In Yaopu village, Shanxi Province, Li Yanping is known as a one-person orphanages who has taken care of 80 abandoned children over a period of 22 years.
49-year-old Li Yanping lives in a modest 40-square-meter country house and barely survives on a meager income, but that hasn’t stopped her from taking care of dozens of abandoned children, most of them mentally or psychically handicapped. Born in 1964, in Mu village, Li married at the young age of 21 and soon had her first baby. Her story as a modern-day Mother Theresa began in 1989, shortly after her natural child was born, when her husband found a toddler abandoned on their doorstep. After examining it more carefully, the two realized the child suffered from deformities, but they took it in, fed it and took care of it, despite their financial shortcomings. But they could only take care of two babies for a while, and when milk shortages and lack of money became too much too handle, they made a desperate decision to give their own healthy son up for adoption. They figured someone would adopt a healthy baby, whereas the disabled child had almost no chance of survival.