Start from The Ground up, Develop Education and Related Programs in China
We had seen that students in mainland China, despite having a real thirst for knowledge, were not able to attend school because of their families’ inability to bear the costs. The founding volunteers of our organization took on a mission to nourish the young, established Sowers Action and dedicated its effort to provide assistance and improve access to education in mainland China. In 1993, Sowers Action learned that a child fell to his death from the second floor of a broken-down wood-frame school building. Soon after, these volunteers started to plan and implement school construction projects, and later expanded into other programs related to the running of schools.
Improving education is a long-term commitment that requires much planning, involving more than just having a physical school, teachers and students. As a result, Sowers Action took on a next step in 1999 to develop other enhancement projects, including training for teachers and special needs education fill the void.
In 2013, to address the urgent needs to provide care for orphans and children living in poverty, we launched a Children Home program and opened our first home in Yunnan. In these children homes, we adopt a whole-person education philosophy in their upbringing. In addition to providing for their basic needs, we pay special attention to developing their ethics and manners, sense of societal belonging, and physical and intellectual growth. In doing so, we want to make sure that they have good personal values and conducts, as well as practical skills to be able to integrate into and contribute to society. For children with special needs, our children homes have dedicated staff to give rehabilitation and mental health guidance to assist them.
From China to the World
For years, Sowers Action have contributed to the improvements of learning conditions in rural China. With the recent rapid economic growth, the Chinese government has dedicated much resources in education and have achieved gradual improvements. In 2017, our volunteers switched their focus from China to assist other areas needing help around the world. We put our rich experience and collective resources to work in Southeast Asia – Myanmar, Northern Thailand, and Nepal – to assist children in impoverished communities, providing education opportunities and community services.
In addition, we act as a platform, matching resources to support continuous development for the needy. Sowers Action will continue to apply its tried and true practices on program implementations – conduct local inspection to evaluate needs, fund and manage projects directly, and oversee long term follow ups and audits to assess project impact. We aim to provide equitable education access to children and sustainable development to communities in needs.
From Education Assistance to Community Services
On the early days of international program development, what we witnessed in Laos and Northern Thailand far exceeded what we had expected. In some provinces, natural disaster, historic causes and local conflicts have ravaged many communities destroying and displacing countless families, homelessness is common. Those who survived lost their land and livelihood, some migrate or live under the roofs of relatives who themselves are also poor; others build shelters using scrap metals, bricks or thatch and canvas or bamboo as walls to weather the elements; some move to refugee camps relying on relief aids to survive. Their future look grim and hopeless. Under such circumstances, even if we were to improve children’s education opportunities and conditions, no child can properly learn without sufficient food or a roof over his head.
As a result, Sowers Action launch a “comprehensive assistance” program that includes infrastructure building, education and child welfare, and other projects that benefit the community (without limitations on age group or program type). However, in balancing our efforts, we aim to give priority on projects that focus on education and child welfare, this emphasis falls in line with our founding vision to “transform baggage attributed to human population into human capital and resources” through education. This does not, however, preclude Sowers Action in participating in poverty alleviation projects, especially when such program will simultaneously and ultimately help to improve education, our most concerned causes.