The Friends of Spirit Community: reviving China’s disappearing villages
It is well-known that many villages and old buildings in China are disappearing due to the advance of urbanization. From 2000 until 2010, the number of so-called “natural villages” (villages that grew spontaneously and are not administrative divisions) in China’s rural areas dropped from 3.6 million to 2.7 million. The efforts of one young man to save and revive some of China’s traditional villages have now gained some attention from the Chinese media. Born and raised in a Sichuan village, Tang Ming has a strong sense of mission and nostalgia toward villages in China. After studying in Peking University under Professor Yu Kongjian, known as the Father of Landscape Architecture, he worked …read more
Social work and volunteer services are subsumed into China’s rural areas revival strategy
The CPC Central Committee and the State Council recently published China’s rural areas Revival Strategy (during 2018 to 2022). Social work and volunteer services are mentioned in the 27th chapter, strengthening grassroots political power, and the 30th chapter, increasing the supply of rural public services. A few of the main points listed in Chapter 27 are as follows. The government aims to move the gravity of rural administration downwards, and help first-line managers to utilise the available resources and services and innovate the service methods of the public sector to facilitate and satisfy the public’s demands. They will also promote the standardisation of the rural service system. “One-step service” platforms will be established, and there will …read more
Founder of Serve for China Qin Yuefei accused of wrongdoing
Qin Yuefei, representative of the local People’s Congress for Hunan province and founder of the non-profit “Serve for China” (黑土麦田公益), has recently faced accusations of multiple counts of ambiguous financial activities and lack of personal and organisational transparency. Over the past few years Yuefei has garnered much public recognition as a Yale graduate who gave up a possible six-figure salary to be a minimum wage village official in Hunan. In 2012 he was elected as the NPC’s representative for Hengshan county, and was awarded the title of “finest government official” by CCTV in 2013. Yuefei gained widespread public attention after various media outlets broadcast his inspiring story of returning to his humble …read more
How an online platform aims to provide professional career advice to 40 million rural students
“Tomoroe” or 途梦 (Tu meng), the English name combining the words “tomorrow” and “to more”, is a not-for-profit project founded by Chongqing native Yang Xueqin that invites outstanding professionals from all walks of life to share stories of their professional journeys with middle school students in remote areas through online videos. The not-for-profit, to date, has invited over 500 professionals from 150 different professions to take part in live streams, benefitting the career developments of over 50 thousand students. From 2012 to 2014, Xue Qin worked as a teacher at “Teach for China” (美丽中国) in Lincang City in Yunnan, witnessing first hand the lack of vocational and career education resources …read more
Chinese-Dutch couple changes the lives of over 200 children by playing with them all day – the story of their immersion into Yunnan’s rural life
Editor’s Note This is an adapted summary of a report originally published by the “全民公益“ WeChat account. See the Chinese original here. In Dehong Dai and Jingpo autonomous prefecture in Yunnan, a couple have put down roots in a village far from their own origins, creating miracles everyday for eigth years for the people who live there. How hard is it to teach children in the mountains? Here, in a place the locals call the “magical house”, a young married couple has made life more exciting than can be imagined. Lessons with dancing, painting, wilderness exploration, puppet shows, hiking… When children are motivated enough run to class from 15 …read more
Social Work and Reverse Migration – an Interview with Professor Julian Chow
A long and in-depth interview with Berkeley professor Julian Chow on the development of the social service sector in China.
Hebian Village, a University Professor’s Experiment with Poverty Alleviation
A translated article describing a project led by professor Li Xiaoyun to help a village in the rainforests of China’s far south break out of the cycle of poverty.
Local doctor administers vaccines for 38 years in mountainous areas of Hubei
Recently a video of doctor Wang Chunsheng, who has given vaccinations to children in mountainous areas in Xi’an county, Hubei province, for 38 years, has earned people’s attention and praise online. Doctor Wang is 63 years old this year, and he was re-employed after retirement by the health center of Xi’an county, where he was born and grew up. Back in 1975, a severe measles outbreak occurred in the area and more than 20 children were infected. Wang was an amateur doctor at that time and all he could do was witness how the villagers begged gods and shamans to expel the disease instead of accepting doctors’ help. Tragically all …read more
How are all Chinese to Escape Poverty by 2020?
The Chinese government has set the goal of eradicating poverty from China by 2020. This article summarizes the main points of a debate between some of China’s main experts on poverty alleviation, discussing how to define poverty and how the remaining pockets of deprivation in rural areas should be addressed.
White paper on the psychological condition of Chinese left-behind children released
On July 21st, “Shang Xue Lu Shang” (上学路上) held a news conference presenting its third “White Paper on the Psychological Condition of Chinese Left-Behind Children”. As a prominent research guide on left-behind children in China, both the media and the public have become used to awaiting the release of the White Paper on Left-Behind Children every summer since 2015. This year’s White Paper is based upon the results of a survey that included 14,868 questionnaires, covered 20 provinces across China and Japan, and lasted for 312 days. Both in terms of the total number of questionnaires and the research model, the 2017 White Paper is more wide-ranging compared to the …read more
Yale Graduate Qin Yuefei: Why I Decided to Become a Village Official
The inspiring story of Yale graduate Qin Yuefei, who chose to become a government official in a tiny Hunan mountain village and look for innovative ways to stimulate China’s rural development.
Jack Ma foundation hosts its first forum for rural headmasters in Hangzhou
A year ago Jack Ma’s Foundation announced its “Jack Ma Rural Headmasters” plan, which aims to identify and support extraordinary headmasters in rural areas of China. Unlike its previous rural teachers program, where the teachers were nominated by the foundation itself, the rural headmasters are instead recommended by front-line educational NGOs in China. Each NGO recommended one or two headmasters, after which the Foundation verified the identities of the candidates and a group of experts picked out the final 20 delegates out of 5000 applicants. The selected 20 headmasters were invited to attend the first forum on rural headmasters, which was held in Hangzhou on July 12 and 13. They …read more
Over 50% of children in rural areas lagging in cognitive skills
A research conducted by the Rural Education Action Program (REAP) shows that about half of the babies in the rural areas of Shanxi province are underperforming in cognitive development. REAP assessed 1808 babies aged from 6 to 30 months using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (a standard series of measurements used primarily to assess the development of infants and toddlers, ages 1–42 months) and found that the percentage of babies with developmental delays in their cognitive skills is way above average. Similar results were found in rural areas of Hebei and Yunnan. REAP researchers suggest that the delays are mainly caused by a lack of intellectual stimulus, as …read more
The Development Organization of Rural Sichuan (UK) successfully registers
It has been reported that the Development Organization of Rural Sichuan (DORS), a British organization, succeeded in registering in Sichuan in April, 2017. The organization aims to promote the long-term sustainable development of rural Sichuan by operating village-wide integrated development projects. It launches integrated development and service programs based on the need of villagers, particularly focusing on women, children, the elder, destitute families and other disadvantaged groups. Back in 1988, when the organization’s founder Rose Acock visited China, the poverty and hardship faced by farmers in rural China struck her and planted the seed of making a difference in her head. A year after registering in the UK in 1996, …read more
Free Lunch for Children has raised 270 million yuan over six years
Members of the Dong people and Free Lunch for Children representatives at the forum. Chinese charitable organization Free Lunch for Children announced at a recent social welfare forum that over the past six years they have fundraised more than 270 million yuan to provide free lunches to more than 190,000 rural children across 26 provinces. Held on May 20, the “Chinese Human Capital and Children’s Nutrition and Health” forum called on members of a rural education action plan to speak about the situation of chlidren’s nutrition and the disparity in child development across regions of differing affluence. In addition, the forum invited representatives from foundations, schools, government offices and donor organiztions …read more