By Gwen Wong
Factory ministry aims at helping the workers cope with their new life.
The Tang couple works at factories located in Baoan District, Shenzhen City of Guangdong Province. Considering the high living cost in city, the couple has to leave their children to the grandparents at their hometown of Anhui Province.
Mr. Tang says, "I can only see my children twice a year. One time at Lunar New Year when I return home, the other is now when they come to the factory during summer holiday."
If you ask how the migrant workers like the Tang's feel, most of them will tell you how much they miss their children. If possible, they would rather be with their children and do not want to be separated.
One of Mrs. Tang's colleagues, Dun Yaohui, is from Hubei Province. Before World Vision's cooperation with the factory he is working for, he has never thought that he could see his children one more time every year other than at Lunar.
Helping workers cope with new life since 1999
World Vision's factory ministry began at Dongguan in 1999. Understanding workers' pressure and challenges that posed when moving to a new city, the project aims at systematically help workers in the long run.
At first, World Vision staff provided vocational training courses and leisure activities to factory workers. The purpose was to assist them in adapting to new environment and so to seek for a better life. Gradually, the project has developed more diversified services for the workers.
Bonnie Tsai, Project Officer of World Vision who was responsible for establishing the ministry, says, "Workers thought they were far away from their home and feel like aloof from the others. To make one lives happily, you must help develop their community belongingness."
Since establishment, the ministry has already worked with more than 10 factories. Different activities including career training, seminars, interest classes, leisure activities, voluntary works and leadership training are provided. Special care services are also given to new comers and female workers. These activities have not only enriched workers' life, but also helped them improve professional skills and social life, letting them feel respected and cared of.
Everyone enjoys the family games in the summer activity.
Platform to take care of workers' families
World Vision has organised Activity Centre for Workers in two of the factories, offering the workers a platform to learn and develop social life.
One of them was launched in 2006 in the factory Dun Yauhui is working for. With the support of the factory management and based on assessment results, the Center puts its focus on easing workers' dull feeling for life. Leisure activities and capacity building courses are provided in order to help them build positive values and to enhance whole-person development.
Over the past years, World Vision has already held computer classes and English classes. Radio station is set up for workers to share positive messages interactively. Volunteer team is organised to develop workers' leadership and encourage community participation.
Considering some workers' family members are also working at the same or nearby firms, the Center has recently moved outside of the factory region. Since then, workers' families who used to be blocked away from entering the factory can now use the Center freely.
Han Bin, Project Assistant stationing at Dongguang, says, "World Vision realises the importance for the workers to build up close relationship with their family. Therefore, we hope we can serve both the workers and their families living nearby."
Dun Yaohui can have more time to stay with his son during the summer activity held by World Vision.
Giving chance for family union
Dun Yauhui is a supporter of these activities. Prior to the establishment of the Centre, he could only stay at home watching television after work. Now he can go to the Center to play ping pong and snooker. "I can also borrow books and get to know some friends. I feel great. I'm now more cheerful than before," says Dun.
Among the activities, the most welcomed one might be the children scheme held in summer vacation.
The scheme is co-organised by World Vision and local volunteers. Various interest classes are held to enrich children's holiday, as well as to broaden their horizon and explore their potential, helping them build positive values.
Family outing tour is also included. Besides, children are given chance to express feelings about their parents through radio broadcast and other activities, improving the relationship between parents and children.
The 50 children joining the scheme have already had wonderful time staying with their parents. At the same time, letting the workers stay with their beloved ones has been the best way to color their life.