Why China?

The fact that you are on this page means you have an interest in China. So do we!

So, why China?  This is usually the first question we get asked. China is the world’s second largest economy and seems to have so many resources and so much capacity to help the poor. So, why do we help? What people forget is that China is also the world’s most populated country, responsible for one fifth of the world’s population. That’s a lot of people. And no matter how progressive a country’s government is (and China’s government is incredibly progressive) there will always be gaps. And this is where the nonprofit sector has a role to play.

Captivating International, as a foreign registered organization, works to support registered on-the-ground Chinese organizations with a good track record in China. Having worked in China since 2006, we’ve realized that our strengths and best contribution as an international charity is it to help identify and support local issues with local (and proven) solutions. There is so much progressive work already taking place, however, the constant challenges these incredible grassroots organizations face always come down to (1) expertise on how to run a charity efficiently and transparently; and, (2) a lack of financial support from local groups. In essence, the world of charity starts with good-hearted people passionate about addressing a particular problem – only to come unstuck because they are either not administratively sound or they lack financial stability. We exist to work with these organizations – taking their good work helping a few and helping to transition it to great work helping many.

We have grown to genuinely love China: it’s people, it’s passion, and it’s persistence to see things through. It is a country that truly honors family, takes a high moral ground on so many issues, and has at the very heart its desire to protect and support its people.

As we said at the beginning of this summary, China is a huge country. It’s arguably one of the most progressive nations on earth with regard to anti-poverty strategies. Without it, the global millennium development goals would look considerably different. But, gaps still exist and Captivating’s work in China is to help where we can. Captivating is heavily invested here and we want to help China do two things:

End Poverty

Educate Girls


End Poverty

70 million people in China are considered impoverished. Every year this figure makes significant improvement, thanks to China’s aggressive poverty and education assistance programs. But, if we don’t take action, there are still children who will miss out on achieving their dreams over the next decade – children who have fallen into gaps either through poverty or prejudice. So what is Captivating doing to meet some of the gaps?

Captivating’s work is primarily focused on Western Provinces in China – provinces that everyone acknowledges are still struggling financially (in comparison to the wealthier Eastern Provinces). Travel to any mountainous location in a Western Province and things are challenging. A dry climate, cold winters, high altitude and small farming plots make progress difficult. Or, maybe a girl’s family are nomadic farmers – roaming the land during the warmer months looking for pasture for their herds. Life is challenging for this girl to attend school due to their nomadic lifestyle, and boarding school is too expensive for the family. She may have an additional problem in that her family may not place as great a value on her education as her brothers.

Our primary interest is seeing this girl back into, or more secure in, school. Where prejudice is not a factor, our best and most economic way of getting her to school is to address the poverty of her parents.

In partnership with registered, local grassroots charity organizations, we have implemented and are rolling out several END POVERTY projects in China:

  • Greenhouses – establishing greenhouse solutions in villages. A greenhouse helps keep kids in school, improves health, and sustainably ends poverty;
  • Healthy Village Program – sending medical teams to remote village communities instructing them on hygiene, basic health, and caring for their families. Keep them well and they will live longer and more productive lives;
  • Kaili Village Development Program – working with Heifer China and local government departments ending poverty for 3 village communities and 400 families;
  • Pigs for Poverty – providing seed funds and expertise helping families start their own pig business and doubling their annual incomes;
  • Captivating Walnut Project – helping whole village communities establish a quality walnut growing program that will sustainably generate additional income for years to come.
  • Share a Sheep Program – seed funding and expertise to 30 families to establish their own sheep herd;
  • Clean Water – connecting remote villages to nearby water sources saving hours of time collecting water, keeping kids in school longer (instead of collecting water), and opening doors to income producing opportunities;
  • Solar Panels – helping children in remote locations study longer and live healthier, and helping their families save money on alternative lighting solutions;

Educate Girls

As outlined in our Educate Girls page, investing in education for a girl helps her, her family, and even helps her wider community. It’s a great strategy. In China, this comes through in several programs and we are thrilled to do this with our current Chinese charity partners to make such progressive change possible.

Click on any of the following links to find out more about our passion to end poverty through education. Supporting a girl through education is personal, practical, and incredibly rewarding to both the giver and the receiver:

  • Sponsor a Girl – although our preference is to keep a girl in school by helping her family address their poverty, there are times that the only effective solution is to pay for her to go to school;
  • My First Job Program– when a girl has missed too much school and they’re WAY behind catching up, this program aims to provide a girl of working age with practical skills and experience enabling her to transition into the best first job possible;
  • Project Eden – this is a small family project focused on providing a safe “home-away-from-home” environment for girls from remote locations so they can attend a vocational high school;
  • Seng Girls Vocational Training School (SGVTS) – since 2009 Captivating has underwritten the operating costs of this vocational school providing education for girls from nomadic or semi-nomadic families who were not previously attending school either due to poverty or prejudice. Over 200 girls have been through this program;
  • Small Budget Projects –  Opportunities always exist to bring hope through education and support to remote rural schools and communities. But solutions don’t need to be expensive. We establish libraries, run summer tutoring support programs for catch-up education, and provide general healthy living instruction and support. US$1,000 can make a big difference;
  • The PCH Capacity Building Leadership Program – take 50 university students, add experienced NGO trainers, and the result is a whole lot of future development capacity. This program is helping to create tomorrow’s NGO leaders focusing on teaching them to lead and manage development projects;
  • Vocational School Scholarships – China is implementing fantastic vocational scholarship programs in remote locations. Still, some girls are missing out because of costs not covered such as transport, food, and boarding. Captivating is partnering with local agencies and schools to bring hope to girls who, without this help would see the end of their school dream.

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