Our NGO partners for Model Foundation 2014:
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 among children and youth aged 3-23, especially those in disadvantaged communities. With an emphasis on experiential learning, its core programs expose children and youth to the best practices of social businesses, importance of budgeting, as well as opportunities to explore different career paths. In addition to partnering with local teachers to deliver their programs to schoolchildren, Be Better is building a Diverse Institute to enable youths to discover and find confidence in their individuality, 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 youths.
Growing Home is a Beijing-based organization founded in 2008 with the mission to address critical youth development issues in China, including youth values, employment and career development, youth psychology, mobility, and more. Through developing professional and innovative life education products, Growing Home seeks to fill a gap in the current education system to serve the psychological and emotional needs that arise in youths during the process of growing up. In China, there are over 60 million “left behind” children whose parents have gone to other cities to make a living. Many of these children live in schools starting at the age of five. Due to separation from parents, lack of attention, and insufficient resources at village schools, many “left behind” children suffer from emotional anxiety and behavioral problems. To address these issues, Growing Home has developed a low-cost, 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 and received positive results, 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 organization for 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 grasp the opportunities in China and tackle the challenges of climate change and the transition to a sustainable, low carbon future. CYCAN has created a “Green Collars for the Climate” scheme that engages and supports youths to enter green industries. This scheme includes four components: students will engage in energy conservation on campus, participate in the International Youth Energy and Climate Change Summit, represent the China Youth delegation to attend 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.
Yanxing was founded in 2002 by a Taiwanese businessman, York Chen, with the goal of providing financial, emotional and professional support for rural students who study at top universities in China. Meaning “movement of wild geese,” the name of Yanxing alludes to the flight formation of geese, in which the group can achieve far greater distances together than as an individual. When rural students move to cities to continue their studies, they often struggle to close the academic gap that stems from their rural upbringing while dealing with cultural shock, emotional insecurities, and social isolation in an alien environment. In addition to providing financial aid for rural students to continue their studies, Yanxing offers a community and support network to empower these students to make more full use of opportunities in the cities, build their confidence, and broaden their exposure. Driven by the belief that students are as much agents as they are beneficiaries, Yanxing fosters the students’ ability to organize their own events ranging from community outreach trips to professional internships. The Yanxing community now consists of eight schools, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Renmin University, and others.
Guangzhou Green-Point Public Welfare and Environmental Protection Association (Green Point) is a Guangzhou-based organization founded in 2003 with the mission to make Guangzhou citizens become environmentalists. As a platform for environmental protection training, exchange, and activities, it acts as a bridge between university students’ ideas and community resources to implement environmental projects in society. Green Point provides expertise and resources to university students so that they could address environmental issues in a more professional manner. Students become equipped with the knowledge and skills to carry out field research, campaigns, and educational projects. In addition, Green point hosts inter-regional conferences to provide a platform for exchange between students and leaders promoting environmental initiatives. In August 2012, Green Point became the first environmental NGO to be registered in Guangzhou. Today, it has 62 long-term university partners and about 10,000 university volunteers. Throughout the years, it has trained more than 5,000 volunteers, carried out about 300 green projects in society, and developed education programs for 6,000 primary and secondary students.
LiRen China Rural Library (LiRen) is a Beijing-based organization founded in 2007 with the mission to allow teenagers in rural areas become healthy and normal modern citizens. Adopting a people-centric approach, the LiRen uses books to create linkages between rural areas and cities, encourage more widespread reading, and promote rural educational reform. LiRen emphasizes long-term engagement and quality service. Other than book collections, its services include reading clubs, interviews with scholars, composition contests, film appreciations, winter and summer camps, volunteer groups, and more. Until 2011, LiRen had distributed approximately 7,000 library cards, with an average of 30,000 books checked out per month. After four years of working the field, LiRen has found that rural girls face significantly more challenges, so more recently, it started to develop projects targeting rural girls’ development. By September 2014, LiRen will officially launch the new “Rural Girls Education Program,” which aims to give rural girls sex education and equip them with life skills.
Suolu Junior Youth English Training Center (Suolu), located in Lijiang City in Yunnan province, is a nonprofit dedicated to discovering the potential and raising the moral capabilities of youth. Suolu promotes character development, including values of exploration, independent thinking and questioning, mutual respect and support, as well as community service through the use of an English story-based curriculum. Suolu is working with three schools as well as three villages to implement the program. In addition, it trains teachers and facilitators to guide students to design their own community service projects, including environmental action projects, elderly care, and mentorship of younger students. Since its founding in 2005, the organization has directly impacted nearly 6000 rural youth.
Tai Po Baptist Church Social Service (TPBCSS) is a Hong Kong organization that provides support services for families in Tai Po district in the New Territories.Through its community center, parents and children receive counseling in addition to engaging in diverse group activities that foster personal growth. TPBCSS also works with primary schools to offer social worker services on campus. It is one of the few organizations in Hong Kong that has a distinctive focus on providing professional guidance and aid to special needs children, such as those diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) or autism. In addition, TPBCSS has launched a number of community outreach programs that connects volunteers to address local needs, such as elderly care, community building, and volunteer network development.