Kaifeng, often regarded as “The Capital of Seven Dynasties”, is a city in the eastern Henan Province, along the southern bank of the Yellow River. It is a city blessed with cultural and historical richness.
Machinery, pharmaceuticals, raw chemicals and chemical products, textiles and agricultural products processing comprise the city’s industrial’s mainstays. Since 2011, Kaifeng has witnessed rapid economic growth and there are ongoing plans to develop tourism, which is now a key source of income. In 2011, over 38.79 million domestic tourists and 226,000 foreign tourists visited the city and brought a significant rise in revenue compared with the previous year.
However, Henan Province still maintains a higher incidence of poverty than the national average for urban areas. As a result, there is still as much need today as there was in 1997, when we first opened our Children’s Villages in Kaifeng. Children who can no longer live with their families continue to need the security of a loving home, and we continue to provide this for them.
What we bring to Kaifeng
The aim of our work in Kaifeng is to provide support to all children so that they can not only have a warm home, but also a bright future. We build families for children who need them and help them create their own futures, while also working towards the development of the community around them.
Each new child to the Village receives ongoing care and support to help them recover from the trauma of losing their families. With the care of their SOS mothers, we help them overcome malnutrition and other problems and support them as they settle into Village life.
Education opens the door to a better future
Children have a better chance of achieving their full potential if they have completed primary education; every child deserves this chance. We believe that a good education gives a child the tools to break the cycle of poverty, violence, and family breakdown. A good education helps children grow into self-sufficient and independent adults who can contribute to the growth of their communities.
We opened a nursery in Kaifeng in 1999. Here, children learn through activities centred on an individual child’s development. The nursery works closely with volunteers from Henan University, who provide extracurricular activities and lessons in English, Maths, and Art. The children have truly benefitted from this support – and the results bear fruit in their academic achievements and growing self-esteem.
We also have well trained and dedicated teachers who teach both SOS children and local children from the community.
Kaifeng’s SOS mothers do more for their children than feed, clothe, and provide a clean and comfortable home. They make it possible for children to be part of a family once again.