In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, our teams are doing everything we can to build plans to keep children and our staff protected and healthy.
Save the Children China has delivered 36,000 face masks to hospitals in Wuhan with support from local volunteers. The delivery follows China’s acknowledgment of the shortage of face masks, goggles and protective suits.
Learn more about the coronavirus and Save the Children’s history of responding to global pandemic threats.

Help Save Children in China

With a population of 1.4 billion people, China is the world’s most populous country.

The country’s culture stretches back nearly 4,000 years, but China has only recently become a “modern” nation. Today, China is experiencing rapid economic development and urbanization, leading to increased opportunity, as well as rising inequality – and a whole host of challenges for China’s youngest citizens.

As more and more parents move into China’s urban centers in search of economic opportunity, an increasing proportion of children are “left behind” in the countryside, in overcrowded boarding schools or with relatives who lack the means and knowledge needed to take care of them. Children who join their parents in the cities don’t fare much better. While their parents struggle to make ends meet, vulnerable children must often fend for themselves.

In rapidly changing, modern China, childhood remains under threat. 

Challenges for Children in China

Despite country-wide statistics, many children in China face critical threats to childhood – especially those “left behind” in remote, rural areas, including ethnic minorities, as well as those forced to fend for themselves in poor, urban ones.

  • 1 child in 111 dies before their 5th birthday
  • 8% of children suffer from stunting due to malnutrition
  • 8% of children are out of school, and 5% of girls (ages 15+) struggle to read and write
  • 2% of girls (ages 15-19) are married, and 1 in 125 gives birth
  • 3% of people live in poverty
Map of China

Our Results for Children in China

Last year, thanks to supporters like you, we changed the lives of over 310,000 children in China, with a focus on the most vulnerable.
Thirteen-year-old Cha Qian, looking distressed, wears a blue and white boarding school uniform with a red tie, while sitting in her overcrowded dormitory in rural China.

Thanks to your support, Save the Children is working to improve basic education in rural China, where often-profoundly distressed children are “left behind” at overcrowded boarding schools while their parents pursue work in cities.  

  • 157,000 children healthy and nourished
  • 222,000 children educated and empowered
  • 28,000 children protected from harm
  • 4,000 children lifted from poverty

Our Work for Children in China

Save the Children has long been one of China’s leading child charities. At work in China since the early 1980s, we collaborate with local communities, partners and the government to ensure every child has the chance to grow up healthy, learning and safe. We focus on child education and protection, health, disaster risk reduction and emergency relief in both remote, rural and poor, urban areas.

Here are some recent examples of our work:

The opportunity to learn

  • Save the Children is helping ensure vulnerable children have access to quality early childhood support
  • We piloted home visits designed to build caregivers’ capacity to care for very young children
  • We’re working to improve the quality of kindergarten education by promoting play-based learning
  • We’re helping improve the quality of early childhood care and development for migrant children, including equipping classrooms, training teachers engaging parents and advocacy for underserved children
  • We are the voice for China’s disabled children, supporting the government in developing a framework and monitoring programs
  • We’re training teachers to include children with disabilities in mainstream classrooms and supporting parents to adopt positive family practices, plus we’re raising public awareness through campaigns and policy advocacy
  • Through our Comprehensive Safe Schools approach, we achieved results at scale by partnering with the China Society of Education, reaching 240,000 schools and 120 million students
  • We protect children from natural disasters through improved school risk-management processes
  • We help address and prevent violence in schools by piloting school-based child protection programs and introducing social and emotional learning
  • We help China’s most vulnerable young people transition to decent employment, working closely with the country’s vocational school system
  • We designed a new and innovative online mentorship program to link vulnerable migrant youth with career mentors who guide them on how to access decent work
  • We support youth clubs to facilitate increased peer-to-peer exchange and development of leadership skills

Protection from harm

  • We contributed to the establishment in China of a robust child protection system, including a fully trained, professional workforce, strong frontline preventive and responsive services, a child-friendly justice system, a shift in attitudes and practices and an adequate legal and regulatory framework at both local and national levels
  • We’re establishing and strengthening local child protection services, building the capacity of social workers and protection centers
  • We provided input on child protection laws and policies, such as the Minors Protection Law and National Plan of Action for Human Trafficking
  • We’re promoting the use of positive discipline – a form of conflict resolution that doesn’t involve violence

A healthy start in life

  • We updated essential newborn care techniques in hospitals in Sichuan province, increasing the rate of early breastfeeding by 73%
  • We implementing sustainable solutions to improving oral health –  a key indicator of overall health, well-being and quality of life – among vulnerable children in both rural and rural areas

Emergency response

  • Recognizing the well-established capacity of China’s government to respond to disasters, we’re helping build their capacity to deliver child-sensitive emergency responses

How You Can Help Children in China

You can create change that lasts a lifetime for children in China – in so many ways. 

Support Save the Children’s mission. Donate to help children in China and around the world grow up healthy, educated and safe.

Sponsor a Child
Be the hero in the life of a child in need. Sponsor a child and help them grow up healthy, educated and safe.

Shop Gift Catalog
Give a meaningful gift that will help transform children’s lives and futures in China and beyond. There’s something for everyone!

Sources: Facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s monitoring and evaluation experts, as well as our thought leadership publications, including our Save Our Education 2020 report and Global Childhood Report 2020,  Other sources include CIA World Factbook and BBC Country Profiles.

Photo: Louise Dyring Mbae / Save the Children.


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