Putian is a city of three million people in the south-eastern province of Fujian. The Chinese economy has grown rapidly over recent decades and Putian has been one of the fastest growing areas in the country.
Many families in the area around Putian still depend on agriculture or fishing for their livelihoods, but even this is starting to change as people increasingly move to the city for work. Here, they predominantly find employment in the manufacturing industry, predominantly making shoes for export.
Working on the streets
Children from migrant families are particularly likely to live in poverty within the city, and this can have a wide range of negative long and short-term effects. They often suffer from ill-health and malnutrition, since their parents struggle to afford even basic necessities.
Many children work to help support their family, either begging or selling small items on the streets of the city. This places them at increased risk of exploitation and, since they have had to drop out of school, they are likely to struggle to break the cycle of poverty later in life.
As more and more people have come to Putian in search of work and better life for their families the population has grown fast. The rapid pace of change has made it hard for the local government to respond to the new demands of its increasingly large population.
Though local authorities are investing in programmes to create jobs, housing and educational opportunities, many still live without important public services. This places further strain on families that are often already struggling to stay together.
Our work in Putian
We've worked in Putian since 1999 and have seen the country and the region change in many ways over this time. However, our work continues to focus on ensuring that every child get's the support they need growing up.
Working with the government
We work closely with the local authorities in Putian, who often refer children to our care when they can no longer stay with their parents. Ever since 1991, when China signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the government has also launched a number of programmes to improve children's lives.
Our SOS Children's Village Putian is home to 15 SOS families, where children who can no longer stay with their parents are able to find a loving new home. Each family is looked after by a trained and dedicated SOS mother, who makes sure they get all the support they need.
All young children from SOS families go to the local SOS nursery with other children from the area. Not only does this help them to start making friends outside of the Children's Village, but it also offers working parents a safe place to leave their children whilst they earn money.
When they are old enough, children from SOS families move into the SOS youth programme. Here, they are supported by trained counsellors as they plan their next steps in life and they are encouraged to build strong relationships with people inside and outside the programme.
Help give a Chinese child, who is orphaned or abandoned, a loving family home. Sponsor a child in Putian today.