February came in with a roar as we welcomed the year of the tiger! The tiger is known for its strength and bravery and is considered a guardian symbol, capable of great love. These are all attributes that come to mind when I think of the incredible OneSky team who work tirelessly to ensure that, against the odds, vulnerable young children get the best start in life. Their commitment to the children made all the difference over the past year as COVID made life very challenging for the communities we work in.
This year, according to the Chinese zodiac, will be not just a tiger year, but a water tiger year, representing all the qualities mentioned above as well as a strong emphasis on family. And we know that, whatever structure a family takes, the loving bond between a caring adult and a young child is what gives the child the best chance to thrive.
That’s why Jenny Bowen founded OneSky twenty-four years ago – to put a loving adult in the life of every child living in a welfare institution in China – and it’s why we exist today. While our work has expanded beyond the walls of welfare institutions and beyond the borders of China, the children we serve all face adversity that threatens their ability to thrive and reach their full potential. And so, using curriculum and methods we began developing over two decades ago, OneSky continues to train adults to provide consistent, responsive care to young children living in challenging situations. Sometimes those adults are professional caregivers or teachers, sometimes they are parents or grandparents, but everywhere we work, we teach the same fundamental things – how to listen to and respond to the needs of a child.
Over the coming year, we’ll tell you more about our new program in China called Family First which will see children across the country moved out of welfare institutions and into OneSky foster families. We’ll also bring you stories from Vietnam where we train the caregivers of children of migrant workers to provide family-like care to young children while their parents labor in factories. And from Mongolia and Hong Kong, you’ll hear how our Family Skills Training program is supporting vulnerable children, and their parents too.
During this water tiger year, as you read about the families we are creating and the ones we are helping, please know how grateful we are to you, the members of the global OneSky family, who make this all possible!
CEO, OneSky for all children