Charities Operating in China 
Despite China’s rapid economic development, in 2014, more than 70 million people lived in poverty within China’s rural communities. Here are five charities operating in China.

1. Give2Asia

Only 26% of China’s 622,000 rural health stations have a qualified medical practitioner. Furthermore, very few of these stations have the proper equipment, with the 2008 Sichuan earthquake damaging many of them. Poor health care has a devastating impact on the wealth of communities and is the leading cause of poverty in China’s rural communities, according to an International Journal for Equity in Health article.

Give2Asia’s Rural Doctors Program aims to provide 1,000 medically trained professionals to China’s rural communities. The program also aims to rebuild and properly equip dilapidated health stations, emphasizing early Leukemia diagnoses. This program should significantly improve the health of China’s rural people, increasing their ability to work.

2. The China Environmental Protection Foundation

Whilst China has a huge quantity of renewable water, much of China still suffers from water scarcity. This is due to a combination of rapid pollution and population growth, as a result of industrialization.

Water security is essential for lifting a population out of poverty. The China Environmental Protection Foundation (CEPF) recognizes this and has taken an education-focused approach to provide rural China with water security. For instance, CEPF’s “Green Mountains and Clear Waters” initiative has provided more than 2,500 Chinese students with clean drinking water. CEPF has also created “Streams Action – Honeywell Safe Drinking Classroom,” which educates rural primary school children on water safety. CEPF hopes to educate and mobilize Chinese students to protect the Yangtze River from further pollution, as 459 million people depend on its water.

3. Rural China Education Foundation

Illiteracy is a leading cause of poverty within China’s rural communities. Pertinently, 95% of China’s farmers are illiterate or semi-illiterate, according to an International Journal for Equity in Health article.

One of the charities operating in China is the Rural China Education Foundation (RCEF). RECF provides education to primary-age children across rural China. Its initiatives range from book clubs to summer camps. In the spring of 2021, 370 rural Chinese children received social-emotional lessons from RCEF’s “rural education innovators.” These lessons centered around building positive relationships and developing emotional intelligence. Combining literacy with social skills and vocational-specific classes, RCEF aim to equip rural Chinese children with the means to escape poverty through employment.

4. Habitat for Humanity

Due to China’s enormous population of more than 1.4 billion, housing poverty is a prominent issue. This issue is more prevalent in China’s rural communities, where an earthquake struck in 2008. Homes in urban centers are prohibitively expensive, leaving rural Chinese people without well-maintained homes.

Habitat For Humanity (HfH) began operating in Sichuan in 2000. Since then, HfH has provided more than 1,400 cheap, sturdy and sanitary homes for low-income families. It has also improved rural infrastructure and mobilized Shanghai corporations to improve living conditions for elderly people. Affordable housing is key to lifting China’s rural communities from poverty.

5. Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture China Office

Despite China’s colossal land mass, there is not enough farmable land to feed its vast population. Furthermore, the amount of soil available to farmers is shrinking, due to soil degradation and water scarcity. Farms are often small and maintained by an aging population as rural Chinese children are choosing wealthier urban lifestyles. These factors pose a significant threat to Chinese food security.

The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture China office has created several programs to combat the looming threat of food poverty in China. For instance, the “Sichuan kiwifruit value chain project” incentivizes and trains young people in the cultivation of the Kiwi, one of China’s most profitable cash crops. This program also educates rural Chinese youth on building profitable businesses and even provides supermarket affiliations to farmers. This program also educates rural Chinese communities on the importance of proper irrigation and crop rotation, in an effort to reduce soil degradation.

The Significance of Rural China’s Prosperity

China has successfully lifted 800 million people out of poverty over the last 40 years, however, China’s rural communities are in danger of being left behind. The well-being of China’s rural communities is vital, not only for China but also for the 21% of the world’s population they feed, according to Syngenta Foundation. The charities operating in China that maintain the well-being of its rural people are integral to global food security.

– David Smith
Photo: Pixabay