Vibrant Communities (formerly Included)
Context: Residential migrants in Guangzhou have reached approx. 837 million in 2013 and comprise 23% of the migrants living in Baiyun District. 776,000 of migrant workers’ children were under 16 years old in 2012. Migrant children do not enjoy equal education opportunities and access to local public services. In Guangzhou, high schools are only permitted to have migrants account for up to 8% of their student total, and enrollment competition is fierce. As a result most migrant children do not continue their high school education locally and have to face their first life choice and career development challenge: whether to move back to their rural hometown or to pursue employment. Schools and families do not provide sufficient skills training and knowledge about reproductive health is nearly non-existent among migrant youth. All of these factors conspire to prepare youth poorly for work and life in China’s major cities, which are already inhospitable for migrants.
Organization: Vibrant Communities (VC, formerly Included) was founded in 2006 to create a better living space for migrant children and their families inside migrant communities of big cities. VC works through three approaches: 1. opening access to the city for migrants, 2. providing social services and information for parents as well as life skills education for migrant children in the heart of migrant neighborhoods via community centers, and 3. acting as a think-tank seeking to improve migrant’s access to city services and bring together city-wide best practices. VC has forged a partnership with FAZE Urbanization and Wellbeing Institute (FAZE) in Guangzhou, which was founded to provide direct services to urban migrants, as well as research, and international exchange on migrant related issues.
Current Grant: EMpower’s 4th grant to Vibrant Communities, in partnership with FAZE, supports a program in one migrant school to enhance the financial literacy, goal setting, planning and urban life-skills, and reproductive health knowledge of at-risk migrant youth in Guangzhou.