By UMUNC China Serene Lian
UMUNC China has worked towards made great strides in gaining support from volunteers to promote MY World in China. Our team was concerned with how to really use our data to let the world know what China really needs. Can our data really illustrate the multi-dimensions of China’s youth? How do we help those who are living in difficult situations have more opportunity to express their needs?
We realized that this is our mission – for UMUNC to serve the most marginalized, bringing their voices to the forefront of development, this is also the mission of our generation of young people.
March 2015, we are pleased to introduce the Project Officer for South Western China – her name is Junchi Zhou and she is a middle school student from Chongqing Nankai Middle School. Her arrival has brought new inspiration to the team.
There is a marginalized community living right beside us. Their parents have to migrate away from home to find work. For survival, these parents use their wisdom and strength to try to change the fate of their families for the better. They have also sacrificed so much to promote the sustainable and harmonious development of China’s economy and society. Yet, their sons and daughters stay behind in the village, and they have become a very unique marginalized community, called “left-behind children.”
In September, 2012, the Ministry of Education announced the number of school-age children who migrated with their families to be over 12.6 million while the number of school-age children who are left behind is over 22 million. Behind this enormous number lies a tension that is a symptom of economic growth and the dramatic difference between urban-rural developments.
这是典型的中国式矛盾。This is a typical Chinese style tension.
父母外出打工，把孩子留在乡村，这实在是一种痛苦和无奈的现实选择，即便被父母带入城市的孩子，在森严的城乡壁垒面前，也不得不面对与城市融合的困境。Parents work in the cities while children are left behind in the villages. This is really a painful decision for parents to improve the lives of their children for the future. The issue of adapting to life in the city also comes to mind when looking into whether rural children can quickly adapt to the pace of life in urban areas.
“As we go into the field, joining ‘left-behind’ children and learning form them, it is hard to imagine they are the same age as us but our future looks very different.” Left-behind children have a higher probability of entering the work force or getting married at an early age. Through MY World, UMUNC would like to work with multi-stakeholders to improve this situation and to deepen the impact young people have on the world, through the action from our own two hands.
This is our resolve.
也许有些残酷，但是问题的背后需要不是更多的同情、指责，需要的是关注和解决。这正是我们要做的。这也是为什么“MY WORLD 改变世界” 携手优梦中国青年发展计划为下一个联合国千年发展目标制定议题的意义。因为我们可以用我们的诉求，将世界改造成我们需要的样子，让这个世界真正与我有关。
Reality is difficult to face, but there is no need for criticism and kindness, what is needed is empathy and working toward finding solutions. This is what we must do, and what we would like to do by working on MY World, to find meaning that fits our needs in the next development agenda.