Children Left Behind
We continue to be encouraged by companies who long to donate goods, rather than see them go to landfill. One of our donor companies this year, for example, had 1,350 pairs of shoes they wished to send to people in need. Through our Global Hand service, we partnered them with a charity that cares for the phenomenon known as ‘Left Behind Children’ in Western China.
China’s rapid economic development has encouraged millions of parents to migrate from rural areas to mega-cities. In turn, millions of children are, literally, ‘left behind’. Many are placed in the care of grandparents. Others remain with family friends or over-stretched boarding schools. These care-givers, however, may have very few financial resources and/or limited physical ability. So ‘Left Behind Children’ can struggle. They may under-achieve at school. They might not even be able to attend school if they are forced to work. They can be vulnerable to sexual predators or even criminal activities. Depression can set in, with a current increase in suicide rates. According to the China Women’s Federation there are 61 million such children growing up without one or both parents: a number close to that of the entire population of the UK.
It is a poignant picture and it was very good news for us to see these shoes safely reach children of this kind. As well, some of the shoes could be given to the grandparents or other relatives caring for them in a sacrificial way.
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