It’s that time of year again! Welcome to Lost Laowai’s holiday charity round-up. Whether you celebrate the holidays or not, we hope you will consider donating or volunteering your time to one of these China-focused charities. We think they are doing great work and we look forward to seeing what they will accomplish in 2015!
In no particular order, here are our picks this year:
1. Half the Sky
Before Half the Sky, many children in China who lost their families were fed and sheltered, but not loved. Deprived of loving attention, they could not thrive.
Half the Sky has worked since 1998 to make sure that every child knows her life matters to someone. Step by step, they are helping China to reimagine its approach to child welfare. Watch a short video featuring Aijing, one of the many children being helped by Half the Sky:
Shanghai laowai, this one’s for you! River of Hearts, established in 2003, is an outreach program of the Community Center Shanghai. ROH provides expatriates living and working in Shanghai the opportunity to graciously donate new and used items. The donations are delivered to communities in need across China.
This is a great way to get involved with charity even if you are short on cash – volunteer at a sorting party, donate some items, or offer some storage space until it’s time for the next sorting party!
Next sorting party: February 28, 2015 (Concordia International School, Pudong)
This Sanya charity working with handicapped kids is close to my heart. These children, suffering from CP, autism, and mental delays, are often rejected by society and even their families.
The Bright Connection provides these kids with care, education, and training so that they can reach their full potential, and have a safe, loving environment to grow in. Volunteers needed!
For nearly 30 years since Heifer implemented the first poverty alleviation project in China, Heifer’s cornerstones have empowered more than 100,000 families in China to change their lives.
Heifer China’s seven regional program offices have implemented 153 projects in 141 counties/cities in 16 provinces/autonomous regions/municipalities. Want to change someone’s life? Give them a cow! Or, you know, a pig, a duck, a chicken…. a dzo! What’s a dzo? Check it out!
HandsOn China is an organization that connects volunteers with local community-based organizations by coordinating volunteer opportunities. They supporting local organizations with donations, fundraising planning and execution, as well as community project design and implementation.
The China branch of the HandsOn network was founded in 2004 by a group of China expats with previous experience with the HandsOn worldwide network. In the years since local affiliates have been setup across China. HandsOn China’s mission is to create a balance between the needs of China’s charities and the availability of those looking to become involved in community activities.
The Library Project donates books and libraries to under financed rural primary schools and orphanages in Asia. They believe education is the key motivator to breaking the cycle of poverty that exists in the developing world. Education is change.
As of this month The Library Project donated one library to a community in need every day this year. To date, The Library Project has established over 1,400 libraries in China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Some of the libraries are small and others are large, but all help to improve the education of each and every child that touches their many colorful books.
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit Christian housing organization with a mission to eliminate poverty housing worldwide by building simple, affordable and decent homes with the help of the homeowner families (known as “home partners”) themselves and volunteers. They partner with people of all backgrounds, races and religions, across 70 countries worldwide, to provide families in need with a simple and decent place to live.
Population is growing in cities around the world. It is estimated that 523 million people in Asia are currently living in slums. Each day, another 120,000 people are added to the populations of Asian cities, requiring the construction of at least 20,000 new dwellings daily. Housing supply simply cannot catch up with demand in Asia.
Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong is dedicated to raising awareness of the need for decent housing and harnessing resources to improve living conditions including water, lighting and sanitation for families across the Asia-Pacific region, including China.
They believe a safe, secure and decent home opens the door to improved health, better performance in school, greater economic opportunities, women empowerment, and increased community cohesion, among others. Decent housing provides a way out of poverty, not only in this generation but for generations to come.
Educating Girls of Rural China (EGRC) is a registered charity dedicated to helping young women from rural areas of Western China to obtain an education. EGRC believes that educated women will have educated children; educating women is the key to make our world a better place.
Since 2005 EGRC has awarded a total of 512 university and high school sponsorships and the students have achieved 100% graduation rate. Not only does EGRC help to provide the financial means for these well deserving and promising students’ educations, but in the last years, mentoring programs between graduates and younger students have also been set up in order to foster a spirit of connectedness between these young women, as well as to ensure the longevity of the organization.
Now EGRC receives donations from its graduates every year and for the first time employed a graduate of the program in 2014. 100% of donations from individuals to Educating Girls of Rural China go to students.
EGRC was featured by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 2013:
Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Program (R&S) is an international hands-on environmental and humanitarian education program that is about making positive change happen – for the environment, for animals and for our communities.
The Roots & Shoots Program is the focus of the Jane Goodall Institute in China. Since the first group in Beijing in 1994, they have established over 600 R&S groups around China.
Roots & Shoots has been widely successful in China providing a platform for young people to organize activities outside the school curriculum and participate in environmental, humanitarian and animal protection activities in their local communities. The program has changed the behaviors and attitudes of hundreds of thousands of students and demonstrated that individuals can make a difference through active participation.
There are many ways to support the Roots & Shoots program in China, but the one that caught my eye was coffee. I’m the kind of girl who loves coffee so much that I married my barista and dragged him to China with me. Getting decent beans here can be a challenge though. Might have to check out the Yunnan low carbon coffee blend or the Fair Trade organic signature blend from Arabica Roasters Green Luxury Project. 10% of the coffee revenue will be donated directly to the Roots & Shoots Beijing programs.
I’m an animal lover with a couple of my own dogs, Baozi and Mocha. Mocha is a rescue who came to us starving and pathetic after one of Hainan’s ferocious typhoons. Don’t worry, after six years in our house he’s a bit chubby these days! Mocha’s a sweet dog, but he’d be mad at me if I didn’t include a pet charity on this list, so please check out JAR!
JAR is a non-profit small animal rescue group located in Shanghai that is committed to protecting and improving the health and welfare of animals through pet health care, education, and the promotion of adoption/foster care as an alternative approach to purchasing animals. They are dedicated to domestic animal population control, promoting pet adoption/fostering and reducing the incidence of abandonment.
JAR is completely overwhelmed with animals right now, so they definitely need your help, whether it is adopting an adorable pet just in time for Christmas, providing a safe temporary foster home for an animal in need, or donating pet supplies or funds. There are lots of dogs and cats up for adoption on JAR’s website right now, go take a look.
Thanks for taking a look at these China-focused charities with me, as always if you know a great one that we should be aware of, please let us know in the comments.