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Chinese Businessman-Turned-Buddhist-Monk Cares for 600 Abandoned Children

From scmp.com

A Chinese businessman who became a Buddhist monk has been caring for 600 abandoned children, ranging in age from newborns to 10-year-olds, for the past 12 years. Monk Daolu, affectionately known as “Papa Wu,” from Jiangsu Province in eastern China, also offers shelter to women dealing with unexpected pregnancies.

Monk Daolu explained that the mothers of these children were all single women who were unable to support their children. He shared a specific story in which he helped a woman who had lost both of her parents and was seven months pregnant. Her boyfriend had abandoned her after taking all of her money.

In another example, a young woman studying abroad returned to China to give birth after becoming pregnant unintentionally, all the while keeping it a secret from her family.

Monk Daolu first publicized his contact information on social media in 2012, noting: “For those who are unable to care for their children, we are willing to provide shelter and assistance.” (South China Morning Post)

Many women in need contacted Monk Daolu, who handled everything from prenatal care to delivery, including fees, surgery arrangements, and waiting outside the operating room.

From scmp.com

Monk Daolu’s adopted children used to reside at his temple, but after the temple was demolished, they were relocated to a small house known as the “Protective Abode” in Zhejiang Province.

Monk Daolu also found that 90 per cent of the temple’s visitors each year were women seeking blessings for pregnancies that had been terminated. On one occasion, a woman, feeling remorseful for her abortion, approached Monk Daolu for a memorial service.

“I was too young, my parents disagreed with having the child, and I had nowhere to go. Who else could help me?,” the woman explained when asked about her reason for terminating the pregnancy. (South China Morning Post)

Monk Daolu and his volunteers also provide a daily school pick-up service for children, bedtime stories, and weekend arts and crafts activities. Daolu personally attends parent-teacher conferences, and monitors academic progress, as well as rescuing stray animals.

From scmp.com

The children’s expenses are primarily covered by donations and supplemented by earnings from Monk Daolu’s Buddhist activities. His team also sells vegetarian food and tea online, where his social media account has 480,000 followers.

Before being ordained, Monk Daolu was a successful businessman. In 2010, he decided to leave his material wealth behind and embrace a more spiritual lifestyle.

“The more money I made, the more disgusted I became with the complexities of business,” Daolu remarked. (South China Morning Post)

Monk Daolu’s story has ignited lively discussions on social media.

While some critics, reflecting traditional social mores in China, have said that the monk’s acts could be interpreted as supporting young women who are pregnant outside of wedlock. Monk Daolu maintained: “If no one does this rescue work, these women and children will be left in dangerous situations.” (South China Morning Post)

“True love doesn’t require blood ties. Six hundred children now have a warm home,” commented an observer on social media. (South China Morning Post)

See more 

600 children raised by China monk, known as ‘Papa Wu’, who helps desperate single mothers, turns temple into loving home (South China Morning Post)

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