Targeted Help
  ·  2019-09-16  ·   Source: NO. 38 SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

Left-behind children, those whose parents have migrated to big cities in search of better-paid jobs and who are mostly looked after by grandparents in their rural hometowns, have been a subject of attention in recent years. How to help them is a big challenge.

On September 9, online food delivery platform Meituan launched targeted programs in collaboration with the Chinese Red Cross Foundation, China Development Research Foundation (CDRF) and Growing Home, a Beijing-based charity foundation, to help these children. For instance, the Red Cross program will construct schools in rural areas and organize study tours to cities while the CDRF program will fund kindergarten buildings in rural areas.

These programs are a small step to address the severe social issue of left-behind children.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, there are 6.7 million left-behind children, 96 percent of whom are looked after by their grandparents and the rest by other relatives or family friends.  

These children, who grow up separated from their parents, often have psychological problems such as lack of self-confidence. They are also more likely to be bullied or bully others. Therefore what they need is not financial support alone but also psychological counseling.

In recent years, many enterprises have been undertaking charity programs and poverty alleviation. For instance, some Internet companies have helped farmers in impoverished rural areas in west China sell their agricultural products online. Such an approach is also needed in the programs for left-behind children in order to achieve results.

(This is an edited excerpt of an article originally published in China Youth Daily on September 10)

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