A Bridge for Children International
Context: 1 in 3 residents of Beijing is a migrant and over 500,000 children of migrant workers are estimated to reside in Beijing. While China’s nine-year compulsory education recently became free for all children in government schools, hidden costs such as identification requirements make public education impossible for many migrants. Most schools for migrant children offer only the bare minimum in basic curriculum and have limited provisions for topics such as the arts and physical education. Most Chinese girls do not play sports – whether in school, family, or extracurricular settings – and seldom receive encouragement from parents, teachers or the community to do so. Sports, as a means of developing leadership, teamwork skills and confidence, is underutilized.
Organization: Founded in 2007, A Bridge for Children International (ABC) is dedicated to serving orphans and migrant children, two of the most vulnerable and at-risk populations in China. Built on the conviction that every child deserves a family and an education, ABC serves underprivileged children in three programmatic areas: CONNECT (CSR and Volunteerism), DREAM (Education and Life Skills) and TALENT (Migrant Children Sports, Arts, Music, and teacher training).
Current Grant: EMpower’s third grant to ABC supports their CAI program, which incorporates Basketball and Football (soccer), music and arts programs in migrant schools in Beijing. In addition to weekly sports, music and art classes, the CAI program includes workshops led by staff and volunteers who impart life skills (e.g.-communication and critical thinking skills), leadership and team building to students based on the CAI 4 C’s curriculum (Confidence, Courage, Commitment and Care). The goal of this program is to increase participants’ self-confidence and ability to work in teams. The program also includes a component working to train older orphaned youth to serve as mentors.
Year established: 2007