2015 NGO Profiles
Be Better is a Shanghai-based NGO that was founded in 2009 to equip China’s next generation with civic and financial skills. The organization specializes in developing curriculums that promote self-discovery, effective communication, financial literacy, leadership, and social innovation to children and youth aged 3-23, especially in disadvantaged communities. With an emphasis on experiential learning, its core programs expose youth to best practices for social businesses, the importance of budgeting, and various career path opportunities. In addition to partnering with local teachers to deliver Be Better programs in the classroom, Be Better is building a Diverse Institute to enable youth to discover and find confidence in their individuality, and to empower those with a strong sense of social responsibility to become changemakers. To date, Be Better has provided its services to over 330,000 youth.
Growing Home is a Beijing-based organization founded in 2008 with the mission of addressing critical youth development issues in China, including youth values, employment and career development, youth psychology, mobility, and more. By developing professional and innovative life education products, Growing Home seeks to fill a gap in the current education system by serving the psychological and emotional needs that arise during the course of a child’s development. In China, there are over 60 million “left behind” children whose parents have gone to other cities to make a living. Many of them live on school campuses, starting as early as age five. Due to separation from their parents, a lack of attention, and insufficient resources at these village schools, several “left behind” children suffer from emotional anxiety and behavioral problems. To address these issues, Growing Home has developed a low-cost and scalable intervention program: an audio library of 1001 bedtime stories, along with teacher training on story teaching. Having tested this approach through a pilot program with positive outcomes, Growing Home plans to expand its services to over 1000 rural primary schools in the next 2 to 3 years to serve 2,000,000 children.
The China Youth Climate Action Network (CYCAN) is the first Chinese nonprofit founded to encourage youth action in the field of climate change. CYCAN was jointly established by seven youth organizations in August 2007. Based in Beijing, CYCAN’s mission is to inspire and guide young people to play a part in tackling the challenges of climate change and contribute to shaping the transition to a sustainable, low carbon future. CYCAN has created a “Green Collars for the Climate” scheme which encourages and provides support for youth interested in green industries. This scheme includes four components: students engage in energy conservation on their university campuses, participate in the International Youth Energy and Climate Change Summit, represent the China Youth delegation at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP), and, upon completion of the first three tasks, gain access to jobs and internships in green industries through CYCAN’s Green Collar Factory program. Since CYCAN was established, more than 300 colleges and universities and 10,000 students have participated in activities organized or sponsored by CYCAN.
Shenzhen’s Angel Home Care Center for Children with Special Needs (known as “Angel Home”) first established its “Brain Injury Rehabilitation Room” in the Shenzhen metro area in 2010 to provide support for families of children aged 0-14 suffering from cerebral palsy. The organization provides free rehabilitation and open resources to these families and nurtures the child’s social development. The organization advocates for scientific brain injury research and additional social services to help children with such injuries get on their feet and into their communities. Angel Home is the only organization in Shenzhen that does not bar services to foreign or migrant workers and plays an important role in aiding the development of Shenzhen children with special needs.
Stepping Stones is a non-profit organization registered both in Hong Kong and Mainland China (Shanghai). Founded in 2006, Stepping Stones was originally established to organize volunteer teachers to lead English classes in Shanghai’s primary schools for children of migrant workers. These schools can be found in urban centers across China and often struggle to provide a reasonable standard of English instruction to its students due to limited resources. Over the years, Stepping Stones has expanded its activities to include a wide range of programs which focus on children’s education and health, all with the shared mission of improving the education and general welfare of disadvantaged children across China.
Youth New World is a Hong Kong-based organization which supports underprivileged students in the Kwun Tong area, presently Hong Kong’s poorest region, with the aim of advancing their “starting line” position in society. Founded in 2013, this organization provides various social services to low-income families and their children, helping to foster students’ academic success and develop their sense of social responsibility. Youth New World provides various grassroots community programs including free academic counseling, career guidance, leadership training, interest classes, and an “Adversity Challenge” program, all driven by the vision to cultivate upward mobility and bring an end to the pervasive intergenerational poverty in Hong Kong’s Kwun Tong area.
Sticky Rice Love is a Hong Kong-based organization that offers an online platform for young people to discuss, share, and better understand sexual issues. The organization aims to empower young people to make healthy, informed choices. The online forums include group discussions with sex therapists and other experts to provide Hong Kong youth with reliable information. The organization also publishes a journal that presents sexual health information using an approachable, youth-focused manner. In the long-term, Sticky Rice Love hopes to contribute as a research platform to Hong Kong sex education, and create an effective bottom-up curriculum specifically suited to Hong Kong’s youth population.
Education In Sight is a non-profit whose vision is a world where no student has their academic potential limited by lack of access to corrected vision. Based in Yunnan, China, the organization aims to deliver a pair of glasses to every student with nearsightedness in the province—an estimated 1,000,000 students—by the summer of 2018. Education in Sight addresses the problem of poor vision in three ways: access, affordability, and attitude. It brings local eye doctors directly to schools to perform exams and deliver eyeglasses. The organization also provides low-cost glasses to students at no charge. Lastly, it trains teachers to promote a positive culture and ensure students continue to wear glasses in the long-term. With a pair of eyeglasses, a student with poor vision can see academic performance jump by the equivalent of an entire extra year of school. Beginning with Yunnan, Education in Sight hopes to help all students achieve this full potential.
Ace Youth is a Chengdu-based organization founded in 2011. Its mission is to inspire youth to explore their potential and equip them with tools for innovation. Ace believes that youth can bring about change and that youth development is the key to social innovation. The organization offers an open communication and practices platform to encourage the idea of “I Think, I Change” and inspire youth to think independently and take up social responsibilities through participation in public affairs. The center has hosted several large conferences and events, including the “Idea Meeting,” the “Grand Tour,” and the “Youth Forum.” To date, it has held more than 200 activities, totaling over 50,000 participants.
Suzhou Happy Drum Teenagers Cooperation Center is a Suzhou-based organization that organizes educational activities for migrant children, families, schools and communities. The project aims to provide a positive growing environment for youth through musical education, primarily focused on group drum-playing. Since its foundation in 2011, the center has been driven by the belief that every child has infinite potential, and that the companionship fostered by music can help unlock it. The organization’s slogan—“Happy drum, happy children!”—reflects this core mission.