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United Way Blog

Giving Hope to China’s Left Behind Children

Nine million children.

That’s the estimated number of kids left behind in China’s rural villages while their parents seek better jobs in larger cities. Often, these children are left with elderly grandparents who don’t have the resources needed to support their development and growth.

These families represent the human cost of China’s rapid economic growth. Other children that go with their parents are left without access to education and healthcare due to China’s strict household registration system.

Studies show that these “left behind” children are more likely to struggle in school, develop social and emotional problems and get involved in criminal activity. In a heartbreaking tragedy, four children ages 5 to 13, unable to cope without their parents, killed themselves by consuming pesticide in June 2015 according to Chinese state media. 

For children to thrive, they need the love and support of a caring adult in their lives. To ease the heavy toll on China’s families, United Way has teamed up with China Charity Federation to create Love and Care Children’s Homes – safe and welcoming places for children to get the educational and emotional support they need. Typically located within a local school or community center, these “homes” also facilitate regular communication between kids and parents.

By the end of 2016, about 2,000 left-behind-children already benefited from Love and Care Children’s Homes. Right now, there are 22 model homes up and running in 12 provinces throughout the country, with at least an additional nine homes in development.

Our goal is to set up a country-wide network of 1,000 homes – ultimately, setting up millions of children for success. But we can’t do it alone. Join us, and help give a new lease on life to an entire generation of children by funding a Love and Care Children’s Home. Contact Diana Han for more information.

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