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How extensive is the coverage of Sunvillage in China?
There are currently 9 Sunvillages in China, providing for more than 500 children. You can see a map here.
Where does the funding from Sunvillage come from?
How is Sunvillage generating its own income?
At Sunvillage we try to be as self-sufficient as possible. That’s why we initiated several farming projects:
We also sell secondhand clothes and other items, which exceed our needs. Furthermore we offer our children classes to learn activities such as tailoring, drawing or crafting trinkets. The goods made in these classes are also sold to support the children’s living.
How is Sunvillage managing its fund?
Sunvillage follows a strict accounting system. An auditing firm that we hired is responsible to issue annual reports. All donations and expenses are recorded with receipts and are published online for transparency.
How do children arrive at Sun Village?
There are 4 ways:
We always perform background checks on every child and if necessary, they will be brought under our care.
What is the age range of the children at Sunvillage?
Children from Sunvillage are in between 0-18 years old. The youngest child we ever received was only 4 months old. Kids older than 6 years are sent to school to receive education. When our children reach the age of 18, they must leave Sunvillage to pursue a career and sustain themselves independently. We hope they will go on to start their own family and lead a happy life. During their entire upbringing our goal is to prepare them for just that.
How is the everyday life like for a child at Sunvillage?
We organize our children in small families. One family consists of 14 children. They live together in a 110m2 house, that holds its own bedroom, living room and bathroom. Each united is managed by a “mother”, who takes care of their upbringing and their daily needs.
How are the children at Sunvillage like?
The children come from a wide variety of backgrounds. That’s why they are very different. Some of them are full of hatred and want to take revenge. It is not unusual for them to already have a criminal record. Some others are very sensitive and can’t put their trust in others anymore. Others may have suffered from abuse and have now some quite serious mental illnesses.
At Sunvillage we do our best to reverse this damage and turn them into independent and happy adults. Every child at Sunvillage is counseled by a professional psychologists. Each year, we hire psychologists to train our staff. In December 2005, July 2007 and February 2009 we organized international conferences to discuss the mental health of children of convicts.
How exactly is Sunvillage helping children of convicts?
If we get the approval from their parents, children are welcome to live with us at Sunvillage. We offer them a home, education and medical care. Most important of all, we offer them a family. Once their parents are released from prison, the children will be reunited with their parents. However, some parents have been executed or are in prison for several decades. In this case the children will stay until they are 18 years old and ready to sustain themselves. They will receive on the job training from Sunvillage. If they are successful in school, we also give them the opportunity to go to university, by providing them with a scholarship.
Sometimes, we don’t receive approval of the parents to take the children to Sunvillage. Sometimes they already found a new family in responsible relatives. In these cases, we support the children financially and send them at least 500RMB every year. The funding is directly transferred from Sunvillage to their new families.
How frequently do children living in Sun Village meet with their parents?
Children living in Sun Village usually meet with their parents once or twice a year. Each month, they get the opportunity to talk to their parents on the phone. Since these children come from some 16 provinces across China, transportation is sometimes challenging. Nevertheless, we ensure that these children can meet with their parents at least once per year.
How do children receive education at Sun Village?
To ensure that our children will integrate in society, there is no school in Sunvillage. Our kids attend public schools with regular kids. Our goal is that every child receives a school degree and at least 9 years of school education. Children who are academically successful, are provided by us with a scholarship to go to university. For those who intend to work after middle school, we offer professional training.
What kind of professional training offers Sunvillage?
Sun Village is dedicated to enabling the children of convicts an independent life. As a result, Sunvillage provides three channels for these children to hunt for jobs:
Additionally, we offer education in several fields such as technology, finance, catering, car-repairing, fashion design, and needle work. Because of the various categories of training, the costs are different. Though so, the average annual tuition, accommodation and living expenses add up to an amount of RMB $5000.
Can I visit the child I am sponsoring?
Yes, you can. If you want to visit the child you are sponsoring, all you need to do is to get in touch with us. We will then help you to arrange your visit. However, transportation and accommodation expenses have to be covered by yourself.
Can I send letters or e-mails to the child I am sponsoring?
Yes, you can. We will hand over the letter or printed e-mail to the child and make sure they will write you a reply, if they are already old enough for that. However, please have patience that communication with the children can only take place in Chinese.
Can I send pocket money to my sponsored child?
Yes, you can. You can send the pocket money to us, we will then hand over the full amount to your child. Sunvillage agrees with the idea to give out pocket money during holidays. We believe it will teach children to use money responsibly, if they get to manage their own budget. Usually this pocket money will be used to buy things such as candy or little toys. The child will send you a thank you letter in response.