This year we are supporting China Association of SOS Children’s Villages and Gift of Life in recognition of their outstanding efforts in the community.
The first SOS Children’s Village was founded by Hermann Gmeiner in Austria, in 1949. As a child welfare proponent, Gmeiner saw how children orphaned as a result of World War II suffered. He was committed to help them by building loving families and supportive communities.
With the generous support of donors, child sponsors, partners and friends, SOS Children’s Villages are active in 135 countries and territories around the world today, helping hundreds of thousands of children each year through schools, health centres, family strengthening and alternative care programmes and other community-based work.
The first SOS Children’s Villages in China was established in Tianjin. SOS Children’s Village, China is a welfare institution for the care of orphans，which is a cooperative effort made by SOS-Kinderdorf International and Chinese Government.
Thanks to the profound concern of the Chinese Government and great help from SOS Kinderdorf International, SOS Children’s Villages, China has made great achievements. Up to now, there are 2 Hermann Gmeiner Schools in Yantai and Qiqihar, and 10 SOS Children’s Villages have been established in Tianjin, Yantai, Qiqihar, Nanchang, Kaifeng, Chengdu, Putian, Urumqi, Lhasa and Beijing.
Gift of Life
Gift of Life is a Rotarian-based organisation that has evolved over the past 4 decades into a global network of caring. Our traditional model for providing care to children with congenital heart disease from emerging countries was to bring one child at a time to the United States for treatment.
For the first decades of our existence, this was our primary means of providing hope to children who were not able to receive treatment in their country of birth. As China develops economically since 2005, we have started to partner with provincial level hospitals in China to provide surgeries to nearby rural children in need.
In time, as the health care delivery improves in the rural areas and fewer children are born with heart defects, Rotary continues to focus on providing hope by meeting the current need for treating Hypospadias, s terrible condition that affects boys genitals with significant impact to their lives as children, leading to them being abandoned by parents. Growing up, they are often marginalised or ridiculed, and having low self-esteem, many commit suicide.
Rotary works with Hebei Shijiazhuang Pediatric Hospital in a GOL outreach program by sending pediatric urologist surgeons to the rural areas to examine children with the defects, educating families about seeking medical treatment from experts, and providing clinical training to rural county surgeons, as well as covering the cost of surgeries.