Christian Action, formerly known as Hong Kong Christian Aid to Refugees, is a non-profit, non-government organization established in 1985. We began by providing vocational training to Vietnamese boat people to help them find jobs and to become self-reliant when resettled or repatriated. We then expanded our services to help local unemployed adults and youth, new arrivals from the Mainland, ethnic minorities, refugees, asylum seekers and foreign domestic helpers. In 1997, we launched our Humanitarian Services in Qinghai, Northwest China, focusing on children’s homes and poverty alleviation.
Xining Children’s Home – the First Children’s Home in Qinghai
Xining Children’s Home has been co-managed by the Xining Civil Affairs Bureau and Christian Action since 1998. 90% of the children suffer from mild to severe disabilities. As of January 2011 we care for 130 abandoned and/or disabled children, 49 of whom are in foster care.
Xining Children Rehabilitation Centre
With the increasing needs of our children and those in the local community, Christian Action has partnered with the local government to set up the first Children’s Rehabilitation Centre in Qinghai in October 2007. The Centre provides comprehensive services, including rehabilitation training and special education programmes for special needs children in the home, which has recently expanded to include special needs children in the community.
Huangnan Children’s Home for ethnic minority children
In May 2008, Christian Action signed an agreement with the Huangnan Civil Affairs Bureau to begin co-management of our second children’s home, Huangnan Children’s Home. It is located in Maketang Town, Jianzha County, and is currently caring for over 400 children, with more than 60 currently in foster care. Our goal is comprehensive care through homecare, education, health care, fostering, vocational training and counseling.
Haixi Children’s Home for serve Mongolian orphans
The home was opened in May 2011 with a maximum capacity of 200 children. This home can facilitate both able-bodied and disabled children.
The need to care for abandoned and disabled children in Qinghai is immense. In the future we will be co-managing a total of 8 Children’s Homes in Qinghai, several of which will include rehabilitation centres, and benefiting over 2,000 children. We need support in order to help these children.
Winter Homes for the Poorest Semi-nomadic Tibetan Families
The majority of the semi-nomadic ethnic Tibetans dwell in an area which is over 3,000 meters above sea level. They live well below the poverty line. Most families live in worn out tents, made flimsy by harsh weather conditions, and don’t have enough warm clothing for winter. In 1997, after seeing the plight of ethnic Tibetans, Christian Action was invited by the Qinghai Poverty Alleviation Office to build winter homes for the poorest of the poor. We built over 450 winter homes for 2,500 people, providing them with warm, safe shelter to survive winters where temperatures drop as low as -30oC.
Neighbourhood Clinics for Impoverished Villages
We supervised the construction and installation of new medical equipment at the Tufang Neighbourhood Clinic in 2002, situated in the northeast part of Tongren County, 40 kilometres from the nearest town. This has significantly decreased the mortality rate resulting from lack of access to emergency medical services. In 2004, another clinic was constructed in Zexiong Centre, Zeku County. There had never been a clinic there before and the people did not have access to even the most basic medical services.
Primary schools for the Children in the Mountainous Areas
Basic education is one of the most effective long-term tools for alleviating poverty and improving the livelihood of the general population in Qinghai. It came to our attention that nomadic herders and their families live scattered throughout the county, severely limiting access to schools. Since 2000 we have built or repaired 6 primary schools, where around 2000 children have access to education. In 2011, we donated teaching equipment to seven primary schools in Huangnan Prefecture to assist with teaching Putonghua to over 2000 students.
Higher Secondary School Scholarship Programme for abject poor students
In cooperation with the Tongren County Education Bureau we launched the second phase of the poverty alleviation programme, in 2008, supporting the poorest of the poor students tocontinue their education at high school (senior secondary) level. We later extended this programme to include students from Huangnan Children’s Home. This programme enables students who have the aptitude to continue their higher education, but are hindered by poverty. The annual scholarship covers tuition fees and text books. Our aim is to give students a chance to consider tertiary education and the possibility of a better future. We later expanded the programme to include a Tertiary Education Grant enabling needy children to further their studies at University or other Tertiary Education Institutes.
This organization is funded by subventions from the Hong Kong Government, local and overseas churches, fundraising activities, and corporate and individual donations. Work in China has been supported by the S K Yee Medical Foundation and the Hong Kong Lions Club.