In recent decades many of China’s villages have emptied, with millions of working-age adults heading to fast-growing cities and factory jobs, leaving behind the old and very young.
For countless children, it’s meant being brought up by grandparents who still have to farm each day. Old, exhausted – often themselves uneducated – they have no shortage of love to give, but lack the time and energy young children require.
To help both children and grandparents, OneSky’s work in rural China unites villagers for the good of all. OneSky-funded community activities strengthen local bonds. Parenting skills training helps caregivers look after children the best they can.
Meanwhile, OneSky has trained village mothers to help with leading learning activities. This means “Mentor Mamas” are able to stay in the village and earn a wage, rather than leaving for big-city jobs.
Their interactive activities for children offer a respite for tired grandparents and a chance for children to try new things. Facilities are limited but under the right guidance, there are always opportunities to learn and “toys” are everywhere.
“Together we picked petals by the side of the road,” explained one “Mama”. “We made them rain… first drizzle, then a storm. It’s all about boosting the children’s imagination and creativity and helping their development.”
Then children were asked to choose a shape and create the shape with petals. These girls chose a heart.