‘Volunteer moms’ take care of kids left behind in China

Beijing, May 30 (IANS) Around 80,000 women in China’s northern Hebei province have enrolled as “volunteer mothers” to take care of 60 million children in rural areas left behind by their parents to work in big cities.

Xi Jingmin, who works as an accountant, has a seven-year-old daughter of her own. But she has now become a “volunteer mother”, a charity programme launched by the All-China Women’s Federation, Xinhua reported.

When Xi first met eight-year-old He Shuoxin in a village near Dingzhou, the little girl barely spoke a word.

Xi has used her spare time to take care of the girl.

“The girl is now very close to me. I do as much as I can to make her happier,” Xi said.

He’s father has died and her mother works as a maid in a city to support the family, leaving He in the village with her grandparents.

The All-China Women’s Federation has created a database for all such children in the province.

The database details their personalities and financial situation in order to help find suitable “volunteer mothers” for them.

Around 80,000 volunteer mothers have joined the programme in Hebei since it was launched in December 2012.

“There are no mandatory requirements for volunteer mothers. They can help the children in any way, either by taking care of their everyday affairs, giving them maternal care and comfort or helping them with their homework,” a spokesperson said.

The programme has also been launched in east China’s Jiangsu province and southwest Guangxi Zhuang region.

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