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Camps Give Rural Youngsters a Break

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To ease the plight of the millions of left-behind children across China, several provinces have organized special summer camps to give them a chance to have fun and interact with others.

Zhejiang University of Technology opened its camp in Hangzhou on July 12 for 58 children of people working for the college's logistics services.

Rural youngsters from 10 provinces will also spend a summer vacation with students from the university's foreign language department, which is aimed at helping them with their studies and teaching them more about further education.

About 1,300 work for Zhejiang University of Technology's logistic services, with most of them migrant workers from villages in other parts of the country. Most work through the summer and are only able to return home during national holidays, such as Spring Festival.

This is the fourth time the college has run the summer camp, with this year's theme being "colorful childhood". The activities on offer, which include dancing, sports, English lessons and singing, are aimed at educating the children through playing and creating in a fun atmosphere, as well as giving them a taste of life away from the countryside.

Officials in Xuliu village, Jiangsu province, also launched their summer camp for migrant workers' children in June.

Youngsters are offered help with their vacation homework and are also given talks on safety and how to stave off boredom and stay active during the holiday period.

A group of 13 students from the Anqing Teaching College in Anhui province have also volunteered to spend their summer break working with children in nearby Wangjiang county, which recently suffered severe flooding.

About 80 percent of primary school pupils in the county's Shenxiang village are left-behind children. The volunteer university students will visit their homes to learn about the difficulties they face in life and study. They will also be giving advice on safety and hope to cope with emergency situations.

Another two-month summer camp was also opened in Cixi in Zhejiang province in July for children who have arrived in the city to join their migrant worker parents.

Teachers will help them with their school work, while the course also includes a host of outdoor activities, dancing and music instruction.

(China Daily August 13, 2010)

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