Tree Planting Day: Growing up takes lots of love and care

Nianci spent her first year with Mom and Dad who had left their rural home to find work in the city.

Now, aged 2, she has returned to the countryside to live with her grandmother.

It took a while for little Nianci to adjust. When she first joined OneSky’s Family Skills Program, she was still so shy she’d hide behind her grandmother’s legs. When it was time for dancing and exercise at the Children’s Center, she’d always stand at the back.

Nianci’s story is common. In China, almost 300 million migrant workers have left ancestral homes in search of work and many have left children behind to be cared for by grandparents and siblings.

Lots of hugs

Thankfully, OneSky Family Mentor Beibei has noticed a positive change in Nianci. During home visits, they make animals from plasticine together and play games to encourage interaction.

There were lots of hugs too from both Beibei and Granny, who has been learning from the mentor about the developmental importance of nurturing love.

Now Nianci is starting to settle in among the happy kids at the children’s center and her confidence continues to grow.

DONATE: Could you help a grandmother caring for a child whose parents work hundreds of miles away? 

On Tree Planting Day, Beibei helped Nianci and her grandmother plant their own tree. Beibei explained to Nianci about the love and care we all need to grow. How she and her grandmother could look after the tree together until it was strong enough to survive the changes in seasons.

Days like Tree Planting Day help bring communities together and that’s part of the job for OneSky Family Mentors. It still takes a village to raise a child and grandparents caring for left-behind children need lots of support too.

Read more about OneSky’s Village Program, assisting China’s left-behind children whose parents have left rural areas to seek work.