Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

French Woman Dead After Fire

Sad news. Although there has been nothing in the Chinese media confirming the news, French sources are reporting that the body found in the house belonging to the French woman known as 方芳 Fāng Fāng (real name Franoise Grenot-Wang) is indeed hers. The badly burned body was reported to be undergoing DNA tests. (Update. Now confirmed by Chinese authorities after DNA sampling. 20th December 2008)

Fāng Fāng had been living for around 10 years in Dandian, a Miao village in Rongshui Miao autonomous county of Liuzhou prefecture. She first visited the area in 1997 while working as an interpreter for the medical charity Mdecins Sans Frontires. Through her charity organisation Couleurs de Chine, she helped put thousands of Miao, Yao and Dong girls into education and was instrumental in establishing eleven new schools in the poor mountainous area. She was awarded honorary citizenship of Liuzhou in 2003. There is an English article about her work in China here. Her blog is here (in French).

Fang Fang

Her wooden home was discovered ablaze at around 9:40 pm on Tuesday the 9th. Local people fought the fire and eventually extinguished the flames at around 10:30. Later, firefighters searched the building and discovered the body. Ms Grenot-Wang has not been seen since. She was due to address a conference in Macau this weekend. The event was cancelled "for unexpected reasons".

Fang Fang's Home

Officials from the French Consulate-General and Couleurs de Chine are in Liuzhou awaiting further news and official DNA identification.

Note: The photographs above have been borrowed without permission from the Picasa Web Album belong to "Bernard".I have tried to contact him for permission. If you are unhappy Bernard, please contact me and I will remove them. Thanks. The Web album also contains shots of some of the schools and many of the Miao children.

The following video is from the website of Aujourd'hui La Chine which is blocked in China.

Couleurs de Chine intend to continue Franoise's work and are still in need of donations. 50€ can keep a child in school for a year, 600€ for a year in university.

Donations can be made through the International Bank Account Number: IBAN FR76 1870 7000 6309 1212 4706 928, SWIFTIBC : CCBPFRPPVER

In France through: Banque populaire Val de France. Code Banque : 180707 Code guichet 00063
N de compte : 09121247069 Cl RIB 28

. This entry was posted on Friday, December 12th, 2008 at 10:05 am and is filed under Liuzhou News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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