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Jun 25, 2019

Study Confirms Damage Done to Left-Behind Children

Left-behind children are at risk. OneSky can help.
Left-behind children are at risk. OneSky can help.

Left-behind children—such as those we serve in China’s rural villages— have increased risk of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, conduct disorder, substance use, wasting and stunting, as compared to children of non-migrants.


That was the conclusion of a major new study released last year in The Lancet, a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal, which is among the world's oldest, most prestigious, and best known medical journals.

Its findings include the recommendation:

“Parental migration is detrimental to the health of left-behind children and adolescents, with no evidence of any benefit. Policy makers and health-care professionals need to take action to improve the health of these young people.”

This was the largest and most comprehensive study to date to assess the impact of parental migration on all key areas of child and adolescent health across low-income and middle-income countries.

The report funded by the Wellcome Trust outlines:

“In China, where the most research has been done to date, studies have shown poorer nutritional, developmental and mental health outcomes in left-behind children than children of non-migrant parents.” (Read the report in full here.)

OneSky’s approach to working in China’s rural villages offers an affordable and replicable approach to mitigating the damage done to young children left behind by parents who have migrated away for work. In fact, at any given time, up to 85% of the parents are away.

We offer parenting skills and responsive care training, benefiting infants, toddlers, and their preschool-aged siblings, delivered to grandparents, parents, or other primary caregivers, with a focus on providing nurturing care in daily life, with an emphasis on attachment and bonding, brain development and stimulation, and on fostering early communication.

We also offer programs promoting community engagement, geared toward strengthening now disintegrating rural communities and providing a nurturing home for young children despite parental absence by offering trainer-facilitated village gatherings, monthly community projects (community garden, field trips and treasure hunts with preschoolers, etc.), and cooperative childcare to give weary grandparents regular respite.

Read about OneSky’s work with left-behind children in China’s rural villages.

May 29, 2019

A Special Field Trip for Preschoolers

A special outing!
A special outing!

Thank you for your continued support of children of factory workers in Vietnam. We hope you enjoy this story about a special factory visit by preschoolers enrolled in our program. We look forward to bringing you future reports from our work in Vietnam.


There’s so much that’s different about OneSky’s Early Learning Center (ELC) in Da Nang, Vietnam, but one detail truly sets it apart.

The center was set up specifically for the children of rural migrants working in the surrounding factory zone. Parents of the children have all moved from countryside to city, looking for work so they can provide for their families. Across Vietnam, 60 percent of all factory workers are rural migrants.

But having found work, many soon realize reliable childcare is hard to find—and that’s where OneSky’s ELC and training programs have stepped in to help.

Recently, more than one hundred of the ELC’s older kids – aged three to six – got to see for themselves the kind of place where Mom and Dad work so hard. Teachers took them on a field trip to a nearby factory, so they had a better understanding of what their parents do all day.

“Factories play a major part in their lives. It’s where their parents go six days a week,” said Vo Thi Hien, OneSky Vietnam Program Director. “This is why they come home tired. Earning an income helps pay for the food they eat and the clothes they wear. You could see the children taking in so much on their trip.

“The Early Learning Center is providing the best possible start for these children. It also gives parents peace of mind. As the center has become more established it has also grown a community of factory workers who provide their own mutual support, somewhere children and parents can spend time together. We welcome parents to spend time using our facilities with their children.”

With places at the ELC limited, most local working parents have to rely on home-based caregivers. So, as part of the ELC pilot, OneSky also provides training for women running these facilities.

Read more about OneSky’s Migrant Model.


*To read more stories about the overall work that OneSky does, please visit the story page on our website!

Hard to say goodbye...
Hard to say goodbye...
Apr 8, 2019

The OneSky Approach for Children in Orphanages

Family-like love brings joy to orphaned children!
Family-like love brings joy to orphaned children!

An orphanage is a terrible place to raise a child. But in some countries, orphanages are still the primary destination for children who have been separated from their families. While far from a perfect solution, until deinstitutionalization becomes the norm, the OneSky Approach to helping children living in orphanages provides orphaned and abandoned children a family-like home.

Thank you for your generous past support of our work in China’s orphanages! We hope you enjoy this latest brief report giving an overview of how our work helps abandoned children living in institutions…


Today, the OneSky Approach is China’s national standard for the care of institutionalized children. At its heart are three simple, replicable programs that offer young children the responsive care and loving attention they need in order to thrive:


Infant Nurture Program
Women from the local community are trained to provide nurturing, responsive care and stimulation for orphaned babies and toddlers. Attentive to the tremendous gains infants make in the early years of life – physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually – each nanny is assigned 3-4 babies and treats them as her very own.

Experienced early childhood educators are taught a unique and progressive curriculum that blends responsive care and some elements of Italy’s Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education with local kindergarten standards. The program is designed to prepare the children to develop intellectual curiosity and a love of learning, succeed in community schools, and attain the positive sense of self so often missing in institutionalized children.

Loving Families
Married couples who have already raised a family but still have room in their hearts are recruited from the local community to provide permanent loving foster homes for children whose physical, emotional or cognitive challenges are likely to preclude their adoption. Children who would otherwise spend their lives in institutional care, grow up knowing the love of a family while also receiving the special care that our early intervention programs provide.


Click here to read more stories about children served through our Orphanage Program!

Children no longer feel alone...
Children no longer feel alone...
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