pasted for a day.

  “I’m very careful every time I tear off the tape, because it’s so tight that I’m afraid my mother will hurt.” 12-year-old daughter Yang Zhiwei said, “Mom’s work is too hard. I hope she won’t be so tired and don’t sleep so late. So early, you can take a break for yourself."

  Li Guangmin, 26, is an orphan who entered Huaping Children's Welfare Institute in 2007.

She majored in preschool education at the Yunnan Arts College. She could have stayed in Kunming to work, but in order to return to take care of her mother and share the pressure of her mother raising younger siblings, she chose to return to work in the orphanage after graduating in 2017.

  "One time I went to Huaping Girls' High School to deliver food to my mother. When I saw her climbing the stairs, it was very difficult, so I could only move slowly by holding the handrail. At that moment, I found that my mother was really old." Li Guangmin Say.

  Zhang Guimei had a tumor on her right arm that had grown for many years. Li Guangmin had been persuading her to have an operation to remove it earlier, but she never agreed.

"I have to rest for more than a month during the operation, and my mother is afraid that without her staring, the student's grades will decline." Li Guangmin said.

  On the morning of May 4, Li Guangmin suddenly received a call from Zhang Guimei, saying that he had a rheumatism, his instep was swollen and he could not walk, and he was going to the hospital for an infusion.

Li Guangmin hurriedly rode an electric car to school and took his mother to the hospital.

  When he arrived at the hospital, the doctor repeatedly told: "This medicine is very painful, so I need to infuse it slowly." But Zhang Guimei refused to listen and quietly adjusted the injection speed to the fastest.

She used the injection that took three hours to complete, but she finished it in two hours, and then hurriedly asked her daughter to send her back to school.

  "My mother does this every time she has an infusion. She has worked her entire life for the students and the children in the orphanage, and she has no herself in her heart." Li Guangmin said, "I really hope that my mother will not be so aggressive. Now it is time for us to take care of her."