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First lady attends opening of camp for AIDS orphans

China's first lady, Peng Liyuan, was in Beidaihe, Hebei province, on Friday, to attend the opening ceremony of a summer camp for AIDS orphans, the website of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) said.

Peng Liyuan, China's first lady and a World Health Organization ambassador in the fight against HIV/AIDS, helps raise a white sail at the opening ceremony of a summer camp for AIDS orphans in Beidaihe, Hebei province, on Friday. Provided to China Daily


The camp, organized by the Chinese Association of STD and AIDS Prevention and Control and the Chinese Health Education Center, will last five days. More than 50 AIDS orphans from six provinces and regions participated in the camp. During their stay, in addition to sightseeing trips, the children will receive psychological training to help them cope with the challenges they will face in life.

Cui Li,(Right) vice-minister of the NHFPC,shakes hands with an AIDS orphan (Left)
At the ceremony, Peng, in her role as a World Health Organization ambassador in the fight against HIV/AIDS, raised a white sail with the children, to symbolize that the children should be courageous to overcome the difficulties in their lives. The spouses of top Chinese leaders usually shy away from public appearances.

However, Peng, a hugely popular singer in China before her husband, Xi Jinping, became the country's leader, has continued to play an active role, especially in HIV/AIDS awareness and activities that involve children. She also has accompanied Xi on several international visits and won applause from fans in China and overseas.

In 2006, Peng was named image ambassador for the National Health and Family Planning Commission, then called the ministry of health, for the control and prevention of HIV/AIDS.

That year, she visited more than 200 children affected by HIV and AIDS at the Fuyang AIDS Orphan Salvation Association in Anhui province, where she was affectionately called "Mother Peng" by the children.

In 2004, Peng was named as an ambassador committed to the prevention of juvenile delinquency.

In 2007, she was also named as an ambassador for the control and prevention of tuberculosis in China, and became an ambassador for smoking control two years after that.

In 2008, after the Wenchuan earthquake, Peng donated 200,000 yuan ($32,500) for victim relief. She also went to quake-affected areas with 30 other artists to perform and console victims.

In 2011, she was named by the WHO as an ambassador in the fight against tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
Before becoming China's first lady and shifting her focus to philanthropy, Peng was already a well-known singer and artist.

In 1982, she sang two songs in the first Spring Festival Gala held by China Central Television.

She has performed overseas in more than 50 nations and regions.

In 1992, Peng was elected as a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and served four terms. During her 20 years as a CPPCC member, she has paid special attention to the growth of teenagers.

She also has provided financial aid to dozens of students to help them complete their studies. (Source: By Zhao Xinying chinadaily. Updated: 2014-08-11)