Thank you note from a Pad For Hope student

Dear (Pad For Hope) Donor

My name is Wang Zeqin. I live in (a) village and I have never met a foreigner in my life.

I love using italki to learn English online (using an iPad you donated).

My teacher lives in the United States. We talk using Skype every Friday.

Thank you for your kind donation. You helped me open up a window to the world!”

— Wang Zeqin

A P6 student in Dongguan Primary School, Chaozhou

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Robert Fulghum: All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):

1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don’t hit people.
4. Put thngs back where you found them.
6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
9. Flush.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.

Sowers Action 苗圃行动

Established in 1992, Sowers Action (Tax Exemption No.: 91/3859) is a non-religious, non-political and non-profit-making charitable organization in Hong Kong, committed to promote education aid in rural China by helping poor or disabled students to complete their education,reconstructing schools and facilities that fulfill safety regulations and improving the quality of teacher training. Emphasizing “On-site Assessment, Direct Subsidy and Long Term Follow-up”, we raise funds for education aid and operational expenditure separately to ensure donations are used effectively. Major fundraising events, including “Challenging 12 Hours Charity Marathon”, “Walk to Guangzhou”, “Long March for Education”, “Ancient Tea Horse Route Expedition” and “Cycling for Education”, are held annually to raise public awareness. In response to the nation’s changing needs, we have adopted an approach of “multipurpose educational aid”, extending our focus from hardware facilities to four major areas: special education, teacher training, student sponsorship, and school construction and facilities, with the aim of fully utilizing our donations and resources.


In 1992, upon return from a visit in Mainland China concerning education and education assistance, three Hong Kong young people were deeply moved by what they saw. They realized that the acute shortage of resources could never meet urgent needs for education development in some poor areas of China. Feeling that they could contribute to China in this respect, they proceeded to found “Sowers Action.” In the early days of founding, Sowers Action’s co-founders solicited donations from friends and families. Having successfully raised several thousand dollars, they returned to China to render the necessary education assistance.

Children living in those not-so-far-away mountains were equally naive and lovable. Despite their vivacity and intelligence, their families were so poor that they did not even have enough to eat and dress. As a result, children from families that could not afford schooling often loitered at the doorway of schools, trying to catch a few words from lessons given by teachers. Also, schooling in these impoverished regions was mostly conducted in almost collapsed buildings, inside crumbling and poor-lit classrooms. It was obvious that improvement was urgently needed. In view of the awful conditions, we could not help being moved by the teachers’perseverance in striving to provide proper schooling to their knowledge-thirsty students.
Our Belief

Education is the best cure for poverty

Our Missions

1. Providing the children obtain an equal opportunity on study and development through teacher’s training, students sponsorship and school construction and facilities
2. Promoting a platform for stakeholders to get in touch with national affairs

Our Core Values
1. Selfless
2. Simple
3. Transparent
4. Open

Multipurpose Educational Aid

“Sowers” symbolises student and school, and “Action” means active participation. We are committed to promote education aid in rural China by helping poor or disabled students to complete their education. We strictly follow our rules of ““On-site Assessment, Direct Subsidy and Long Term Follow-up”, making sure donations are used effectively and aiming to assist the development of impoverished localities in China with the view of enabling people there to become self-reliant. For years we hold a core belief that “Education is the Best Cure for Poverty”, and with the changing needs of the society, we have started to advocate “multipurpose educational aid”, extending our focus from hardware facilities to teacher training, student sponsorship and special education as well.
All Glory Goes to Our Volunteers

It is you who are open-minded enough to abandon your prejudice so as to seek common ground with others while reserving your opinions to yourself. It is you who are humble enough to put down your ego and regard education assistance as your main concern. It is owing to your consistent support in these 20 years that Sowers Action has been to continue its work until this day. Thank you, volunteers of Sowers Action! When Sowers Action was presented the winner in the Community/Public Affairs category in the “2006 Leaders of the Year Awards”. Its representative openly declared that “All glory goes to our volunteers.”
Awards and Recognitions

2006 – “Leader of the Year 2006”’s “Community/Public Affairs” Category by Sing Tao Corporation Limited
2009 – Named as one of the “OutstandingCommunity Partners” at the “20th Anniversary Conference of Project Hope”
2010 – “Best Partner Award” of the United Nations’ MillenniumDevelopment Goal (UNMDG)
2011 – “Charitable Organization Award” in the “Hong Kong Service Award 2011” organized by the East
Weekly Magazine
2011 – “Best Partner Award” of the United Nations’ MillenniumDevelopment Goal (UNMDG) for consecutive years
Differences Between Sower Actions and Other Charity Organization

Funds used for operational purposes are raised separately, any donation designated for educational assistance purposes will 100% be used for educational aids. Donations without specified purpose will be deployed to render educational aids automatically. All books and accounts of Sowers Action are open to the public for inspection. All donation income and accounts settlement are audited annually in accordance with law by the CPA firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

Operational Expenses are Raised Independently

All donations received by Sowers Action are bound by our constitution and can only be used to aid China education projects, unless others specified.

Operational expenses are covered by incomes from our membership fees, bank interests and specific fundraising campaigns. Under no circumstance it will be drawn from the benevolent donations.

The majority of Sowers Action workers are voluntary, operational expenditure can therefore be kept to a minimum. All promotional and fundraising campaigns are self-financed and will be managed by balanced budgets. Even the work groups’ travelling expenses for services in China are paid by the participants themselves.

Besides, we try to follow in-house principle that suggests operational expenses should be 10% of donations received. People may feel that we are not willing to spend on promotion, and we will publicize ourselves only when there is fund raising event. So, it is very challenging for event’s organizing committee that they need to raise funds for their own operational expenses.

What are Operational Expenses

It includes project execution fee, administrative fee, fund raising fee and other related expenses. All these expenses are funded by membership fee, donations from Honorary Councilors, designated donations, event sponsorship, bank interest, and fund raising activities for operational expenses, etc.

Project execution fee are those related to educational projects such as sponsorship fee of working groups, mainland office expenses (staff remuneration package & rental fee, etc) and other expenses (such as purchase of teacher training materials).
Administrative fee refers to office and staff members related expenses.
Fund raising fee refers to promotional expenses of events
Other related expenses are related to foreign exchange loss and others.

Our First Pace

At the end of 1992, two founding members of Sowers Action silently went on their mission. After spending one whole day on the bus, they arrived in the impoverished mountainous regions of Guangdong Province (Qingyuan City Yangshan County), making Sowers Action’s first pace in education assistance.

Yangshan was a bleak and remote place with a limestone terrain, so this was no good for agriculture. China’s famous scholar Han Yu called this region “The impoverished spot under the sky.” Almost 90% of the population here consisted of impoverished farmers whose crops could barely afford to keep them alive.

Propelled by passion and faith, even with limited experience and means, the two pioneers of Sowers Action visited many primary schools and started to conceptualize plans for education assistance. At that time, thrilled with the initial encounter with an education assistance organization from Hong Kong, government leaders and school principals of Yangshan County could hardly conceal their ardent hope and expectation.

The First School

The original building housing Chenjiajie Primary School in Hanjiaping Village, Liangshuikou Town, Sangzhi County, Hunan Province was a two-storey wood structure erected over 70 years ago. The consistent lack of repair and maintenance had turned it into a Class I dangerous building. In 1992, a male student who, accidentally stepped onto a rotted floor board, fell through the second floor and became crippled.

The entire village decided to rebuild the school and turn it into a new building of 240 sq.meters, and the total construction cost came to RMB70,000. Even though all villagers had contributed their share, all they could come up with was RMB40,000, which sufficed only for purchasing construction materials. This led to the first on-the-spot investigation conducted by Sowers Action in August 1993, which resulted in the organization’s decision to provide the villagers with monetary assistance (RMB 30,000 Yuan, approximately 40% of the construction cost) and joint force with the County government to re-build the school with reinforced steel and concrete. The new school building complete with classrooms, boarding quarters, a kitchen and toilets was completed in April 1994. This became the first school the re-building of was assisted by Sowers Action.

In 1995, Sowers Action again assisted in building a wall around the school, repair the school’s main gate, pave the muddy ground in front of the school with concrete and turn it into a football field. The completeness of school had brought a sense of belonging to both the teachers and students.

The First Student Receiving Assistance

Yucheng County in Hunan Province was the first county where Sowers Action started its assistance work. This was a province-level impoverished county with better natural resources. There were over 50,000 children in the villages attaining school age, but the school-entering rate was only 92%.

During an initial visit to Yucheng County in 1993, Sowers Action’s work team visited Xu Lianghai, a lower-secondary student who had dropped out from school. It was found out that Xu’s father was suffering from persistent feet ailment, his mother was slightly mentally retarded and his sister had died the year before from lack of treatment as a result of poverty. Sowers Action hence provided assistance to Xu to resume schooling, making him the first lower-secondary student to receive assistance from the organization.

Unfortunately, in 1995, Xu’s father died. Xu was simultaneously obliged to tilt the duty-bound land left behind by his father, take care of his mother, and find means to repay the debt incurred earlier by providing medical treatment to his father and sister. Again, Xu was about to face the fate of dropping out.

After learning of Xu’s dilemma, Sowers Action again provided assistance to Xu. In 1996 summer, Xu Lianghai finally graduated from lower-secondary. In August of the same year, Sowers Action managed to contact “Friends of Light” in an attempt to pass Xu to their care. Thereafter, a work team was dispatched to Yucheng County to escort Xu to Guangdong Province’s Qingyuan City where “Friends of Light” was running a higher-secondary school for the poor. Xu was accepted by the school and settled there. Since Xu’s mother in Yucheng was cared for by the government, Xu could concentrate on his studies in Qingyuan.

The First Teacher Training School

To increase the number of village teachers, Sowers Action assisted in re-building a teacher training school in Sangzhi County for the purpose of providing teachers working in mountainous regions with the opportunity to undergo training, hence enhancing the advantage for them to remain in such regions.

Actually, there was a teacher training school built in 50’s, however, a fire accident in 1989 destroyed the woody school, equipments and books. The County tried very hard to raise fund for rebuilding of training school, however, it was still not enough.

After conducting rounds of visit in 1995, we decide to sponsor one-third of the total amount of construction costs enabling the reopening of school in 1995. Currently, the teaching training school plays a vital role in upgrading teaching quality, and there are about 500 teachers receiving on-the-job training every year.



China Youth Development Foundation 中国青少年发展基金会

The organization behind Project Hope is China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF).

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF) is a national non-profit and non-governmental organization founded in March 1989 in Beijing. The CYDF works to develop Chinese youth through education, science and technology, culture, physical education, health, and environmental protection. The CYDF is best known for launching and managing its largest program to date, “Project Hope.” Project Hope has sought to help school dropouts in poor remote regions return to school and complete at least an elementary education.

Non-profit sector in China

The non-profit or “third” sector in China developed during a period of reform and opening-up. An open, dynamic market economy was gradually replacing a closed, centrally planned economy, resulting in widespread social change and breakdowns in the welfare system. No longer able to rely on the government to ensure job security and social benefits, people became increasingly self-sufficient and more independent. The rejuvenation in Chinese society created an unprecedented friendly environment for the development of China’s previously insignificant non-profit sector. As one of the earliest non-profit organizations to be established, the CYDF has seen remarkable success.

Their success as a non-profit has prompted the CYDF to aid the development of other non-profit organizations in China by organizing and promoting international exchanges and cooperation. The CYDF hosted a conference to examine the development of non-profit organizations in China and the lessons that might be learned from Project Hope in that development. The CYDF is currently undertaking China’s first-ever “grant making” program in the area of education with the help of funds provided by international organizations. The CYDF’s attempts to “professionalize” its own senior staff as well as other senior non-profit managers in China through the establishment of formal training programs at the People’s University and at the Chinese University in Hong Kong.


Project Hope

Project Hope is the flagship program of CYDF. Founded in 1989, the goal of the project is to ensure that children in rural communities today and in the future have the opportunity to go to school. By the end of 2005 Project Hope had raised over RMB 3 billion in donations, helped 2.897 million children from poverty-stricken rural families continue their schooling, built 12,559 Hope primary schools and 200 Internet Schools in poor remote regions, presented over 13,000 Hope library kits and 3,000 film library kits to over 10,000 village schools in remote areas, and trained over 30,000 village primary school teachers. In addition, the foundation has set up a “Stars of Hope Award Fund” to support top-ranked Project Hope students in further studies and a “Hope Primary School Teacher-Training Fund” to allow teachers to sharpen their skills.

Mother River Protection Project

This project was created to help improve the ecological environment of China. Launched in 1999, the “Mother River Protection Project” aims to plant large numbers of trees near sources of the Yangtze River and the Yellow River and eventually in other environmentally threatened areas throughout the country. The Project has raised donations of RMB 300 million and has undertaken 1,196 programs across China, planted 412,000 hectares of trees, and organized over 300 million youth volunteers to participate in planting trees and other environmental protection activities.

Action Red Ribbon

Launched in 2003, “Action Red Ribbon” attempts to increase HIV/AIDS awareness among Chinese youth to support the education of children in AIDS-affected areas. The program aims to construct 100 “Red Ribbon Clubs of Care” in areas of China, selected by the Chinese Ministry of Health. These clubs will educate rural populations, especially youth, on AIDS prevention. The goal is to increase awareness in these 100 areas to 70%.

Chinese Ancient Poem Recital Program

The “Chinese Ancient Poem Recital Project” is intended to foster an appreciation for China’s traditional culture among youth. Over 4 million participants from different regions and provinces around China have participated in the program.

Prospect Plan

Initiated in 1993, along with the China Association for International Exchange of Personnel, this project aims to empower underprivileged people in economically backward regions and promote development of the society by capacity building and pursuit of excellence.

Western China Talent Project

Initiated in 2000, the Project has so far trained more than 8, 000 talents for the development of western China through public demonstration with government’s support, promotion from civil organizations and participation of the general public.

New Countryside Prospect Plan

To promote capacity building of the talented people in rural western China, the New Countryside Prospect Plan aims to support the poor and help the talented by empowering them through demonstration to make millions of people in rural areas turn wealthy.

Rural Leader Capacity Building Program

This program aims to improve the capacity building of those in rural western China talented in business management, entrepreneurship, and leadership through training and support. The leaders are expected reach out and with their expertise in business development, benefit people in the neighborhood to achieve the ultimate goal of a socialist harmonious society.

Happy Rural Family Hotel Program

The goal of this program is to help young people of rural areas in western China engage in tourism service and set up and run family hotels with rural features to alleviate poverty.

Award Programs

Another activity of the CYDF is the presentation of awards and prizes that encourage Chinese youth to develop their talents. Since 1990 the CYDF has cooperated with the All-China Youth Federation and ten media groups including CCTV, in selecting “Ten Outstanding Chinese Youths” each year. The award goes to outstanding young people who have made great contributions and have made prominent achievements in the country’s development. CYDF is also involved in the selection of “Young Chinese Scientists Winners.”

The CYDF has established, together with the United Nations Development Programme, an annual International Youth Prize for Poverty Elimination. This award was created in 1996 to enhance the development of young people in poverty-stricken areas and strengthen the determination to eliminate poverty. The award recognizes young people under the age of 25 who have made great contributions to underdeveloped areas.

The CYDF also recognizes excellent teachers who have been working for a long time for rural primary education and have made outstanding achievements in the implementation of Project Hope in poverty-stricken areas. This award is called “Project Hope Gardener”.


Procter & Gamble

As an internationally renowned corporation, Procter & Gamble has a long-standing partnership with CYDF. From 1996 to 2005, P&G donated more than RMB 240 million in total, and built 100 Project Hope primary schools in 27 provinces, a record among multi-national companies. In 2005, P&G adopted the theme “Caring for Children, Delight from the Heart” and donated RMB 1.5 million. It continued to promote the “Loving 1+1” campaign, built 11 primary schools and supported 600 students from poor rural families. At the Hainan Qiong Shan P& G Hope Primary School, the company launched the “Loving, Caring, Understanding – Volunteer Child Psychologist visit to a Project Hope School” to provide continuing service for children there.

In 2002 P&G launched a new project entitled “The Double Hundred Hope School Project” to build another 100 schools with partners before 2010.


Since 1995, Motorola has contributed consistently to CYDF, giving more than RMB 33 million. It has supported various programs and activities including providing support to get children back in school, building schools, supporting teacher training, providing scholarships for outstanding students, building libraries and computer labs, and providing sponsorship for the children of migrant workers in cities.

Motorola has placed its focus on direct participation; site visits and long term follow up for projects. It organizes senior leadership, outstanding staff and volunteers for annual visits to program beneficiaries. These visits have enabled those involved to obtain first hand experience of the impact made on rural areas.

General Electric

The GE Foundation made a three-year grant of US$ 800,000 to CYDF in 2005 to train a large number of Project Hope school principals and teachers in 10 counties in Inner Mongolia, Sichuan, Jiangxi, Yunnan, and Guangxi. By the end of 2005, CYDF had organized ten GE-Project Hope training sessions and field-based training for about 4,800 school principals and teachers. About 40 volunteers from GE participated in the trainings.


In July 2005, Jeanswest International (HK) Co. Ltd. Donated RMB 9 million to CYDF to create the “Jeanswest College Financial Aid Fund” to support more than 2,000 talented college students facing financial difficulties.

China Basketball Association

In April 2005, CYDF and the China Basketball Association (CBA) launched the “Growing Up with the CBA Charity Program” and “ANTA Love Action” to promote sports development for young people in underprivileged regions in West China. This charity program will take advantage of the CBA Season to set up the charity fund by hosting a series of activities designed to collect donations to build CBA Hope Schools and Hope basketball courts and encourage Hope Schools to offer sports activities. The China Basketball Association donated RMB 1.31 million in start-up funds for the program. ANTA (China) Co. Ltd, the major sponsor of the CBA season, donated RMB 1 million in cash and RMB 2 million in in-kind donations to the program. ANTA has committed RMB 1 from the proceeds of the sale of each and every pair of basketball shoes to the program through the end of 2007.



Project Hope 希望工程

Despite past reports of embezzlement of donations, Project Hope is unarguably one of the most influential non-government social projects in China and it is still helping millions of children living in the mountain areas to receive fundamental education.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Project Hope (希望工程) is a Chinese public service project organized by the China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF) and the Communist Youth League (CYL) Central Committee. [1] Started on October 30, 1989, it aims to bring schools into poverty-stricken rural areas of China, to help children whose families are too poor to afford it to complete elementary school education. Through Project Hope, the CYDF has also sought to improve educational facilities and improve teaching quality in poorer regions.


By the end of 2004, Project Hope has

  • raised over 5.6 billion Renminbi in funds.
  • financed education of more than 3,400,000 poor rural students
  • built 15940 “Hope Primary Schools” (希望小学), which consists of 2.5% of all the rural primary schools.
  • established “Project Hope Scholarship”(希望之星奖学金), providing financial assistance to about 130,000 secondary and tertiary students.
  • funded over 14,000 primary schools in rural areas to build libraries
  • built over 150 distance learning centers to help students living in remote areas.

Some 80 percent of the Hope Project primary schools and students aided by the project are located in China’s middle and western regions, which are less developed. (Liu, 2004)


According to a report by National Research Center for Science and Technology for Development (Xu, 1999), 93.9 percent of residents in 29 provincial capital cities aged above 16 have heard of Project Hope, and 63.5 percent have contributed to it in various ways. The report drew the conclusion that Project Hope has become the largest and most influential non-governmental welfare project in China.

Communist Youth League of China 共青团

In order to connect to Hope Schools in the mountain areas, the Communist Youth League of China is always the best linkage.  Let's learn more about the CYLC or CCYL.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Communist Youth League of China, also known as the Young Communist League of China or simply the Communist Youth League, is a youth movement of the People’s Republic of China for youth between the ages of fourteen and twenty-eight, run by the Communist Party of China (CPC). The league is organized on the party pattern. Its leader is its First Secretary, who is also a member of the CPC Central Committee . The current First Secretary is Qin Yizhi. The Communist Youth League is responsible also for guiding the activities of the Young Pioneers (for children below the age of fourteen).


Founded in May 1920, it was originally named as the Socialist Youth League of China. Whilst the Party was officially established in July 1921, the Chinese Socialist Youth League was organized with the Party being set up throughout the country. In May 1922, the 1st National Congress (simplified Chinese: 全国代表大会; traditional Chinese: 全國代表大會; pinyin: Quánguó Dàibiǎo Dàhuì) of the League was held under the leadership of the Party, and therefore became a unified organization in China. In the 3rd National Congress in January 1925, the Chinese Socialist Youth League was renamed as the Chinese Communist Youth League. After the Sino-Japanese War, in order to adapt to the new social and political situation, it was officially renamed as the Chinese New Democracy Youth League in April 1949.

Later in May 1957, its name as the Chinese Communist Youth League was resumed, historically combining the congresses of all three leagues (the Chinese Socialist Youth League, the Chinese Communist Youth League as well as the Chinese New Democracy Youth League). During the 10 years of the Cultural Revolution, the functioning of the League was blocked and the Central Committee was disbanded as it was accused of revisionism; its functions were partly resumed in the early 1970s. From 1978 to 2008, six congresses were held.

The Communist Youth League has contributed a number of top echelon leaders of the Communist Party-led government of the People’s Republic of China. The proliferation of leaders with a Youth League background has led to the informal name “Youth League faction” being used to describe certain members of the leadership at different times. The first “Youth League faction” was represented by Hu Yaobang (party chairman 1981-1982, party general secretary 1982-1987 following the abolition of the chairman position). The second “Youth League faction” is represented by Hu Jintao (General secretary since 2002, President since 2003). While there is no direct political lineage between the two Hus, Hu Jintao’s administration has formally elevated the memory of the earlier Hu. In 2005, the 90th anniversary of Hu Yaobang’s birth, a new museum and a series of commemorative books and television programs were launched. The scandalous death of the son of Ling Jihua and Gu Liping, a couple associated with the Communist Youth League, may have tarnished the reputation of the organization as a path to power.


The national leading organization is the National Congress and the Central Committee, elected by the congresses. The National Congress are held each 5 years, but can be held earlier or later under special circumstances. In between congresses, the Central Committee implements the decisions made in the National Congress and leads the League as a whole; the Central Committee usually meets in plenary session once a year. In addition to the Central Committee, there are General Affairs Committees which oversee the daily affairs of the League and lead the fundamental organizations in 31 provincial level administrative areas of the country. “CPC and is considered to be the CPC’s assistant and backup”.

By the end of 2002, there were approximately 210,000 committee members of fundamental organizations. 2007 estimates put the number of Youth League members at 73 million. Central Committee reported at the end of 2006, students accounted for 49.9% of the league.

Under the leadership of Communist Party General Secretary Hu Jintao, who was also a leading figure in the Youth League, key government positions at both central and provincial levels are more likely to be filled by the League’s members and former cadres, known as tuanpai.

CYLCs’ official newspaper is the China Youth Daily.

Popular Culture

In EA’s game series Command and Conquer Generals, the flag of the Youth League is used as an icon for the Nationalism upgrade.

List of First Secretaries

Yu Xiusong (俞秀松): 1920–1922
Shi Cuntong (施存统): 1922–1925
Zhang Tailei (张太雷): 1925–1927
Ren Bishi (任弼时): 1927–1928
Guan Xiangying (关向应): 1928–1946
Feng Wenbin (馮文彬): 1949–1953
Hu Yaobang (胡耀邦): 1953–1978
Han Ying (韩英): 1978–1982
Wang Zhaoguo (王兆国): 1982–1984
Hu Jintao (胡锦涛): 1984–1985
Song Defu (宋德福): 1985–1993
Li Keqiang (李克强): 1993–1998
Zhou Qiang (周强): 1998–2006
Hu Chunhua (胡春华): 2006–2008
Lu Hao (陆昊): 2008–2013
Qin Yizhi (秦宜智): 2013–Incumbent

Chronology of National Congresses

1st National Congress (Socialist Youth League): 5–10 May 1922
2nd National Congress (Socialist Youth League): 2–25 August 1923
3rd National Congress (Socialist Youth League): 26–30 January 1925
4th National Congress: 10–16 May 1927
5th National Congress: 12–16 July 1928
6th National Congress (1st Congress, New Democratic Youth League): 11–18 April 1949
7th National Congress (2nd Congress, New Democratic Youth League): 23 June–2 July 1953
8th National Congress (3rd Congress, New Democratic Youth League): 12–25 May 1957
9th National Congress: 11–29 June 1964
10th National Congress: 16–26 October 1978
11th National Congress: 20–30 December 1982
12th National Congress: 4–8 May 1988
13th National Congress: 3–10 May 1993
14th National Congress: 19–25 June 1998
15th National Congress: 22–26 July 2003
16th National Congress: 10–13 June 2008
17th National Congress: 17–21 June 2013



Who Is Watching China’s ‘Left-behind Children’?


As reports of sexual assault and even murder of children have triggered public debate in China, the safety of the country’s youth has become a recurring issue. A July 4 incident in which two left-behind children suffocated to death when accidentally trapped in a wooden box recently inspired one microblogger to call for greater care for the safety of an even more vulnerable subset of China’s youth, the so-called “left-behind children,” or those who remain in rural areas while their parents earn a living as migrant workers in China’s big cities. Shared over 15,000 times, the post was cause for reflection about the roots of this problem, and ways it might be addressed. Weibo user Read Society wrote:

Recently, a number of left-behind children have died in accidents across the country, casting an even darker shadow on the issue of the safety of left-behind children. Their parents are working far away, and their grandparents have weak safety awareness. Truly, we are worried for these left-behind treasures! Where is a safe, secure home for them?最近,全国各地接连发生的留守儿童意外身亡事件给留守儿童的安全抹上了一层阴霾。父母远在外务工,爷爷奶奶的安全意识薄弱,真心为留守宝宝的安全感到担忧! 一个安全安心的家,你在哪里?
The post was accompanied by checklist that children and their caretakers could use to improve home safety. Left-behind children are more likely to experience suffer injuries than children who live with their parents, and have high rates of both psychological problems and juvenile delinquency. Being subject to less supervision, left-behind children are also more likely to be kidnapped and sold by human traffickers.

Some commenters had little sympathy for the parents of left-behind children. Wrote one, “If you don’t have any ability to raise them, then don’t have any没本事养就别生..” Others were more sympathetic to the pressures that gave rise to the phenomenon. “Who wants to leave their homes behind?” Asked Weibo user @zp赖慧, “Who doesn’t like to spend time with their children, and watch them slowly grow up? Is that possible in today’s materialistic society? In our village, if you don’t leave to be a migrant worker somewhere, there’s no money to be made planting crops at home!”

Some users called for the government to do something, or think of a solution, and some complained that it had not done much yet. Wrote Weibo user @五言六句, “How long have people been raising this issue, and we haven’t seen this country come up with an effective policy? It’s negligent!提了多长时间了,就是不见这个国家拿不出一个有效的制度来,这就是漠视!”

According to recent reports, left-behind children number more than 60 million in China. Economic pressures require many rural residents to leave their sons and daughters in the care of their grandparents or others to earn a living in China’s more developed cities.

Many factors have driven and perpetuated the left-behind phenomenon. Heavy investment in cities like Shanghai and Beijing has exacerbated the rural-urban divide, while creating a need for migrant workers in sectors such as construction. The hukou registration system makes it difficult for the children of migrant workers to receive education and medical care in cities – even if their parents wanted to bring them along, they might find it difficult. Sweeping, multipronged policy change may be slow, but awareness of the issue is increasing rapidly as traditional and social media focus in on individuals – like the two unfortunate children who died on July 4 – who have fallen through the cracks.