Our Impact in China
While a booming economy has made China a major world power, increasing urbanisation and industrialisation have led to the neglect of rural parts. Many families who once relied on agriculture are finding themselves struggling to get by, and migration to the city has left millions disappointed in their search for work.
Rural deprivation despite a booming economy
Rural life is often brutal for China’s children. Many do not receive even a basic education, meaning that they cannot enjoy the fruits of China’s economic growth. The quality of healthcare is sometimes appalling too. With children dying from curable conditions such as pneumonia and diarrhoea, it is easy to forget that China is no longer a third-world country.
Girls in particular are vulnerable to financial hardship in poorer rural areas. The government has introduced legislation intended to ensure that all children receive the full nine years of mandatory education. Despite special funds made available to help poorer families support children throughout their academic career, economic pressures remain, and girls especially are often forced out of school as a result.
Consequently, many children growing up in the countryside do not get adequate medical attention, and grow up in a society which cannot provide them with the work they need to earn a living.
The benefits of learning
China is at a major crux in its history. We believe children can benefit from the success China is enjoying as a nation. By educating disadvantaged children, we aim to lift them out of the cycle of poverty into which they were born, and help them make the best of the opportunities China’s burgeoning economy can offer.
Where provision is lacking, we educate children from the beginning of their lives all the way up to adulthood. Many of our primary and secondary schools have capacity for thousands of students from our Villages and beyond, and our SOS Secondary School in the eastern coastal town of Yantai is ranked among the best in the country.
As children leave school, they need vocational training to help them gain the skills and qualifications needed to develop a rewarding career. The support we offer enables young people to attain these skills, while those with a flair for academia can go on to higher education, preparing them for a bright future.
We believe the best way for children to achieve is to grow up in a loving and stable environment with their biological parents. A large part of our work is devoted to helping families overcome adversity so that they can grow together. Our wide-ranging support aims to tackle the many causes of family break-ups. We offer guidance on income generation and financial management, to help with parenting and primary healthcare.
Our work ensures more children across China get the best possible start in life, and are supported throughout their childhood to achieve a better future.
The magic of SOS mothers
Little Ming was deeply introverted when she first arrived at our Village in Nanchang. Often, she would sit alone, away from others, lost in her own thoughts. Her sad past and separation from her natural parents had had a deep impact on her and she was reluctant to socialise or even speak to others.
Her SOS mother never gave up. She realised that Ming had forgotten how to love because she herself had not been loved for a very long time. With hard work and a lot of patience, she finally brought Ming out of her shell.
Now, Ming is a beautiful and very talented young lady. Her skill on the flute is matched by her high performance at school. She can often be found chatting with friends or engaged in group study. She is no longer afraid of strangers and greets everyone with a warm smile.
Ming is very close to her mother. She shares everything with her. It is down to the love and commitment of this one incredible person that Ming has come to leave her past behind and entered a whole new world with a promising future.