Category “China”

Expanding Spring Sprouts in China

Monday, 28 July, 2014

“Goodbye, aunts and uncles! Come back soon!”

Liang Bo, a third-grade student shouted out of the classroom window to a group of volunteers.

On May 22, Amway volunteers traveled to Longma Primary School in Tiandong County, in the Guangxi Province. After a training session, they began to host Spring Sprout Classes, where they taught students how to make greeting cards.

Under the guidance of the volunteers, students drew blue hearts, yellow balloons, red apple trees, green clouds and other whimsical patterns. Most had a hard time putting them down once they got started and were extremely proud of their creations.

This and other Spring Sprout Classes were introduced in 2014 as a way to enhance the successful feeding programs launched by the Amway Charity Foundation in partnership with national and local governments and schools.

Spring Sprout Classes now reach 30 schools with 35 sessions, benefitting more than 1,300 students.

Furthermore, survey feedback has shown program satisfaction rates of 93.2%, which means that more volunteers will accept Liang Bo’s welcome to return another day.

Thanks to Rowley Luo and Penny Yi for sharing this story.

A Special Lunch in China

Friday, 27 June, 2014

Mung Yue-Yun has not seen her child in almost 4 years. It’s been 3 years for Li Ming-Hong and 8 years for Wang Yan.

In China, 60 million children are left behind in rural villages, while their parents go to the big cities to find work. While the parents send money home, it is often too costly to return themselves.

Amway recently arranged for some parents to return home to see their children, and captured their experiences in this short film. It has been viewed more than a million times across China, and we are now sharing it with the rest of the world.

Amway and its partners in China support children of migrant families in rural areas by ensuring that schools are equipped to provide nutritious meals. We also work in urban areas, making sure under-resourced schools have the tools and volunteer support they need.

Change is happening in China. In light of the big economic shifts, it is important to notice the impact on individual lives, and to do what we can to help.

Thank you to Frances Yu, Paula Peng and Rowley Luo for sharing these touching stories with us.

The Boat School

Thursday, 5 June, 2014

In the spirit of Throwback Thursday, we found this story deep in our archives. It’s about a school on a boat in rural China.

This was one of the first stories we discovered when creating the Amway One by One Campaign for Children more than ten years ago.

And it goes like this …

“Why aren’t you in school?” the 46-year-old Hu Yake asked a group of about 10 children playing along the shores of Lake Hongze, a large water body about 180 kilometers northeast of Nanjing in a remote area of east-central China. This was in 1999.

“Because we live on the boats. We have no school,” came the reply. Mr. Hu, a former math teacher who owned a fish farm on the lake, was shocked. But the children were not truant; they were telling the truth.

As the children of illiterate fishermen from other parts of the country who lived on their families’ boats on the lake, they were not eligible to attend the already crowded and financially strained local grade school.

Right then Mr. Hu scrapped his plans to invest his savings in a second fish farm. He resolved instead to build a school for the fishermen’s children.

First he taught a group of 11 in a hut on his own property. Then, using his own money, borrowed funds and some help from local government officials, he acquired an old, 85-foot, open-topped cargo barge.

He designed and built a flat-roof, three-room structure that covered nearly the length of the boat. Using cement for walls and floors, combination windows and wooden beams to support the roof, he built a strong, watertight schoolhouse for children ages 6 through 12.

In 2002, after learning of the school’s plight through a broadcast news report, the Nanjing office of Amway China launched a support program for the boat school that included 50,000 RMB to help cover the cost of upgrading the boat structure, acquiring textbooks and paying the teacher.

Lifejacket-clad children either walked or rode in their parents’ boats to school, which they entered by trooping across an old plank. Mr. Hu, a modest, quiet man, lived in the third room on the boat with his wife and a teenage son who helped run the school.

Even today, Mr. Hu’s example is inspiring to Amway Business Owners and anyone else who believes that great deeds begin when someone takes the first step.

One Day in China

Thursday, 3 April, 2014

 

Today, we take a look back at a project in China that took place during the Amway Universal Children’s Day.

On November 20, Amway China launched “Care for the Children,” a project that is focused on children in rural areas whose parents left them behind to look for work.

 

The project focuses on health, sanitation, education, safety and parental relationships.

Amway will partner with local youth league committees, education administration authorities, fire departments and women’s federations – and draw on the generosity of Amway Business Owners.

 

1,952 Amway Business Owners and employees across the country volunteered more than 3,000 hours to kick off the program.

They provided books, health training, physical exercise and personal hygiene products among other things.

But it wasn’t all instruction. The children enjoyed games of tug-a-war alongside Amway volunteers.

Friendly competitions using flashcards also brought education to life and allowed volunteers and students to connect.

 

Amway China is not new to the issue of helping children of migrant families.

They are building thousands of Spring Sprout Nutrition Kitchens in rural areas, in partnership with local and national government agencies.

But each year brings a new chapter, and a fresh look at how we can help improve the world, one child at a time, one by one.

 

Thanks to Rowley Luo for sharing this story.

Making a Dream Work for the Planet

Wednesday, 5 March, 2014

At Guangzhou Nansha Wetland Park in China, several students from South China Normal University earnestly demonstrate exquisite hand-made soaps to guests.

Surprisingly, these soaps were made from used oils collected from small restaurants near the university, transformed from trash into treasure in a few simple steps.

The students were a prize-winning team in the Amway Green Dream Works Competition. It took them only four months to turn their creative idea into a final product.

The competition was a partnership between the Department of Environmental Protection of Guangdong Province, Amway China and the Amway Charity Foundation, open to all university students in the Guangdong Province.

Amway China offered a 100,000 yuan award for 10 winning projects, and hired high-caliber instructors and evaluation experts. Contestants were required to come up with creative ideas to promote energy conservation and emission reduction, as well as green lifestyle. 

Eighty environmental protection groups from 30 universities in Guangdong Province took part in the competition. The 10 winning teams will receive 10,000 yuan from Amway China and professional mentoring provided by the instructor team, ensuring that new dreams are turned into reality for a better world.

Thanks to Rowley Luo for sharing this story.

Measuring outputs and impacts in China

Friday, 21 February, 2014

The Amway Charity Foundation in China has reached a major milestone.

They now count more than 1,700 Spring Sprout Kitchens built in 13 provinces and autonomous regions from 2011-2013, which far exceeds the 1,000 kitchens that were originally pledged.

But how do we know if it is making a difference? Our colleagues have shared recent data that makes a compelling case.

Let’s start with measurements of the program itself.

In the last three years, 97% of the new and upgraded kitchen equipment operated normally, while 96% students approved of food quality.

The overall satisfaction rate of the project reached 96%. 

They also looked at the current health of the children.

The Institute of Child and Adolescent Health at Peking University studied the progress of the students.

The report found that in schools with Spring Sprout Kitchens, students improved health in their muscles, bones, fat, internal organs and chest as indicated by BMI, the height and bustline index, and Rhorer’s Index.

Finally, they compared the students to the broader population.

The students’ growth retardation rate, rate of thinness and two-week prevalence rate at Spring Sprout schools were lower than those of students in non-project schools or regions.

The Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) showed that the intelligence of 51% of students in these schools were “excellent”, which was higher than the average 42% in non-project schools. 

The answer is clearly yes – the program is making a difference, both in outputs and in impacts.

And it is giving children a chance to reach their full potential.

Thanks to Rowley Luo for sharing this story. To learn more about the program, check out a video we made after recently visiting one of the projects near Nanning.

Project Announcement: China

Monday, 4 November, 2013

Amway China has a tradition of creating partnerships that leverage donations, volunteering and advocacy to address critical needs for children across the country, with a special focus on children of migrant families.

Amway has the largest volunteer network in China – more than 70,000 people. It was also the first multinational company to receive permission to register a charitable foundation.

On November 20, Amway China will launch a project called, “Care for the Children,” focused on health, safety and sanitation for children in rural areas, left behind while their parents move away to find work.

The Amway Charity Foundation will partner with local youth league committees, education administration authorities, fire departments and women’s federations. Through education and training programs on that day, approximately 1,000 Amway volunteers will help 10,000 children across mainland China.

Amway China will put years of experience to work, to make a big difference on November 20.

Check the blog tomorrow for a project announcement in Thailand.

In his own words

Monday, 30 September, 2013

Following up on last week’s announcement by Amway China President Audie Wong that the company will commit to building 2,000 new Spring Sprouts Kitchens, he penned a blog post of his own on the Clinton Global Initiative website:

http://www.clintonfoundation.org/blog/2013/09/25/spring-sprouts-kitchens-nutrition-rural-china

1 Million: Substance Meets Scale

Wednesday, 25 September, 2013

Zoom in. Way in.

A child in rural China sets off for school. Grandparents and cousins live in a one-room house with no heat and little to eat.

Her parents set off for the big city six months ago to trade the farm for the factory. But they haven’t made enough money to send home yet, so she scrapes by.

But this girl’s school offers hope. In addition to an education that can lift her out of poverty, she receives a hot, nutritious meal every day from clean facilities managed by trained staff. The menu changes each day and is full of meat, vegetables and rice.

Zoom out. Way out.

Amway China President Audie Wong stands on stage at the Clinton Global Initiative. His team has built partnerships that have resulted in 754 “Nutrition Kitchens” built through the Spring Sprouts project.

It is no longer a pilot program, but an effective model supported by the Amway Charity Foundation and Amway Business Owners and employees across China … and even from other countries. The Chinese government believes in the program, investing up to 6 dollars for every 1 dollar Amway invests.

To bring the program to scale, President Wong makes a public commitment to build 2,000 more kitchens in the next two years, which will reach 1 million students.

The story of children with migrant parents happens every day. The story of our commitment does not. It happened yesterday, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for educated, well nourished children in China.

Here’s a link to more.

Audie Wong photo credit: @Clinton Global Initiative / Clinton Global Initiative CGI Annual Meeting 2013 Plenary Session Healthier Futures: Prioritizing Prevention

Looking back, looking forward

Wednesday, 18 September, 2013

It’s been almost a year since we visited Long Ma Village in China’s Guangxi Province. 

There, we found a small rural school that had struggled to provide adequate nutrition to children of poor farming families. Many of the children’s parents had left for the urban areas to find jobs to help support their children.

Amway and its leaders stepped up to help, both for the children who were left behind in the countryside, and for those who traveled with their parents to the big cities.

In fact, helping migrant children has been a focus for Amway for many years, and the impetus for creating the Amway Charity Foundation – only possible because of a long-term commitment to generosity and partnerships.

Today, 754 schools now serve nutritious meals to 350,000 children through “Nutrition Kitchens,” which come with equipment, staff support and training in partnership with Amway and local and national governments. 

And we’re just getting started.

Approximately 58 million children in rural areas need access to nutritious meals. Our goal is to make sure every child gets one.