Yantai is coastal town of 6 million people in the north Chinese province of Shangdong. As with many other places in China this area has seen rapid industrial growth over recent decades and this has reshaped life for families in the region.
The city's port is at the heart of this economic growth and has enabled manufacturers to export the wide range of goods produced in Yantai's factories. However, many people in the region still rely on agriculture and fishing and these remain important sectors, even in this rapidly growing industrial area.
Rapid industrialisation has meant that people are increasingly concentrated in urban settings, like Yantai. Whilst this has brought rapid economic growth to the region, it has also meant that infrastructure and public services are stretched to breaking point.
The government has been quick to invest in initiatives to improve the standard of living for people in the city, but these improvements are yet to reach everyone. Filling this gap remains a key concern for people in Yantai.
With growing prosperity there has also been an increasingly large gap growing between the rich and the poor. Children from migrant backgrounds are often particularly badly affected and many live in poverty in and around Yantai.
Often they have had to drop out of school to help make ends meet and this puts them at increased risk of exploitation and abuse. Many of these children have lost parental care, and all of them are not getting the opportunities to fulfil their full potential that they deserve.
How we are helping children in Yantai
We began our work in the city in 1987 and have a long history of helping families and children in the region. We work very closely with the local government and in recent years local businesses have supported our work through donations of books and other appliances to our SOS Children's Village.
A lifetime of support
When children in Yantai lose parental care, our 16 SOS families are there to help support them and make sure that they get all the help they need to flourish. They are cared for by loving SOS mothers and are able to start a new life with their SOS brothers and sisters.
All of these children attend the nearby school, which was built by SOS Children. Here, they are able to meet and mix with up to 3,400 local children, which helps them fit into the community and get the education they need to thrive.
When they are old enough, children from SOS families are able to move into the SOS youth programme. Our trained staff help them to begin shouldering increased responsibility and plan for their futures, as well as develop contacts with potential employers.
As well as taking children without parental care we also help to support children in the community more broadly. Not only did we help build the local school, but we also offer almost 300 scholarships to children who would otherwise miss out on an education.
As well as education we also offer day-care services that help working parents earn a living and support their families. Assistance like this helps ensures that families are able to stay together, whenever possible, and that children have a happy and supportive home environment.
When a child has no-one else, we offer them a loving family home in our children's Village in Yantai. Help these children to thrive by sponsoring a child today!